Business News of 2014-06-09

Attainment of middle income status no fluke - NDPC

The Ghanaian economy improved considerably, especially in 2010 and 2011; a performance which eventually led to the country attaining middle income status.

“Growth of the economy was unsurpassed, and then together with the results that came out, we were classified as a lower middle income country based on the per capita income of the country, “the Director General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr Regina O. Adutwum, said.

She was addressing a stakeholder consultation meeting with the media on the Ghana Shared Growth Development Agenda (GSGDA) II last Friday.

In a presentation that outlined the events and programmes that led to Ghana’s attainment of a lower middle income status in 2013, she said in spite of all the achievements, the growth that was recorded was not accompanied by the appropriate level of job creation.”

According to the NDPC Director General, after an assessment of GSGDA I (2010-2013), which had the theme: “Socioeconomic transformation,” it was realised that although Ghana was doing well in poverty reduction it was doing poorly in maternal, child mortality, gender equality and environmental sanitation among others.

“Ghana was facing several challenges such as structural macroeconomic imbalance, external shocks, including high prices of crude oil and food, inflation etc.,” she recounted.

Inflation

“Then inflation was reduced significantly; once again unprecedented in the annals of Ghana. Business rankings improved for the private sector, the yield of crops also improved and we became food self-sufficient.

“Access to electricity improved, access to safe drinking water improved, school enrolment improved, especially at the basic and JHS level, hospital attendance improved (national health insurance) and life expectancy also improved,” she said.

Challenges

However, we had challenges and we still do, she said, admitting that “in every country no matter the level of development, you will face challenges. It is what we do to address these challenges that are critical.

“So we found out that in spite of all the achievements, the growth that was recorded was not accompanied by the appropriate level of job creation.”

Macroeconomic growth

Speaking on the topic: “Ensuring and sustaining macroeconomic stability,” the Technical Adviser, NDPC, Mr Kenneth Owusu, said the commission had proposed that by the year 2020, Ghana should achieve a per capita income of $3,000.

According to him, “To be able to do that we need to achieve a per capita income of $2,500 by 2017 and to be able to get that target it means we should not grow less than 10 per cent over that period [GSGDA II].”