Ghana’s economy chalks 14.4 percent growth
Ghana’s economy grew 14.4 per cent in 2011 mainly from the cocoa, mining and oil sectors, Professor Felix Asante, Deputy Director, Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER),said on Monday.
Despite this encouraging situation however, the growth has not been effectively transformed into areas of economic growth such as job creation and wealth creation where the individual citizen is concerned such as improvement in the standard of living and a reduction in the cost of living.
Prof. Asante who launched “the State of the Ghanaian economy for the year 2011″, authored by the research body in Accra, said “macro-economic indicators are good, but the challenge is how to transfer these gains into the people’s pockets.”
According to him, there was the need to put in place structures that ensured that economic growth easily reflected through the standard of living of the people.
He said it was worth noting that the recorded growth was mainly achieved because of the oil find.
Prof. Asante said other areas such as agriculture and the manufacturing sector “are not doing well”.
According to him, whilst the oil and gas sectors strongly fuelled economic growth, they were dominated by expatriates, who were more interested in their own gains saying, “There is the need to strengthen the local business industry. We need to see more Ghanaians going into business so we could have more of these returns coming back to us”
Prof. Asante said the situation also called for the strengthening of the local industries so that the agriculture and manufacturing sectors would contribute more towards economic growth.
He said two key areas of the economy that had to be tackled for better economic growth were youth unemployment and productivity at the work place within the public sector.
Prof. Asante said the public sector had to work hard, in order to effectively support the private sector, which was supposed to be the engine of growth of the economy.
He called for a national policy that would promote youth entrepreneurship because “If we ask the youth to be creative and generate jobs, then we should also create the environment to compliment this creativity. Their products and services should have a market.”
Touching on the on-coming election, he said there was the need to ensure that more money than necessary was not spent on Election 2012.
“If we over-spend in this election, we might exceed our spending targets, and this could culminate in inflation and other negative economic indicators.
Prof. John Gyapong, Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of Ghana, Legon, who launched the State of the Ghanaian Economy Report for 2011, said the country needed to invest in science based education, to meet the present needs of the economy.
“The newly discovered oil industry for example needs a science based expertise to thrive,” he said.
Prof Gyapong called on policy makers and the government to put in place measures to ensure that “these concerns are looked at” to ensure better economic growth.
The over 200 page document looks at Global Economic Developments, including Ghana’s Economic Performance, as well as Youth Entrepreneurship in Ghana. GNA
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