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We’ll overcome current economic challenges - President Akufo-Addo

BY: Daily Graphic
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has once again assured the people of Ghana that his government is determined to bring relief to the Ghanaian people and return the economy back to the high rates of growth that characterised the management of the economy in the three years preceding the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.

According to President Akufo-Addo, “in recent times, we have been witnessing significant difficulties in the management of the national economy, largely as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy, which has been exacerbated by the effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

He stated, however, that “the basic commitment to resolving these challenges, within the framework of due process and democratic institutions, must remain unshaken. And, I am confident that God-willing, we will overcome these challenges.”

The President made this known yesterday when he delivered the keynote address at this year’s Bar Conference of the Ghana Bar Association.

Recounting the resolution, decisive action and correct policy that saw the government winning the war against COVID-19, he was confident that “we will overcome our current economic challenges with the same mixture of determination, energy and appropriate policy.”

President Akufo-Addo recounted how his administration came into office at the time of an ongoing IMF-supported economic programme, and was able not only to steer the country successfully out of the programme, but also to build, in the three years of his first mandate, one of the fastest growing economies in the world then, prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, at an annual average GDP growth rate of seven per cent in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

“We will do so again. In fact, in the last quarter of 2021, the recovery from COVID-19 appeared to be on course, when our economy grew at seven per cent, only for the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the first quarter of this year to exacerbate our challenges. We will overcome them,” he added.

Relief to Ghanaians

At the 22nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, President Akufo-Addo noted that the approach to the IMF was a major step, in the short run, towards the goal of bringing relief to Ghanaians.

“Other steps will be taken, in particular, to deal with the unacceptable depreciation of the cedi. Reining in inflation, by bringing down food prices, is a major preoccupation of the government, and, hopefully, this season’s emerging, successful harvest will assist us in this regard. Arrangements are being made with market women, the market queens of popular parlance, to provide trucks to evacuate foodstuffs from rural markets to urban centres to help reduce food prices in the cities,” the President said.

“We are encouraging companies engaged in the manufacture of inorganic fertilisers to scale up production to reduce the impact of the high cost and unavailability of fertilisers, while we advance rapidly our plans to establish an organic fertiliser plant in Ghana,” he said.