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Ghana’s president speaks on his successes after one year in office

Ghana’s economy is rebounding and the major commodity exporter is poised to wean itself off bailouts through sustained fiscal discipline and a battle against corruption, President Nana Akufo-Addo said on Wednesday.

The former opposition leader, sworn into office a year ago, said his government spent the past year stabilizing the economy, including clearing huge debts while rolling out infrastructure such as schools and roads.

Ghana, which exports cocoa, gold and oil, is in the last year of a $918 million credit deal signed in 2015 with the International Monetary Fund to reduce the deficit, public debt and inflation and lift growth.

“I am glad to report that the hard work is yielding positive results – the macroeconomic fundamentals have seen improvements through improved fiscal and monetary discipline,” Akufo-Addo told reporters in Accra.

Ghana and Germany signed an “Investment and Reform Partnership” agreement following talks in Accra between German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo in December 2017. It’s a major achievement of the Akufo-Addo’s presidency. Under the agreement, which is aimed at attracting private investment to Ghana, Berlin agreed to grant Accra €100 million to promote renewable energies, energy efficiency and vocational training. / Photo: Government of Ghana


“The important aspect and the cornerstone of our government going forward is to remain committed to fiscal discipline so that never again will we go back to the IMF or any bailout of the sort.”

GDP growth in the West African state rebounded to 9.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2017 from 3.5 per cent in the same period of 2016.

Akufo-Addo said the government saved about $7 billion after reviewing power sector deals signed by his predecessor covering a 13-year contract. Eleven of the contracts had been terminated.

Pupils at the launching of the government’s free secondary school education scheme, one of President Akufo-Addo’s electoral promises, in Accra last year / Photo: Office of Ghana’s Vice President/Facebook


It also saved at least $200 million through value-for-money procurement reviews, he said, without giving details.

Akufo-Addo, who last week named a special prosecutor to investigate corruption, warned that his appointees would not be spared if found culpable of corruption.

He also said his government had yet to decide whether to extend the stay of two ex-Guantanamo Bay detainees transferred to Ghana under a special arrangement with the United States.

The two Yemeni nationals were sent to Ghana in January 2016 for an initial two-year period after being held for more than a decade at Guantanamo for suspected terrorism.

© Reuters

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