Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, has encouraged Ghanaians not to give up amid the current economic crunch, but to continue to work hard for a prosperous Ghana.
He said the Government had put in place measures to lessen the plight of its citizenry and evidence of growth in the economy was seen in the second quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figure.
Despite the rising cost of fuel and its attendant increases in food and transport fares, inflationary pressures, and Cedi depreciation, the economy grew by 4.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2022, compared with 4.2 per cent for 2021.
The growth, the Ghana Statistical Service said, was driven by manufacturing, crops, information and communication, and education sub-sectors.
The services sector recorded the highest growth of 5.2 per cent, followed by the agriculture sector with a growth of 4.6 per cent and industry, which had a 4.4 per cent growth.
Mr Ofori-Atta at the signing of an agreement with banks supporting the Government’s YouStart entrepreneurship initiative was confident the programme’s implementation would speed up efforts of economic recovery and transformation.
He said: “Indeed, the expected consequence would be the realization of a WISER (Wealthy, Inclusive, Sustainable, Empowered, and Resilient) society, with our young people more confident about their place in the World.”
He noted that other policies, including the homegrown economic programme with International Monetary Fund (IMF), from which the Government expects to receive a $3 billion loan the Fund would help restore and make the economy resilient.
“We’re having an arrangement with the IMF so that we move beyond the dependence on Government and donors into our creative synergies,” the Finance Minister said.
He said this as the Government prepared to present the Budget Statement and Economic Policy for the 2023 financial year, which Mr Ofori-Atta said would be read on November 15, 2022.
Drawing inspiration from Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr Nkrumah, the Finance Minister encouraged Ghanaians to be courageous to work hard to achieve excellence despite the current economic hardship.
He quoted Nkrumah, saying, “Countrymen, the task ahead is great indeed, and heavy is the responsibility; and yet it is a noble and glorious challenge – the challenge which calls for the courage to dream, the courage to believe the courage to dare, the courage to do, the courage to envision, the courage to fight, the courage to work, the courage to achieve – to achieve the highest excellencies and the fullest greatness of man. Dare we ask for more in life?”
On entrepreneurship, he said the creation of Ghana as an entrepreneurial nation through the YouStart programme with support from the private sector was critical to having a robust and sustained economy.
“Almost 37 per cent of our population are between the ages of 15 and 35 face unemployment challenge and the public sector cannot absorb this level of population. So, we need to build a system in which can train to be entrepreneurial to also hire other people,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.
“I look forward to working alongside all of you to realize a transformed Ghana where: ingenuity is encouraged, innovation is supported and ultimately, prosperity is shared,” he emphasised.