Economic recovery on course

Economic recovery on course

Ken Ofori Attah

There is no doubt that, in spite of the current economic challenges, the government is working hard round the clock to en­sure an effective economic recovery in order to make things better for Ghanaians in the country.

It is an indication of the determi­nation of the government to sur­mount the obstacle that is affecting the country today. What makes us hopeful is that, in spite of the eco­nomic difficulties facing the country, developmental projects in all parts of the country are still ongoing.

Technical, Vocational, Engineer­ing and Technology education (TVET) is going alongside the free SHS being implemented with maximum alacri­ty. Other projects, such as the new regional and district hospitals as well as the promotion of electricity and water in various parts of the country, among others, are ongoing. Again, electricity supply has been relative­ly constant compared to what was experienced previously under what became known as “Dumsor”.

In other parts of Africa, for in­stance, power outages have become a common phenomenon. The cases of South Africa, Nigeria and a few other African countries testify to this fact.

COUNT OUR BLESSINGS

It is for this reason that people in Ghana must be happy and hopeful for happy days ahead. We need to count our blessings one by one.

It is true that economic condi­tions are very tough, but from all indications, every effort is being made to bring the situation under control. The Debt Restructuring Pro­gramme by the government is meant to bring the situation under control in order to push forward positive growth and this is the reason why the government is still negotiating with its creditors to bring the debt level under control.

The Domestic Debt Exchange has been completed successfully. In the same way, efforts are also being made to enter negotiations with our foreign counterparts to bring the situation under control as far as the foreign debt level is concerned.

The debt level has gone up not because of any reckless spending. Rather, they went into the build­ing of schools, both technical and grammar education, the provision of water and electricity for the people, the construction of roads and many others.

This is a country that has proven to be responsible as far as develop­mental projects are concerned. It is believed that very soon, positive economic results will be encoun­tered.

NEGOTIATIONS ON DEBT RE­STRUCTURING

Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta went to China to have negotiations on debt restructuring with officials of that country. Sources say the Min­ister went via Addis Ababa, where he attended the UNECA High-Level Min­isters meeting on Global Financial Architecture. After that meeting, Mr Ofori-Atta headed to China on March 22, 2023.

The Minister who led the govern­ment delegation had bilateral talks with China as well as seek financial assurances for Ghana’s programme with the International Monetary Fund. This is an indication of the great effort being made by govern­ment to normalise the economic situation of the country and make it better.

The trip was postponed to the end of March because it coincided with the National People’s Congress of China meeting in early March 2023. The Minister of Finance has al­ready held meetings with officials of Exim Bank China in Ghana, all in the line with re-profiling the country’s debt to China.

GENERATION OF FUNDS

The government is also working hard to derive enough money from Treasury Bills in order to keep things going. We therefore need to be hopeful because all these efforts are yielding the desired results in line with the economic recovery.

The Government of Ghana se­cured GH¢3.88 billion from the sale of treasury bills in its latest auction held on March 10, 2023. This was an oversubscription of the GH¢1.10 billion it was targeting.

However, interest rates have dropped significantly to 18 per cent. According to the auction results from the Central Bank, the gov­ernment secured GH¢2.90 billion from the 91-day bill and GH¢972.49 million from the 182-day bill. The subscriptions surpassed the gov­ernment’s set target of GH¢2.775 million but it sold more than the GH¢3.31 billion secured by the government in last week’s auction. Interest rates, however, reduced to 18.52 per cent for the 91-day bill, 22.8 per cent and 21.27 per cent for the 182-day bill.

CONFIDENCE IN ECONOMY

The oversubscription is an indica­tion of great confidence in the Gha­naian economy. If there had been no confidence, there would have been undersubscription. This goes to show, among others, that things are on course for rapid recovery.

The fall in rates has been at­tributed to the successful debt restructuring program. According to the government, the Domestic Debt Exchange programme has account­ed for the reduction in the rate of Treasury Bills from 35 per cent to 24 per cent.

There is therefore no doubt that things are gradually stabilising and getting better. If this is the case, then let us have confidence that, as long as we are on the right path, Ghanaians will soon smile.

What we are all seeking is for in­flation to fall to a level that is lower than what it is now. If this happens, and it will surely do so, the econom­ic recovery programme will move at a faster rate than it is now.

INFLATION

Inflation could fall sharply to be­low 40 per cent by the end of April 2023. According to a Senior Credit Research Analyst at REDD Intelli­gence, Mark Bohlund, his base ef­fects analysis indicate that “inflation will fall by more than 10 percentage points by April 2023.”

The fall in inflation will not hap­pen by mere chance. Rather, it will come about as a result of pragmatic steps taken by the government to achieve that purpose.

“The inflation rate has declined for two straight months and may fall more sharply to below 40 per cent by the end of April due to base effects,” said Mark Bohlund, a senior credit research analyst at REDD In­telligence. Bloomberg said the Gha­na cedi, which whipsawed in 2022 over concern about its ballooning debt load and then optimism about a provisional International Monetary Fund bailout, has been relatively steady this year, helping to keep inflation in check.

ECONOMY TO BOUNCE BACK

In conclusion, therefore, the eco­nomic situation being experienced in Ghana is tough, admittedly, but the government has taken the right steps to ensure that positive results are achieved as early as possible. We must all therefore be hopeful that, as President Akufo Addo has said, the economy will surely bounce back.

Ghana will not continue to stay in this economic situation. We must therefore be hopeful in light of the ongoing recovery efforts that are taking place thanks to the bold economic steps put in place by the government.

The economic recovery is surely bound to occur within a short time, so we must all support the gov­ernment with prayer and action in our daily practical dealings so that things will be better for all of us.

Email address/WhatsApp num­ber of author:

Pradmat201@gmail.com (0553318911)

By Dr Kofi Amponsah-Bediako

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