Ken Thompson downplays IMF, World Bank growth projections for Ghana
The Chief Executive Officer of Dalex Finance, Kenneth Thompson has downplayed the significance of the IMF and World Bank projections for Ghana’s economy.
The IMF and the World Bank have projected a growth rate of 8.8 percent and 7.6 percent respectively for Ghana’s Economy, making it one of the fastest growing economy in the world for 2019.
The forecast from the two organizations are higher than government’s forecast of 7.2%.
The two organizations said the growth will be driven by the petroleum sector which saw a boost last year.
While the World Bank believes other sectors including the mining and services sectors will also contribute greatly to the growth, the IMF believes government’s fiscal policies and management of the macroeconomic indicators including inflation is a sign that the economy will be robust.
However, speaking to Citi Business News at the sidelines of a forum organized by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), Kenneth Thompson said this may not be achieved because challenges affecting the economic fundamentals of the country are still lurking.
“On paper they are beautiful, I mean the numbers are nice, but you’ve got to remember that the growth is coming from the oil sector. And very few people participate in that sector, that’s number one. Number two, most of the money stay outside the country, so really, the impact is minimal. I mean that’s the reality.
He cautioned government not to be complacent because it will not mean anything for Ghanaians if they don’t feel the value of the cedi in their pockets.
“And the only time that we are able to believe in the projection is if we feel it in our pockets and now we don’t feel it in our pockets, that’s all it’s about, he noted.
According to him, until attention is shifted from Gold, Cocoa and Oil to other nontraditional export commodities it will be difficult for the economy to grow at that speed.
“For me the numbers are great but it doesn’t mean anything. When it comes to the fundamentals, as far back as I can remember, they said that Ghana was a producer of primary products and that we should diversify, has that changed? It hasn’t changed. Our main Exports are gold, oil, cocoa. Has it changed? It hasn’t changed so what are we talking about?” he questioned.