President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has vowed to restore economic growth to pre-COVID-19 levels, after he was declared winner of the closely-contested December 7 polls.
“My immediate task will be to continue with the process of reversing the effects COVID-19 has had on our economy and on our lives, and put the nation on course for full economic recovery and development,” he said in his victory speech at his residence in Accra.
“Before the pandemic struck, Ghana, in recent years, was one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. I give you my word, we will regain this reputation,” he added.
In the past three years, economic growth has hovered above six percent, making the country one of the high flyers in the sub-region. Other key macroeconomic indicators were trending in the direction the government wanted, with inflation in single digit at the start of 2020.
But the onset of the pandemic put the economy at a low ebb—the projected growth of 1.9 percent would be the lowest in more than 30 years—with the budget deficit, occasioned by unplanned expenditure and huge revenue shortfalls, expected to reach 11.4 percent of GDP, which would be one of the largest in the country’s history.
President Akufo-Addo, who will be sworn in for his second term on January 7, 2021, will have to first navigate the rising deficit and ballooning public debt to execute a raft of campaign promises.
The President, who came to power four years ago on the back of ambitious promises to transform the economy, create jobs and deliver his flagship free Senior High School (SHS) policy, faced severe budget constraints throughout his term, owing to revenue underperformance.
Although he succeeded in implementing some of his promises, the small revenue envelope proved difficult to square with the ambitious spending pledges in his first term.
Having won his reelection bid, President Akufo-Addo has to work assiduously to grow the economy to generate sustainable jobs to ameliorate the plight of Ghanaians caught on the wrong side of the pandemic storm.
The flagbearer of the largest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress, has disputed the results of the December 7 polls. On Thursday, John Dramani Mahama alleged that the Electoral Commission had rigged the election for the incumbent.
Mr. Mahama vowed to pursue all legitimate steps to have the results declared by the commission overturned.
Under Ghana’s constitution, he has 21 days since the declaration to challenge the results in the Supreme Court, if he decides to do so.