Ghana: Blazing A Trail For Sub-Saharan Africa
Ghana is a prosperous nation whose economic outlook and stable democratic system is powering its way to becoming West Africa’s regional powerhouse. Guiding the nation’s progress and transformation is the nation’s twice-elected President Addo-Akufo and his long-term National Development Plan, a four-decade strategy devised to provide a comprehensive framework to Ghana’s medium-term economic plans which aims to lead the nation to becoming a high-income country by 2057, on its centennial anniversary since its independence. This new development scheme aims to drive industrialisation, diversification and an export-oriented economy and is modelled upon a scenario for the country to achieve a per capita income of over US$60,000 by 2057.
Ghana’s growth trajectory is indeed promising and rooted on realistic ambitions; the country’s GDP has been on the rise since 2015, a trend which continued on into 2019, with an estimated 7.1% growth according to IMF figures. This noteworthy outcome has meant that Ghana is consistently placed amongst Africa’s ten fastest-growing economies. “Ghana is not only the best place for doing business in West Africa but it is also the fastest growing economy in the world according to the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report 2019,” explains Hon. John-Peter Amewu, Minister of Energy and Petroleum. “The country has developed into an established business destination for investors seeking a conducive business environment, committed and progressive government-private sector participation, political stability, transparent regulations and a dynamic private sector ready for partnerships.”
Most of Ghana’s recent prodigious results have been due to its exceptional endowment of mineral and natural resources. Ghana’s oil production is expected to double over the next four years, peaking at a rate of over 400,000 barrels per day, while the country’s mining industry in a wide range of minerals such as gold, diamonds, manganese and bauxite accounts for 5% of the GDP. According to Solomon Asamoah, CEO of the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF), it is “a country with huge growth potential and opportunities.” Industry accounts for 31.5% of its GDP and sits at the very core of Ghana’s governmental plans in its potential to transform the economy from one reliant on its resources to one driven by value-added exports. Key to this shift is President Akufo-Addo industrial agenda and his enterprising ‘One District, One Factory’ (1D1F) flagship initiative which aims to establish a factory in each of the nation’s 216 districts. The initiative has established a widespread network of factories across the nation, secured job creation for Ghana’s abundant and well-qualified human resource base and encouraged fair wealth distribution amongst its people. “In terms of industrial transformation we are looking at bringing together all these efforts in a way that brings about a massive transformation to the economy and puts Ghana onto the path towards growth and transformation in a way which leads to better jobs, livelihoods and overall development,” affirms Michael Ernest Ansah, CEO of Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC). While the 1D1F initiative has increased the nation’s capacity for self-sufficiency, its programme for Planting for Food and Jobs has remodelled the nation into becoming a net exporter of food. Ghana is developing industrial exports and high-value manufacturing and in order to decentralise development the government has created industrial zones across the nation, with the goal of opening a park in each of Ghana’s 10 regions.
“The talents, energies, sense of enterprise and innovation of the Ghanaian can be harnessed to make Ghana the place where dreams come true.”
Ghana’s implementation of its national single window has also been key in the automation and consolidation of all trade processes through an e-payment system and single paperless system. According to the World Bank, Ghana’s service sector has proved to be the largest player in the economy and comprises 43% of its GDP while employing 48% of the population. The country also has one of the highest financial inclusion rates (58%) and mobile data penetration rates (88.8%) in the whole region. Policies such as the ‘ICT for Accelerated Development’ (ICT4AD) programme have also been launched in order to ensure a friendly regulatory environment for ICT businesses and the development of IT products, propelling Ghana towards becoming an information-rich knowledge based society. Digitalisation is playing a crucial role in driving Ghana’s transformation towards becoming a regional powerhouse while ensuring its youth are active participants. “One of the roles we play is bringing modernity through technology and increased interest from youth,” declares Tucci Goka Ivowi, CEO of GCX.
As global economies around the world pick themselves up and shake themselves free of the challenges imposed by the pandemic, Ghana continues to shine its light upon the continent and show itself to be the beacon of positivity, success and stability for sub-Saharan Africa that it is. President Akufo-Addo confirms this, going further to add: “I am of the firm conviction that this nation, the Black Star of Africa, is on the brink of a decisive step into a brighter future, which will deliver progress and prosperity to all the peoples of our country”
SORCE: FORBES AFRICA