The flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) John Dramani Mahama has accused Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta of borrowing recklessly.
In the view of Mr. Mahama, the Finance Minister, and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo plunged the country into a severe economic crisis with his borrowing.
He said these while interacting with members of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in Accra on Tuesday, November 7.
Mr Mahama said “[The President] has run out of ideas on how to solve the economic challenges we find ourselves in. By his recent declaration, his focus and last energy are going to be expended on installing his anointed successor as the next president.”
He further accused Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Ata of excessive borrowing, leading to the problems Ghana is facing.
In his view, the economic crisis could have been avoided if the Finance Minister had not embarked on ‘reckless ‘ borrowing.
He said, “We could have avoided this unpleasant [economic] situation, the signs of these crises were there for all to see…conflicted Finance Minister, whose interest was to borrow recklessly and mire our economy in the quagmire of debt was obvious as far as from 2019.”
For his part, the Secretary General of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC), Dr Anthony Yaw Baah lauded what he calls the “game changer” policy proffered by Mr Mahama in creating jobs for the teeming unemployed youth.
Mr Mahama had proposed a 24-hour economy, which would see workers engaged in a three-shift system.
“We are also very interested and eager to know more about his great idea of a 24-hour economy,” Dr Yaw Baah intimated ahead of the former president’s address.
“I think this one, Comrade, you have to take your time because I can imagine the amount of jobs that this kind of thing will create.
“That could be the game-changer. I am telling you. You have another opportunity in this country to work 24 hours, 3 shifts.
“So, if you don’t get job in the morning, you can get it in the afternoon or in the night he noted.
Dr Yaw Baah charged the youth to get ready for jobs with this policy by the NDC ahead of the 2024 elections.
“I think and I mean it, that this is a great idea that was lying somewhere and never discovered and we will be eager to hear a lot more about it.”
He also presented TUC’s manifesto to the former president.
More than 57% of Ghanaian workers do not enjoy employee benefits – Old Mutual study
A study conducted by pan-African investment and savings firm Old Mutual has revealed that more than half of Ghanaian workers (57%) sampled in a survey do not have or enjoy employee products from their employer.
It found that of those who have employee benefits, health insurance and retirement funds were the most prevalent benefits for most employees in Ghana.
“Health insurance leads in both the formal and informal sector, whilst retirement fund membership is much more notable in the formal sector (52% vs 7% informal). About half of the formal sector workers reported receiving financial information from their employers versus only 18% of informal sector workers, with most being indifferent on it being beneficial,” the study revealed.
Additional highlights of the annual report dubbed; Old Mutual Financial Services Monitor (OMFSM), revealed that financially distressed Ghanaians were higher among the lower income group (72%) and those in the informal sector representing (68%).
Meanwhile, the study indicated that less than 1 in 5 consumers had expressed confidence in the country’s economy.
“This low level of confidence is reflected across the surveyed countries in Africa, namely SA, Namibia, and Kenya,” the OMFSM survey explained.
When it came to financial priority, income security was identified as the top priority for most Ghanaians (as well as across the surveyed countries in Africa).
It further showed that with regards to income, 44% sampled in the survey indicated that they rely on a single source of income, while about 1 in 4 (24%) are PolyJobbers – side-hustling, freelancing, and doing after-hours work in addition to their regular job.
It noted that these PolyJobbers are more prevalent among those earning GH¢3000 or more (37%).
Deloitte Ghana makes 5 recommendations government can employ to grow the economy
The local economy took a downward trend in 2020 after the country was hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
The outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war also affected the economy and the government in a bid to restore the economy on track ran to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $3 billion financial bailout program.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, presented the 2024 Budget Statement and Economic policy in parliament.
The Budget Statement was under the theme “pursuing growth & development within a stable macroeconomic environment”.
The budget reading was by Article 179 of the 1992 constitution and Section 21 of the Public Financial Management Act 2016 (Act 921).
Tax waivers for the local textile industry, agricultural machinery and vehicles, and inflation expected to remain within the IMF program’s Monetary Policy Consultation Clause (MPCC) of 29.4 percent, among others were some of the highlights of the budget presentation.
Speaking at the 5th edition of Deloitte Economic Dialogue in Accra on Wednesday, November 22, 2023, the Country Managing Partner of Deloitte Ghana, Daniel Kwadwo Owusu, gave 5 recommendations the government can adopt to grow and stabilize the economy.
According to him, the government can curb the high unemployment rate in the country due to the contraction of the industrial sector in 2023 by enhancing the agro-processing sector.
The sector, he said, needs to move to value addition to create employment opportunities for the teeming unemployed youth in the country.
Below are the 5 recommendations made by Deloitte Ghana:
Intentional focus on agric and industries
He called on the government to enhance agro-processing leading to value addition, industry growth, and employment opportunities for the youth.
