Despite the coronavirus pandemic taking a toll on economies around the world, with many experiencing contractions, the Ghanaian economy saw a marked improvement as new data from the Ghana Statistical Service shows it grew by 5.4 percent, after government eased many restrictions to pave way for the gradual resumption of normal life.
In nominal terms, the country’s economy is now valued at GH¢459.1billion, GH¢67.2billion more than it was worth the previous year. In dollar terms, the economy is now worth some US$61billion. The 2021 annual growth means the economy marginally outperformed the set target of 5.1 percent in the 2021 Budget.
Analysing the sectoral performances, the services sector maintained its position as the main driver of the economy as it recorded 9.4 percent growth, the highest performance since rebasing was done in 2014. Unsurprisingly, the information and communication sub-sector led services growth, growing by 33.1 percent, as the pandemic drove many activities online. And notably, the hospitality sector which comprises hotels and restaurants emerged strongly from a steep contraction of 37 percent to record growth of 4.3 percent.
The agriculture sector also, like services, saw its highest growth in eight years, recording 8.4 percent in the year under review. Sectors that pushed this growth include the fishing sector which grew by 13.4 percent, followed by crops which also grew at 8.9 percent. No sector in agriculture saw contraction in 2021.
However, the industrial sector couldn’t recover from the ills of the pandemic as it contracted by 0.8 percent, albeit better than last year’s -2.5 percent. The mining and quarrying sector was responsible for the abysmal performance of the industry, as it saw another sharp contraction of 12.1 percent, worse than the 2020 performance of -9.2 percent.
In all, the services sector increased its contribution to the economy with 48.9 percent from the 48.1 percent recorded the previous year. The industry sector followed but at a decreased rate of 30.1 percent from the 31.8 percent recorded in 2021. Then, agriculture contributed the remaining 21 percent, a marginal improvement from the 20.1 percent it contributed in 2021.
Recovery efforts still on-going
This year (2022), government has targeted growth rate of 5.9 percent, banking its hopes on the GH¢100billion Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprises Support Programme, (the GhanaCARES ‘Obaatan Pa’ programme) which, among other things, seek to modernise agriculture and food import-substitution; promote tourism, arts and culture; advance technological capability; expand manufacturing and export capacity; and bridge the digital divide and fast-track digitalisation.
Government has also introduced new measures to improve revenue mobilisation and cut down on expenditure to contain the rising debt situation.