Ghana launches Country Profile to inform economic growth agenda
The Ghanaian Government, in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s Sub-Regional Office for West Africa, has launched the 2016 Country Profile for Ghana.
The purpose of this initiative is to provide analyses and recommendations specific to Ghana following its drive towards structural transformation that will foster significant growth and sustainable social development, including its performance in areas such as regional integration and the fight against social exclusion.
According to this Country Profile, Ghana has, since 2013, been grappling with a severe energy crisis, which has brought about profound dismay within the population and paralysed the economy.
The Country Profile holds that “Since December 2014, the situation of power cuts resulting from load-shedding has gone worst. Serious problems relating to the availability of quality electricity have dampened the economic prospects of the Country”.
Based on the 2014 study conducted by the Institut of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (Charles Ackah, 2015), Ghana loses, on average, some 2.1 million dollars per day (that is, 55.8 million dollars per month) in production because of the energy crisis alone. This figure is said to have stood at some 680 million dollars in 2014, that is, 2% of the GDP. Production and sales made by companies that did not have sufficient access to electricity ranged between 37% and 48% below the annual base.
According to Mr. Dimitri Sanga, Director of ECA’s Sub-Regional Office for West Africa,
“Ghana in its quest to stimulate its socio-economic development, has just passed a reform, through a ten-point agenda, aimed at transforming the industrial sector, this August 14, 2017. Boosting production, transportation and the distribution of electricity in Ghana should greatly contribute towards implementing this reform geared at creating jobs and prosperity for all Ghanaians.”
The analysis contained in this Country Profile has shown that the economy of Ghana is strongly reliant on a per capita electricity consumption. The load-shedding experienced in recent years, caused by an inadequate supply of electricity, thus, has a negative impact on the Ghanaian economy. It also impedes Ghana’s economic recovery which is underpinned by lower production levels, high inflation, growing unemployment rates and lower living standards.
Consequently, the 2016 Country Profile for Ghana recommends the implementation of concrete policies within the electricity sector to boost economic recovery. These policies should mainly raise awareness among the population on how to better use electricity, run programs such as the prepaid meter system, invest in the electricity sector and develop renewable energy.