Lack of stable currency affects planning and confidence in investment
According to Mr Owusu, currency stability is very crucial, therefore, the government needs to stabilize the currency as the industry looks forward to projections and investment decisions.
Halt harassment of industry players
Deloitte recommended an approach that identifies industries as partners in economic development.
Sustain monetary and fiscal policy to keep moving inflation to the targeted levels.
Remove nuisance taxes
Remove some of the taxes that industries have termed nuisance taxes such as the COVID-19 levy.
Also, the government must consolidate indirect taxes into the VAT regime.
These when adopted, Mr Owusu said, will help build a better future for the local economy which will subsequently drive Ghana to a sustainable economic recovery.
Volta Fair: Unveiling the concealed beautiful bride
The Volta Trade and Investment Fair is a platform to reveal the hidden treasures of that eastern part of Ghana, aiming to attract capital for the overall growth of the national economy.
It is one of the country’s best-kept secrets that needs to be revealed as one of the best investment destinations, with vast fertile lands, extensive water bodies, captivating tourist sites, and richly diverse ethnic heritage.
To many, the Volta Region is a microcosm of Ghana because whatever is found in other parts of the country can be found in the Region.
Abundant Arable Land
Stretching from south to north, the Volta Region boasts expansive fertile land cultivating a variety of crops, from specialized ones like rice, shallots, carrots, lettuce, and cabbage, to staple tubers such as yam, cocoyam, and sweet potatoes.
Cash crops such as coconut, cocoa, coffee, cotton, and sugar cane are also grown in the Region. The potential for commercial farming is immense, with numerous untapped virgin lands capable of transforming into vital food sources, addressing even global food insecurity.
Diverse Water Bodies
The region is blessed with diverse water bodies, ranging from the pristine sea and clean beaches to lagoons, rivers, lakes, streams, and waterfalls. These bodies support essential economic activities such as fishing, aquaculture, irrigation, and water sports. The Volta Region’s water bodies not only yield delicacies renowned in Ghana but also present opportunities for expanding fish farming and fostering tourism along beautiful waterfronts. The Region is home to some of the biggest fish farms on the Volta Lake but that vast water body can accommodate a lot more.
Enchanting Tourist Attractions
The Volta Region unfolds with magnificent tourist destinations, from the majestic Afadza mountain in the north to the brook and feel of the gentle breeze of the coast. Amedzofe offers a heavenly view and fresh air, complemented by a newly constructed canopy walk by the Ote Falls, creating an unparalleled experience.
Notably, the region boasts the highest waterfall, Wli, and about 10 other falls, contributing to the awe-inspiring beauty of the landscape. The Region also boasts one of the best crocodile ponds located in Ave Dakpa, a monkey sanctuary in Tafi Atome, and a snake village at Liati Soba. The coast bears witness to historical landmarks related to the slave trade, adding another layer of cultural significance.
Cultural Wealth – Kete Weaving
The region is renowned for its kete (kente) designs, woven in towns such as Agbozume to the south, Agotime Kpetoe in the middle, and Tafi Abuife towards the north. Each town has a unique story behind its intricate designs, showcasing cultural richness and craftsmanship. These rich kete designs are completely priced thereby attracting many wholesalers from different parts of Ghana and beyond.
Contrary to popular belief, the Volta region is linguistically and culturally diverse, with various languages spoken by the natives, extending beyond the commonly known Ewe. There are languages such as Siyase spoken by the people of Avatime, Nyangbo-Tafi spoken by the people of Tafi, Ikpana spoken in Logba, and Adangbe spoken by the people of Agotime.
The region also embraces diverse religious practices, including Christianity, Islam, and various traditional beliefs, fostering an environment of cultural harmony. Some traditional worships such as Kunde in Kpando, and others in Klikor and Dagbamatey as well as the Roman Catholic Grotto in Kpando-Agbenorxe attract international visitors.
Why Volta Fair?
The Volta Fair catalyzes Ghana’s economic growth, offering a platform to raise awareness about the region’s vast investment potential. The fair has already seen successes, positioning the Volta Region as one of the preferred holiday destinations, attracting conferences, and generating interest from foreign investors in commercial farming and resort development.
As the next Volta Trade and Investment Fair approaches, anticipation grows for a showcase of diverse products and services. This year, the exhibition is drawing interest from across the African continent, aligning with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). Municipal and district assemblies will have the opportunity during the fair to present their investment potential, in a bid to attract investors.
In the quest for economic growth and resource discovery, the Volta Region stands as a captivating bride, beckoning not only international suitors but also urging Ghanaians to explore and invest in their hidden gems.
Make time and visit Ho from the 26th of November to the 10th of December and be part of the Volta Fair. Visit Volta and Experience Ghana.
The article is by Fred Avornyo, a Marketing Communication Specialist and COO of Volta Fair.
Source: Frederick Avornyo
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