President Akufo-Addo says his government has, over the last two and a half years, acted to correct the fundamentals of the Ghanaian economy, which, prior to his assumption of office, were in considerable disarray.
According to him, “the fiscal deficit, which stood at 9.3% in 2016, has been brought down to 3.9% at the end of 2018.
“Our actions have resulted in the rapid growth of Ghana’s economy, which, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), this year, will be the fastest growing economy in the world at a projected 8.8% (up from 3.6% in 2016).”
Speaking at the France-Ghana Business Forum, the President stated that the continuing stability of the macro-economy and the cedi; reduction in inflation from 15.4% in December 2016 to 9.5% in April 2019; reduction of lending rates, amongst others; are examples of some of the steps that have been taken to grow the Ghanaian economy.
“In addition to these, a number of taxes, which were militating against businesses and business owners, have either been abolished or reduced,” he added.
Touching on the banking sector, President Akufo-Addo indicated that, prior to 2017, the sector was characterized by the existence of several weakly capitalized banks, with balance sheets encumbered by a multitude of low performing loans, pursuing bad business models with poor governance practices, and, largely, non-existent central bank regulation.
“We took measures to sanitise the system, saved the deposits of some 1.5 million Ghanaians, their businesses and the people they employed, and also minimised job losses in the banking sector,” the President indicated.
According to the March 2019 Banking Sector Report of the Bank of Ghana, “an assessment of the banking sector’s performance during the first two months of 2019 showed a well-capitalized, profitable, liquid and stable sector with strong prospects for increased financial intermediation.”
Indeed, at the end of the first quarter of 2019, the banking industry performance in total assets, total deposits and net loans and advances, all saw positive growth.
President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that all these have been done because there is a government in place in Ghana that believes in the primacy of the private sector, and is working to enhance the prospects of a win-win environment for both private sector and country; an environment where companies cannot just survive, but actually thrive.
“Mine is a government that believes in market principles, and welcomes investors who want to work to promote the same and help build our economy. And, above all, the interests and welfare of our people are our paramount concerns,” the President noted.