Government To Address Economic ChallengesBy Graphic Ghana - Daily Graphic
5/6/2012 1:01:12 PM -
Ms Hannah Tetteh - Trade Minister Trade Minister Hannah Tetteh, has expressed government’s willingness to provide measures to address the economic challenges undermining the development of Ghana.
She listed some of the challenges as high unemployment rate, rising levels of public debt, high interest rates, infrastructural deficits, high public sector wage bills and volatile international commodity markets and its attendant effect on foreign exchange earnings.
She said the challenges would be addressed through policy interventions and programmes outlined in the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda.
These include sustaining current micro-economic stability, improving transport infrastructure, enhancing human development, developing Private sector competitiveness and improving science and technology.
Miss Tetteh was speaking at the First Ghana Economic Forum organised by Business and Financial Times and supported by Virgin Atlantic in Accra.
The event which was on the theme “Integrating people, sytems and technologies for sustainable economic development” brought together about 150 participants.
They included chief executive officers, board chairmen, directors-general, legal advisors, entrepreneurs, civil society leaders, and senior level decision makers in public & private sector organisations in Ghana and some development partners.
The forum deliberated on how Ghana could sustain the macroeconomic gains made in recent times and the strategy for sustaining the growth trajectory on the three key pillars of people, systems and technology deployment.
It also provided a platform for highlighting on major concerns and key drivers of the economy, the intersecting players and how the leadership tool can be better developed to oil the wheels of development.
Some of the areas discussed included what to do to unlock Ghana’s human capital in terms of education, skills development, job creation and poverty reduction; rethinking the country’s systems for improved productivity at all levels as well as utilising technology to drive intermediary businesses in both public and private sector organisations.
On the panel to discuss the topics were Ms. Abena Amoah, Founder & CEO, Baobab Advisors, Dr Joe Abbey, Executive Director of CEPA, Dr. John Kwakye, Senior Economist, IEA, Nana Owusu Afari, President of AGI, Mr Foluso Philips, Founder of Philips Consulting Group, Nigeria and Mr Kweku Andoh Awotwi, Chief Executive of Volta River Authority.
Miss Tetteh said according to Global Competitive Index (GCI), Ghana continued to exhibit strong public institutions and governance indicators with relatively high government efficiency particularly in regional comparison.
The report indicated that Ghana’s infrastructure was good by regional standards, especially the state of its ports which was ranked 66th out of 142 adding that the financial market was also described as relatively well developed and ranked 61st.
The Trade Minister said, the position of Ghana as 114 out of 142 in the GCI served as a wakeup call for the government to intensify efforts to improve the business environment to make Ghana a preferred destination for investments in the West Africa.
Mrs Edith Dankwa, Executive Director of Business and Financial Times said over the years, Ghana had witnessed tremendous growth in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from GH¢ 23 billion in 2007 to GH¢ 59 billion in 2011 and had also seen the economy grow at 14.4 per cent in 2011 which was driven by oil exports.
She said the fiscal deficits had been falling to manageable levels, reaching around four per cent of GDP in 2011 adding that the economy had also enjoyed single digit inflation since 2010, currently trending below nine per cent.
Despite all these progress, she said, Ghana still faced a number of critical challenges that had held back growth and slowed down the process of poverty-alleviation and development.
She commended government’s effort in ensuring sound business environment and urged all stakeholders to work effectively to drive and sustain the country's economic growth.