President John Dramani Mahama has in recent times been boasting about his achievement that has made Ghana’s economy resilient in the sub-region.
The president, it would also be recalled, recently toured some parts of the Volta region where he continued to brag.
Most Ghanaians are not enthused about the President’s pronouncements because of untold hardships imposed on them by his current administration.
To ascertain the veracity of the President’s statement, the IMF’s World Economic Outlook April 2016 report revealed Ghana was not even part of some top 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa that had made progress in economic development.
Also, the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness report for 2015-2016 ranked Ghana at 136th position.
Furthermore, Ghana’s economy grew at the second slowest rate in over a decade last year according to preliminary data by the global survey.
In 2015, the country experienced a myriad of economic problems and analysts have argued that most of these challenges would persist this year.
Low commodity prices negatively affected the country’s exports and the cedi lost nearly 20 percent of its value last year.
Persisting power challenges
Moreover, power crisis resulted in disruptions in economic activities which negatively affected a lot of businesses.
But government has reiterated its commitment to maintaining tight fiscal measures since the country is under strict surveillance by the International Monetary Fund.
However, the severe fiscal consolidation might be politically costly ahead of the general elections on 7 November this year.
Continuing employment loss
A lot of people lost their jobs last year due to the afore-stated challenges.
Some banks in the country are expected to undertake retrenchment exercises soon to reduce their high operational costs as a result of difficulties in the economy.
This will involve some two-tier banks, one fully indigenous and the other foreign-owned, who are almost certain to undertake this activity due to over bloated staff.
About 150 bank staff in all could be axed, and victims mainly comprise contract staff.
It would be recalled that some banks recorded losses last year with very huge impairment.
High taxes and utilities
The government has imposed numerous taxes on Ghanaians from the beginning of this year. The country’s agriculture sector has been neglected and the prices of foodstuffs are exorbitant.
According to President Mahama, Ghanaians who were not feeling the prosperity in the economy might be lacking the skills needed to take advantage of the opportunities his administration had created.
Citing the World Bank and Economic Intelligence Unit reports, the President said all predictions for Ghana looked very good.
Comparison with Cote d’Ivoire
Even Cote d’Ivoire, which recently emerged from civil war has been named among the top performing countries in Africa. The 73-year-old Alassane Quattara has improved that country’s economy in a relatively short period to the admiration of many economic analysts across the globe, but he does not brag frequently.