President John Dramani Mahama has expressed optimism in the economy, predicting that Ghana will experience growth above 5 percent by end of 2016, whiles the figure further hits over 8 percent next year.
This is not the first time, President Mahama is making such predictions despite low enthusiasm among the private sector due to high interest rates, unreliable power supply, and high inflation.
In 2015, real Gross Domestic Product was at 3.4 percent after government targeted over 5.0 percent.
Speaking at the Ghana Club 100 Awards ceremony organized by the Ghana
Investment Promotion Center(GIPC), President Mahama maintained that even though there have been some challenges, economic indications recorded in the first quarter of the year show a recovery.
According to him, government has been able to reduce the country’s budget deficit through fiscal discipline, hence Ghana may experience over 5.0 percent economic growth by end the year.
“Indeed growth in the fourth quarter of this year increased to 4.9 percent and growth is expected end of this year to exceed the 5.0 percent mark. It is our hope that we will progressed above 8.0 percent by next year,” he said.
He explained that as the end of 2015, government was able to narrow the budget deficit to 6.3 percent from a projected 7.3 percent.
“We are seeing a significant drop in the debt to GDP ratio from 72 percent at the end of 2015 to 63 percent at the end of may 2016. Inflation has begun to fall”, he said.
He forecasted that inflation, which is currently at 16.7 percent as at July will fall to 14 percent by December, and achieve single digit by next year.
Theme for this year’s Club 100 Delivering a welcome address, the Chief Executive Officer of the GIPC, Mrs. Mawuena Trebarh stated that this year’s edition focused on ways to expand Ghana’s manufacturing sector.
According to her, Ghana’s manufacturing sector holds the key to expanding the economy through export.
“The theme for this year, ‘Manufacturing, Steering Ghana’s Development’, could not have been more appropriate given that the country is in an era where government’s focus is on leveraging investment in manufacturing,” she said.
She stated that the focus of manufacturing is part of a broader import substitution strategy to grow the economy.
She pointed out that, the GIPC as the lead investment promotion agency in the country has over the few years prioritized the manufacturing sector as a major opportunity area for both local and foreign companies.
“In that respect, the GIPC ACT 865 of 2013 makes provision for special incentives for manufacturing entities,” she said.
She explained that the manufacturing sector holds an important role in linking all economic activities in the country to stimulate growth and create jobs.
Citing some achievements made by Ghanaian indigenous manufacturers in creating jobs, Mrs. Trebarh announced that there are many Small and Medium Enterprises(SMEs) in all the ten regions manufacturing products for export into the West Africa region.
“This is what the Ghana Club 100 shows to the world. Since it started, it has become the most prestigious awards ceremony in the country,” she said.
Some winners Newmont Golden Ridge Limited was adjudged the best company followed by indigenous oil marketing company, Goil.
Golden Star Resources, Total Petroleum Ghana and Ecobank Ghana followed in the third, fourth and fifth positions respectively. UniBank was adjudged the sixth best company, while Zenith bank came seventh. Other companies followed to the hundredth position.