He said the government would continue to undertake critical fiscal and economic measures to spur growth and prosperity sooner than expected, despite the tough challenges.
He noted that his administration had a track record of positioning Ghana to become one of the fastest growing economies in the world after it inherited an economy with the lowest growth rate in the history of Ghana’s Fourth Republic.
Speaking in an interview with the media during his tour, President Akufo-Addo maintained that the country’s economic challenges were global in nature, induced by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.
Among those were the country’s inflation soar for the eleventh consecutive month from 29.8 per cent in June to 31.7 per cent in July 2022, driven by both food and non-food price pressures, he said.
President Akufo-Addo indicated that people who downplayed or failed to acknowledge the impact of the two disasters on Ghana’s economy were being disingenuous for their political purposes.
He observed that, for instance, the price of crude oil had sharply risen to 100 dollars per barrel this year, an increment of between 60 to 70 per cent on Ghana’s original budgetary allocation for the commodity.
Freight rates had tripled and global inflationary pressures across various economies in the world were affecting Ghana as well.
“Nevertheless, the issue is not that you are in difficulty alone. We all face difficulties in our lives but the issue is how resolved you are to get out of it and that is what my government is concerned with now,” he said.
“I am very determined that by the time I leave office on the 7th of January, 2025, the economy of Ghana will be back again in a strong place, because that is the way I’m going to be able to help my party break the eight.”
The President noted that Ghana’s engagement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was necessary for the short term but not the silver bullet for the country’s economic woes because Ghana could do a lot on its own to salvage the economy.
President Akufo-Addo visited seven constituencies in the Central Region and cut the sod for new projects, inspected ongoing ones, and commissioned completed ones from Friday to Saturday, September 2- 3, beginning his tour with a radio interview at Kasoa.
At every stop, the President received a rousing welcome by the people, including party supporters, carrying placards with the inscription: “God bless Akufo-Addo, a good father of the nation”, “No more dumsor, this is a visionary leadership”, “Nana Guy Guy”, “Nana Show boy”, “Thank you for bringing our factory back” among others.
His popular phrase; “fellow Ghanaians” sparked spontaneous cheers and jubilation anytime he mounted the podium to speak.
Some of the projects he undertook were sod-cutting for the 16-kilometre Kasoa-Bawjiase Road, commissioning of the APPEB Cylinder Manufacturing Company at Awutu Chochoe, and the Rikpat Lube MFG Limited at Gomoa Fetteh Junction, both under the One District One Factory, an inspection of a hospital project at Gomao Afransi, under the Agenda 111, inspection of the rehabilitation works on the Komenda Sugar Factory, and the Elmina Fishing Port, which is 90.5 complete.
He paid a courtesy call on four chiefs, held a meeting with metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives, regional executives and constituency chairmen of the New Patriotic Party in Cape Coast, inspected the Infectious Diseases Centre at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital, commissioned the Central Regional House of Chiefs building, and finally joined the chiefs and people of Cape Coast at the grand durbar to climax the Fetu Afahye.
Those policies were introduced between 2017 and 2019 when Ghana was already under an IMF programme and, therefore, would ensure they were not sacrificed under another programme by the same institution, he said.
“Already there is an understanding on the part of the Fund that these initiatives are great and so they will not tamper with them,” he said.
“I am very confident that by the end, the arrangements we will make with the Fund will improve our public expenditure and we’ll get value for our money.”