Monday, 04 December

Economy has turned the corner, getting back on track' - Ofori-Atta says Akufo-Addo has 'touched every household positively'

Ken Ofori-Atta

The social investments of the Akufo-Addo government has had a positive impact on every Ghanaian household, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has told parliament.

Presenting the 2024 budget to the house, Mr Ofori-Atta insisted the Ghanaian economy has shaken off the turbulence of the previous years.

He said "we have worked hard and invested significant resources" and "being sure of this knowledge, I can confidently assert that over the past 7 years: Every sector has been positively impacted. Every household has been positively impacted by our social intervention programmes. And Every region has also been positively impacted". 

"Indeed, President Akufo-Addo has deepened decentralised development by investing GH¢422.1 million to create and resource six new administrative regions. The most in our history since independence", he asserted.

"Consistent with our policy on preferential options for the poor, i.e. leaving no one behind, we have been historic in enhancing social mobility and protected the vulnerable in our society. In this regard, we have since 2017: 

i. Improved access to quality SHS education for about 5.7 million 

Ghanaians by investing GH¢8.4 billion in the future of our next 


ii. Increased enrolment and learning outcomes of 3.8 million pupils by 

investing GH¢3.6 billion in the School Feeding Programmes;

iii. Reformed the NHIS to improve and expand health service delivery to 16 million Ghanaians. 

iv. Supported foundational education of over 6 million pupils by investing 

GH¢248.5 million as Capitation Grants; and

v. Improved the quality of life of about 350,000 Ghanaian households 

under the LEAP by investing GH¢1.2 billion".

Additionally, Mr Ofori-Atta said the government "made all these investments into social mobility, not just because it was the right thing to do morally, but also because we believe it is economically essential to uplift and extend opportunities to every Ghanaian household. We are confident that the record high investments we have made and continue to make over these seven years in preparing our children for a brighter future will significantly transform our society, especially by tackling the root cause of poverty that has afflicted many families from generation to generation". 

He said "having a child pursuing a university degree is no more 

a purview for the rich but for all strata of our society."

"We believe it has been seven years of grace and positive impact. We are determined to do more to boost the capacity of the private sector to expand productivity and create jobs. In the past 7 years, we have:

i. Invested GH¢32.7 billion to keep the lights on and support the growth 

of businesses;

ii. Invested GH¢25.3 billion to facilitate the repositioning of the financial 

sector and enhance its ability to assist business operations. To date, the 

Development Bank Ghana has facilitated GH¢1 billion in competitive 

financing for the private sector, and GIRSAL continues to mitigate risks 

in the agriculture sector;

iii. Supported 100,000 young graduates to secure workplace experience 

and employment by investing GH¢2.4 billion in NABCO; 

iv. Invested GH¢7.1 billion to build road and transport infrastructure to 

improve connectivity and productivity;

v. Invested GH¢541.5 million in 169 1D1F enterprises to scale-up value-

addition and provided 140,000 additional jobs; and

vi. Created over 2.3 million jobs in the private and public sectors

(approximately 900,000 in the private sector and 1.4 million in the public 


He said "capital spending is equally important to the future of our country, consequently we mobilised and deployed resources to:

i. Expand the railway network, including connecting Tema to Mpakadan to promote trade on the Eastern Corridor; 

ii. Construct 12 fish landing sites and two (2) fishing harbours at a cost of GH¢19.5 million to promote the fishery-based livelihoods of our coastal 


iii. Improve community infrastructure by investing GH¢2.2 billion into over 2,000 projects under the IPEP initiative;

iv. Promote inner city development by spending GH¢190.3 million under the Zongo Development Fund; and

v. Expanded and improved the road network by investing about GH¢16 

billion. Recording the most kilometers of roads and interchanges done 

in our history".

"Mr. Speaker, we also invested GH¢1.7 billion in the National Identification Scheme to ensure that 17.5 million eligible Ghanaians acquire security-sensitive ID Cards. This has laid the foundation for a prosperous future where digitalisation provides more convenience, introduces an added layer of efficiency in delivering public services, and enhances our ability to safeguard our national interests". 

He reiterated: "I want to stress at this juncture that Ghana has paid its dues, has turned the corner, and getting back on track". 

"Despite these successes, we have to do more to reinforce our stability and guarantee decent jobs with good pay for the young people. As such, through the 2024 Budget, we will deliver even more investment across the real sector to place our economy on a firm growth trajectory that will create more jobs, safeguards our climate prospects and deeply entrench Ghana as the seed country for Africa’s development renaissance. 

Mr. Speaker, we will continue to invest in on-going projects, and on the external front, we will conclude negotiations with the Official Creditor Committee to ensure that work on eligible externally funded projects resume". 

"We will, through the Ghana Mutual Prosperity Dialogue, be intentional about collaborating with the private sector and our development partners to support local businesses attract FDI and enhance the economic prospects of our people."

"Indeed, given the potential to upscale and the multiplier effects that our small and medium-sized businesses possess, Government intends to scale up support to young entrepreneurs and fledgling businesses, with a singular aim to create sustainable jobs across all communities. In this view the Ministry has teamed up with MIDA and in committing GH¢1 billion to ensure that our Enclave project for import substitution is successful", Mr Ofori-Atta mentioned. 

He said: "Mr. Speaker, I am happy to announce that YEA is about concluding negotiation with CCI, the business process outsource (BPO) operator in sub-Saharan Africa for the establishment of a call centre that can see the direct creation of 20,000 local jobs for our young graduates. Office space has already been secured. Our goal is to realise Ghana's potential to become a global BPO powerhouse, employing over 250,000 Ghanaians over the next few years." 

"Ultimately, our ambition remains to build an entrepreneurial nation and create an additional minimum of 1 million jobs for the Ghanaian youth over the near-term. We have done this before with 2 million jobs in years, but we must move faster. Mr. Speaker, we are also positioning a generation of Ghanaians to secure our leadership in the global arena. Today, our country hosts the headquarters of the AfCFTA. We also have a privileged position in leading the climate change charge. As the agreed host of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Secretariat, we are galvanising the coalition of 68 nations and 1.7 billion people to shape the climate discourse and secure resources for a just energy transition".

He said "that is the promise of this Budget. And we will keep our eyes firmly fixed on the future and build lasting prosperity for this and the next generation".

Source: Mensah