The International Monitory Fund (IMF) Country Director, Ms Natalia Koliadina, is projecting a bright economic outlook for Ghana if the macroeconomic growth achieved so far is sustained.
As a result, she said the government should continue to adhere to prudent fiscal discipline in order to sustain the stability achieved so far.
“It will also help improve on the gains made over the past one year, even outside the IMF-supported programmes”, she said.
“I really see a bright future for Ghana, provided the macroeconomic stability achieved so far is maintained on a long-term.
“We also need to congratulate the government for a very successful performance in the last year in terms of macroeconomic stability,” Ms Koliadina said during a panel discussion at a session of the Ghana CEO Summit 2018 in Accra.
Ghana Beyond Aid
For instance, Ms Koliadina said, the fiscal deficit had been reduced from 9.3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 to six per cent of GDP last year.
Also, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has consistently dropped its key lending rate for commercial banks to 17 per cent, the lowest recorded since November 2013.
Furthermore, the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the change over time in the general prices of goods and services that households acquire for the purposes of consumption for the month of April 2018 dropped to 9.6 per cent.
Again, the country director observed that last year was the first time the government was able to record significant primary surplus which impacted positively on the debt to GDP ratio of the country.
She stressed that although the improvement gained in recent times was great and needed to be commended, it did not come on a silver platter and more needed to be done to sustain the gains.
“This is indeed an enormous performance which needs to be commended. But more needs to be done to sustain the effort even beyond IMF programmes,” she noted.
Moving forward, Ms Koliadina said the IMF would provide the needed support to help the government to realise its objective of moving the country beyond aid (Ghana Beyond Aid).
That, she said, was crucial to sustain the growth attained in its macroeconomic indicators so far.
Growing investor interest
Ms Koliadina views were corroborated by the Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Fidelity Group, Mr Edward Effah. He stated that investor interest in the country was growing significantly following the recent Eurobond Roadshow because the investors had seen growth rebound from 3.9 per cent to eight per cent in recent times.
He observed that the relative improvement in some macroeconomic indicators was crucial to the business community, as it would help grow their businesses, if sustained.
“It is very difficult to compete with China where the price of electricity is eight cent per kilowatt hour; although we acknowledge the recent reduction in electricity by the government, we still expect it to go down further,” he said.
Following the relative improvements in some major macroeconomic indicators in the country, Mr Effah indicated that it was incumbent on the private sector to support the government to build the country beyond aid.
Ghana needs to be self-reliant
For his part, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Margins Group, Mr Moses Baiden Jnr, underscored the need for the country to be self-reliant than to be a beggar on the international market.
“We commend the government for introducing initiatives to formalise the economy and allow the power of digitalisation to dominate the national space, especially in the area of revenue generation and health,” he said.
Mr Baiden emphasised that the private sector needed to be provided with the environment to innovate in order to propel a healthy competition for growth.
“Innovation is the single most important thing that drives growth in today’s world. So, I think that having considered the macro and micro level, we should innovate in a two-way stream to align the government and the private sector to move the country beyond aid on a fast pace,” he added.
Source: Graphic Online