After promising to revive Ghana’s economic growth, president Nana Akufo-Addo is now faced with the task of handling a 1.6 billion hole in the budget and a deficit twice as high as expected.
In 2014 Ghana’s economy was among the most dynamic in Africa before being affected later by a slump in global prices.
“The debilitating and confidence sapping problem that affects every home. We can argue what the official rate of unemployment is but we can all see the desperation of our young people.
“They want to work but there are no jobs and some of them are being driven to unacceptable behaviour. We have a veritable time bomb on our hands,” President Akufo-Addo said.
In 2015 Ghana started a three year programme with the IMF targeting inflation, deficit and public debt.
Ghana’s GDP growth in 2016 was estimated at 3.6 percent considered as the lowest in some 23 years. The president has recognised that the deal is still to meet its objectives.
“The wishes are there, the good intentions are there, but there is also the reality on the ground. So engaging labour, engaging the business community so that there is a better shared appreciation and understanding of where we are as a country, it’s the first thing the government should do.
“So whatever they agree with the IMF or in the process of engaging with the IMF, it will be good for a stakeholders meeting to be called so that people understand better what the economic situation is,” Joe Abbey, Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Analysis, said.
Akufo-Addo took office last month on pledges to spend the equivalent of $1 million a year on development in each of Ghana’s 275 parliamentary constituencies, build a dam in every village to ensure reliable water supplies and bring a factory to every district. But the reality on the ground is making things tough.