President Nana Akufo-Addo, says the pursuit of strong economic growth and enhanced domestic revenue mobilisation will help the economy rebound faster from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the investiture of a new Vice Chancellor of the SD Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies, in Wa, on Thursday, 20th January 2022, President Akufo-Addo stated that, despite the difficulties confronting Government, the economy is experiencing a positive but slow growth in 2020.
According to the President, data from the Statistical Service puts the average growth rate of the economy for the first three quarters of 2021 at 5.2%, putting the country on course to exceed our provisional growth outturn of 4.4% for 2021.
“Our growth performance compares very favourably with the IMF growth estimate of 3.7% for sub-Saharan Africa, and 3.6% for ECOWAS countries. We are still on course in our fiscal consolidation agenda. The Ghana Revenue Authority exceeded its 2021 tax revenue target, and we are confident we will achieve, if not surpass, the eighty-billion-cedi (GH¢80 billion) target for this year,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo continued, “This combination of strong growth and domestic revenue mobilisation will enable us to meet our fiscal deficit target for 2022, and reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio, thereby providing fiscal space to continue to implement programmes such as our flagship programmes like the Free SHS policy, the One-District-One-Factory initiative and the Programme for Planting for Food and Jobs, the development of our infrastructure, particularly our roads, and create more jobs for our youth.”
Touching on the creation of jobs for Ghanaian youth, the President told the gathering that the 2022 budget has set aside ten billion cedis (GH¢10 billion), for the next three years, in support of young entrepreneurs to enable them create new businesses and expand existing ones.
“Under the YouStart programme, Government, through the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), which proved its mettle in its efficient supervision of the seven hundred and fifty million (GH҃¢750 million) CAP Business Support Programme to micro, small and medium scale enterprises at the height of the pandemic, and the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP), will direct financial and technical support towards young entrepreneurs in the country to develop commercially viable businesses, and create jobs for the youth,” he said.
The YouStart Programme, he added, will be a vehicle for supporting young entrepreneurs to gain access to capital, training, technical skills and mentoring to enable them launch and start their own businesses, and employ other young people.
“Successfully implemented, the YouStart programme will make a significant dent in youth unemployment, and enhance considerably social stability and progress. This University should be at the forefront of critically examining this initiative, and making proposals to enhance its implementation,” the President said.
New VC, Registrar
Congratulating Professor Philip Duku Osei and Mr. Job Asante on their appointment as Vice Chancellor and Registrar, respectively, of the SD Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies, President Akufo-Addo was confident that, in the two persons, “we have persons capable of laying a strong foundation for the rapid take-off of this University”.
“The Vice Chancellor’s induction into office today is a mark of the trust that the first-ever Governing Council of the University has reposed in him, and I am confident that this trust will not be broken. His wealth of experience, with decades of service, makes him an appropriate person for this all-important assignment. I want to assure him that my government will help ensure that the University fulfils its mandate,” he added.
It was, thus, the President’s that the University will produce graduates, who are moulded to take on the opportunities and possibilities for higher achievement, through creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation, and who will, thereby, help generate prosperity for the masses of Ghanaians.
He concluded by stressing that “You have my support and the support of Government in the pursuit of your progressive agenda for the University, which, Vice Chancellor, you have outlined in your acceptance speech. I wish both of you the very best of luck and God’s guidance in all your endeavours.”