Ghana’s Economic Performance For 2017 Satisfactory
But Debt Situation Still Unsustainable – World Bank
The World Bank has stated that Ghana’s economic performance for 2018 was satisfactory with major indicators, especially in the area of debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), however adding that the debt level situation is still high.
Kwabena Gyan Kwakye, a Senior Economist with the World Bank indicated during a press briefing at the Ghana office of the Bank in Accra on April 18, 2018 indicated that Ghana’s Debt to GDP ratio at the close of 2016 stood at 74.3%, which at that level was unsustainable, but same dropped to 69% by the close of the 2017 fiscal year, depicting a satisfactory performance.
He however cautioned that the figure is still high, adding that “Ghana is still in debt distress, and that if it is not addressed; it would not be sustainable moving forward.
He indicated that, to address this, countries in Africa, especially Ghana should find ways of improving their revenue to GDP in order to ensure that there is enough funds to finance government’s expenditure.
He further revealed that there was very high slippage in 2016 in terms of debt to GDP and general economic indicators, but added that the fiscals improved in 2017. He further revealed that the debt level depends on Government’s expenditure pattern vis-à-vis revenue, adding that “you either raise your revenue in order to fund your expenditure or curtail your expenditure in order to stay within the debt levels”.
The World Bank in its ‘African Economic Update’ report generally revealed that “growth has rebounded in Sub-Saharan Africa, but not fast enough”, adding that the region is “far from pre-crisis growth levels”, as stated by Albert G. Zeufack, World Bank’s Chief Economist for the African Region.
He further revealed that by Africa fully embracing technology and leveraging innovation, cross-sector productivity and accelerated growth could be boosted.
The Report further advised African Governments to “speed up and deepen macroeconomic and structural reforms to achieve high and sustained levels of growth”.
Growth rate in the Sub-region is projected to be 3.1% in 2018 and 3.6% average in 2019-20 fiscal years.
Punam Chuhan-Pole, World Bank Lead Economist and author of the Report on her part indicated that the economic recovery in most African countries is “vulnerable to fluctuations in commodity prices and production”.
To this end, she asserted that the situation underscores the need for countries to build resilience, by pushing diversification strategies to the top of their policy agenda.
Author: Frederick E. Aggrey