World Bank Country Director Gives Damning Verdict About Ghana’s Economy

World Bank Country Director Gives Damning Verdict About Ghana’s Economy

  • The World Bank has said Ghana's current economy is in very dire straits and has called on the government to be transparent with citizens
  • Country Director for the World Bank in Ghana, Pierre Laporte, said at a public lecture yesterday that although Covid heightened indicators, the signs have always been present
  • The comments by Mr Laporte echoes similar sentiments by economics and academics about the economy

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The Country Director for the World Bank in Ghana, Pierre Laporte, has added his voice to concerns about the country’s dire economic situation.

According to him, the available data points to a very serious economic situation and has urged the Government of Ghana to be transparent with citizens.

According to a report by GhanaWeb, Mr Laporte made the comments during a public lecture organised by the OneGhana Movement on Monday, March 7, 2022.

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Pierre Laporte and Ken Ofori-Atta
Pierre Laporte (M) and Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister (L). Source: Twitter/@Myscript, @MoF_Ghana, @Gidi_Traffic
Source: Twitter

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“Is it a really serious situation? Well, the numbers speak for themselves. The situation is very serious. At the World Bank, we’ve not hidden the fact when we’ve held discussions with government officials and even the head of state that, Ghana faces a very tough road ahead to restore macro sustainability,” Pierre Laporte is quoted in the report.

Mr Laporte’s comments echo similar concerns by economists and academics.

Already, the latest report by Ghana-based finance analyst, Databank, shows Ghana sits at the bottom of a 15-currency ranking after depreciating by 7.6% to the U.S. dollar.

This makes the local currency the worst-performing on the continent.

Speaking at the public lecture, Mr Laporte further stated that the writings have been on the wall about the Ghanaian economy’s current predicament for some time now.

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“Yes, Covid has not helped. But even before, there were signs that the situation was getting a little bit challenging. So, the key thing is to be transparent with the people. Yes, the figures speak for themselves, but not everybody is as educated as we are. Not everyone understands what the numbers mean, so it is important to talk about it like we are doing. More important is for us to find solutions for the problem,” Mr Laporte was quoted in the report.

Huge government expenditure and dwindling revenue mobilisation have forced the country to pile up huge debts.

Also, key rating agencies like Fitch and Moody’s have stepped down Ghana’s creditworthiness, throwing efforts by the government to borrow on the international market into disarray.

To make matters worse, a tax proposal that the government is banking its hopes on to shore up revenue – the E-Levy – is facing an uphill task in Parliament and remains highly unpopular among Ghanaians.

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5.6% GDP Growth In Covid Times Much Better Than 3.4% Under Mahama – Akufo-Addo

Meanwhile, President Nana Akufo-Addo has been lauding the performance of the economy under his watch, stating that economic growth – even in the era of the Covid-19 pandemic – was much better than growth under his predecessor, John Mahama.

Delivering a keynote address at the National Labour Conference held in Kwahu Nkwatia, in the Eastern Region, on Monday, February 28, 2022 the President said current GDP figures trumps those of the previous administration.

“It is encouraging for my government and party, the New Patriotic Party, to recall that the rate of growth of the economy, 5.6%, against the background of the exceptionally difficult circumstances of the COVID-era, is still considerably better than the 3.4% we inherited (in 2016) in calmer times from our predecessor administration,” a report published on official page of the Presidency quoted Akufo-Addo.

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