While the International Monetary Fund has projected Ghana’s GDP growth to be the fastest in the world in 2019, growing at 8.8 per cent, the country is among 11 on the continent that are at high risk of debt distress, according to the Economic Report on Africa 2019.
Ghana’s debt is hovering around 60 per cent of GDP.
The World Bank, therefore, believes a broadened tax base would potentially increase domestic revenue.
During a press briefing in Accra, the Bank said the government should make efforts at taxing property and the informal sector, an area that is primarily undertaxed.
“I know examples that have been mentioned before include property taxes, where collection rates are extremely low. In some Municipalities, they don’t even collect property taxes, but around the world, this is a major source of revenue for public purse”, Henry Kerali, outgoing World Bank Country Director said.
Additionally, the Bank suggested a shift of focus to other sectors of the economy, aside the extractives. It said an efficient agricultural system and ICT for productivity could do more in efforts to broadening the economy.
“Some of the potential areas, probably the most with the highest potentials are agriculture. There is also potential in the ICT. We are calling it a digital moonshot. Which is, we really need to try to drive to the digital economy, so that you have systems, government services and so on, that are enabled to work on electronic systems,” Dr. Kerali said.
The Bank noting that there has been significant growth, pointed out that the country has been able to also significantly reduce poverty.
The Bank also noted that revenue in the non-oil sector is picking up and that future growth would mean a lot more investment in this sector.
By Gifty Danso
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