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24.03.2006 General News

Ghana's economy is ready to take-off - Prof. Asenso-Okyere


Accra, March 24, GNA - Professor Kwadwo Asenso-Okyere, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Legon, on Thursday said a solid foundation had been laid for Ghana's economy to grow and usher in the prosperity Ghanaians were yearning for. However, he said to facilitate the growth towards the expected prosperity, investments must be made in five key driving areas. These are, rural road construction, education, and provision of potable water, research and irrigation.

Prof. Asenso-Okyere made the observation at his inaugural lecture organised by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences on the topic: "Improving Human Livelihood, a Development Challenge of the 21st Century." He noted that prosperity could only be realized when attention was paid to equity, and the benefits of economic growth spread fairly among all levels of the Ghanaian society, a close in the gap between urban and rural areas as well as between the northern and southern parts. Prof. Asenso-Okyere noted that over the last few years, the Ghanaian economy had enjoyed improvements in the economic fundamentals, adding that it was the prayer of Ghanaians that those improvements would continue to support efforts for sustained high growth of the economy.

"Macroeconomic stability is necessary but not sufficient condition for economic growth, development and prosperity," he said. He said with all the factors of development, capital and natural resources remained passive whereas human resources were the only active factor. Prof. Asenso-Okyere noted that the best way for a government working towards national development and prosperity was to invest in the people to improve their capacity in skills, knowledge and health. "The current development goal of the Ghanaian government is to raise per capita income to 1,000 US dollars by 2015. This requires an average growth rate of seven per cent per capita income for a decade...Ghana needs to increase the annual GDP growth rate from the current level of less than six per cent. "Given the current level, this target requires a lot of hard work on Ghanaians if the expected prosperity is to become a reality in the near future," he said.

Prof. Asenso-Okyere therefore; called for improved work ethics in Ghana, saying annual leave of about nine weeks should be reduced, idleness at work places; time wasting socio-cultural practices should not be allowed to interfere with work.