Ghana’s Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has said the country’s status as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world is not “primarily” due to her oil sector.
Presenting the 2020 budget statement to Parliament on Wednesday, 13 November 2019, Mr Ofori-Atta said: “Mr Speaker, for the last two years (2018 and 2019), Ghana has been amongst the fastest-growing economies in the world! Ghana’s recent growth has not been primarily driven by oil; it has been more broad-based”.
In fact, he said, “Non-oil GDP has increased from 4.6% in 2016 to 6.5% in 2018 and is projected to reach 6.0% in 2019 and 6.7% in 2020, respectively, reflecting the impact of our flagship programmes”.
The Finance Minister’s comment comes a few weeks after former President John Mahama claimed credit for the achievement and attributed it to his government’s works in the oil sector.
According to him, the Akufo-Addo government did nothing toward that achievement but only reaping from the previous administration’s “hard work”.
A World Bank Report recently named Ghana among the four fastest-growing economies in Africa. The other African countries include Ethiopia, Rwanda and Cote d’Ivoire.
Ghana and the three others are currently growing at seven per cent.
“Africa still hosts four of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Countries such as Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire are still growing above seven per cent. These countries are not only the growth champions on the continent but also among the fastest-growing economies in the world”, the Chief Economist for Africa at the World Bank, Dr Albert Zeufack, made this known from the World Bank Report in a live video conference streamed from Washington, DC, USA, in early October this year.
He was speaking at the launch of the 20th edition of the Africa Pulse Report, the World Bank’s twice-yearly economic update for sub-Saharan African.
“So, overall, we do have 10 economies in Africa that are still growing above six per cent, but it is also important to highlight the three largest economies in Africa — Nigeria, South Africa and Angola — which are still having extreme difficulty recovering from the recession they experienced over the past two years. Excluding these three economies, the rest of Africa is growing around four per cent”, he said.
Speaking on the matter at a meeting with party leaders and supporters in the UK, Mr Mahama, who is the flag bearer of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), said the growth achievement which is being “trumpeted” by the Akufo-Addo government, came about as a result of his administration’s sterling performance in office before the current government took over.
“Whatever is responsible for the growth, the growth is only in the oil sector”, Mr Mahama said, adding: “All that growth, fastest-growing economy in the world, it’s the oil sector”.