SONA 2023: Our economy was doing well until Covid-19, Russia-Ukraine war took us off course – Akufo-Addo
President Akufo-Addo has reiterated that Ghana’s economy was doing well until the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war started.
He made this known when addressing Parliament in his the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Wednesday, March 8, 2023.
Akufo-Addo also catalogued a number of reasons to confirm his claims that indeed the Russia-Ukraine war and COVID-19 really have been the cause of Ghana’s economic woes.
“I have said, and many others, including the Managing Director of the IMF, have said that our economy was doing well until COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine took us off course.”
“Maybe, because of the severity of the present difficulties, or maybe because it suits their preconceived agenda, some people are unwilling to accept that we were on a good trajectory until the arrival of COVID-19. The Ghanaian people, however, accepted this proposition, as evidenced in the results of the 2020 presidential election, which were unanimously endorsed and upheld by the seven-member panel of the Supreme Court,” President Akufo-Addo stated.
“Mr Speaker, allow me to go back on a short trip down memory lane, and remind ourselves what things looked like back at the beginning of 2020, when I came to this House to give an account on the state of our nation.
“Mr. Speaker, in three years we have reduced inflation to its lowest level (7.8% in January 2020) since 1992. For the first time in over forty (40) years, we have had a fiscal deficit below five percent (5%) of GDP for three years in a row. For the first time in over twenty (20) years, the balance of trade (that is the difference between our exports and imports) has been in surplus for three (3) consecutive years. Our current account deficit is shrinking, interest rates are declining, and the average annual rate of depreciation of the cedi is at its lowest for any first term government in the Fourth Republic.
“Our economic growth has rebounded to place Ghana among the fastest growing economies in the world for three years in a row at an annual average of 7%, up from 3.4% in 2016, the lowest in nearly three decades. The international investor community has recognised this development, resulting in Ghana, today, being the largest recipient of foreign direct investment in West Africa. The sovereign credit ratings agencies have upgraded our ratings, and also improved the outlook for this year, notwithstanding the fact that it is an election year.”