December 5, 2022

Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo looks to revive Ghana’s economy once again in the midst of global challenges

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

Nana Akufo-Addo has been serving as President of Ghana since 2017. He was named the 2021 African of the Year by Forbes Africa Magazine for repositioning Ghana in the global marketplace and redefining African economic development.

In the 2016 election, Akufo-Addo became the first opposition candidate to unseat an incumbent president, defeating John Mahama. According to Ghana’s constitution, there is a two term limit on presidents which Akufo-Addo plans to respect.

Under President Akufo-Addo, Ghana has remained one of Africa’s politically freest and most democratic nations. That being said, the nation of Ghana faces some legitimate challenges, including economic complications.

In the years prior to the election of Akufo-Addo as President, the Ghanaian economy was struggling due to inflation, increased debt, and the declining price of its major commodities. However, In the early years of Afuko-Addo’s presidency, Ghana became one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Ghana saw an economic growth rate of 8.1 percent during President Akufo-Addo’s first year in office. In 2019, the nation recorded a GDP growth rate of 6.5 percent. However, all of this economic growth came to a halt due to the devastating coronavirus pandemic.

When the coronavirus pandemic shook the world in 2020, the upward trending Ghanian economy was faced with unforeseen and unimaginable challenges. Its annual GDP growth rate fell to just 0.41 percent in 2020, a miniscule fraction of what it had been in years prior.

“My immediate task is to continue the process of reversing the effect COVID-19 might have had on our economy and our lives and put the nation on course for a full economic recovery and development,” President Akufo-Addo said after being re-elected to a second term in December of 2020.

Over the past year, rebuilding Ghana’s economy has been a top priority of Akufo-Addo’s administration. According to the nation’s statistics office, Ghana’s economy made significant steps toward recovery- growing by 5.4% in 2021.

However, there continue to be newly developing obstacles that limit economic growth as Ghana still feels the detrimental effects of the pandemic. Just as significant economic progress was being made, Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine further destabilized the global economy and disrupted the prices for commodities.

However, President Akufo-Addo explains that much like the coronavirus pandemic, these problems are not unique to Ghana but are a part of a detrimental global phenomenon.

“Ghana is not the only country faced with extraordinary increases in global freight rates, strong inflationary pressures, dramatically rising fuel prices, unprecedented volatility of stock markets, and tighter global financing conditions. These are global phenomena,” he stated in late March.

Ghana’s economy is heavily dependent on the export of primary commodities. Gold, cocoa, and oil make up 24 percent of its GDP and 83 percent of its exports. The prices and demand for such goods have all been impacted by the war in Ukraine.

“The effects of the war will propagate far and wide, adding to price pressures and exacerbating significant policy challenges,” said Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, economic counselor at the International Monetary Fund.

The World Bank has reduced its 2022 growth projection for the global economy to 3.2 percent in order to account for Russia’s invasion into Ukraine. This is a 0.9 percent decrease from the World Bank’s January forecast of 4.1 percent growth.

As the nation of Ghana hopes to build back toward a pattern of economic growth, President Nana Akufo-Addo looks to do what he has done before and once again promote economic development in Ghana.

“Many of the phenomena that we are facing is apparent in other parts of the world. However this does not mean we are impotent. We are doing all we can to revive the economy,” said President Akufo-Addo in late March.

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