Akufo-Addo targets economic recovery within one year
President Akufo-Addo has set one year for the country to witness significant development following the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the wake of the spread, the government announced the Ghana Covid-19 Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprises Support (CARES) ‘Obaatampa’ Programme to revitalise the economy.
“A year from now, the benefits of economic recovery will begin to show,” President Akufo-Addo said in his address to the nation to mark Ghana’s 64th independence anniversary.
The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic crippled many businesses and slowed down economic activities.
Authorities had to spend a chunk of unbudgeted resources to fight the virus.
With the rollout of a nationwide vaccination programme, President Akufo-Addo is confident that the quest to move Ghana to a situation beyond aid will be accelerated her self-reliance enhanced.
“A year from today, we should regain our pride of place as one of the fastest-growing economies not only in Africa but also in the world. A year from now, we should be processing more and more of our raw materials to help create jobs for the millions of Ghanaian youths. A year from now, more and more of Ghanaian children should be having access to education. A year from now, every district and region should have a hospital, where residents will be able to have decent, affordable healthcare,” he said with optimism.
This year’s celebration was limited to the official event at the Jubilee House due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The usual parade at the Black Star Square was cancelled as well as marching by pupils across the country.
Double efforts to push Ghana’s development
President Akufo-Addo used the occasion to make a clarion call for Ghanaians to work towards achieving growth.
“Step up and play significant roles in the development of Ghana, our motherland,” he charged. “It has taken quite some time for us to get there, but I believe there is far more self-confidence among us Ghanaians today than there has been since the early days of self-government. And we can make it if we work at it.
He rallied the country to “put our shoulders to the wheel” in building a resilient nation, capable of withstanding, in future, external shocks, such as COVID-19”.
Successes in the last four years
President Akufo-Addo highlighted some efforts undertaken by his government in the last four years to develop the country.
“Our nation had one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, leading to us becoming the largest destination of foreign direct investment in West Africa; global automobile companies had either set up shop in Ghana, or had expressed their desire to do so; the basic tenets of social justice, i.e. access to education and healthcare, were being guaranteed for all our people; we had become self-sufficient in food production, and, for the first time in a long while, exported our surpluses to our neighbours; sustained efforts, through digitisation, were being made to formalise our economy; and we had hastened our critical journey of industrialisation and value-addition activities, whose end result would be to create jobs for the teeming masses of Ghanaians.
“Successful Ghanaian diplomacy enabled the African Union to agree to the location here in Accra of the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), arguably the most important initiative of the AU since its foundation. This is the first time since independence that we have had the privilege of playing host to a major pan-African institution. The single African market, which began trading on 1st January, will present Ghanaian enterprises and businesses with a huge opportunity for the rapid development of the Ghanaian and African economy.
“When the global pandemic of COVID-19 struck, it derailed our progress and wreaked havoc on all aspects of national life. Lives and livelihoods have been affected, the economy has suffered, and the Government has had to cushion households and businesses from the effects of the virus.