President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says his Government, over the course of the last two and a half years in office, has succeeded in restoring fiscal discipline in the management of the economy, resulting in the macroeconomic indices pointing in the right direction.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the favourable macroeconomic situation prevailing in the country is a firm indication of his government’s commitment to the creation of a conducive business atmosphere needed for the private sector to flourish.
Speaking at the plenary session of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) on Wednesday, 28th August, 2019, the President noted that Ghana, and, indeed, Africa, “must emulate the story of the East Asian Miracle”, if the potential of the country and continent is to be realised.
He indicated that the East Asian Miracle saw, from 1965 to 1990, the twenty-three (23) countries of East Asia, especially Japan, growing faster than all the regions in the world, largely because of their belief in the primacy of the private sector, and the critical support they offered to ensure it survived and thrived.
“We, in Ghana, are taking steps to put our country onto a similar path. Maintaining a stable macroeconomy is fundamental to attracting private sector investment,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He continued, “We have restored fiscal discipline, our macroeconomic indices are pointing in the right direction, we have implemented tax cuts and incentives to stimulate the rapid growth of the private sector, and we are projected, according to the International Monetary Fund, to be the fastest growing economy in the world this year.”
This, the President stressed, has led, in his time as President, “to some of the world’s largest vehicle manufacturing companies signaling their intention to set-up assembly plants in the country, with global energy giants investing in the development of our considerable oil and gas deposits, and the establishment of the first Artificial Intelligence Centre in Africa by Google in Ghana. Their decision to operate in Ghana is for good reason.”
Additionally, President Akufo-Addo told his colleague heads of state and governments that Ghana, under his leadership, is leveraging technology to help reform and improve the country’s institutional and regulatory processes, to develop a digital economy that is supporting sustained economic growth, and improving the wellbeing of our citizens.
“We are embracing fully the advancements made in the digital world to help drive growth and increased productivity of our economy,” he added.
Additionally, the President noted that if the aspirations and desires of Africa’s young populations for jobs, progress and prosperity, are to be met, then the structural transformation of Africa’s economies can no longer be postponed.
“It is time we also traded in the world economy, not on the basis of exports of raw materials, but on the basis of things we make and grow”, he said.
With the future of Africa and her economy going to be driven by the youth of the continent, President Akufo-Addo was confident that “they are going to build Africa, and we, in Ghana, are determined to provide them with the skills to do so. The vision is to build a free, prosperous, self-reliant Africa, an Africa Beyond Aid.”
Meeting with Prime Minister of Mauritius
Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Jugnauth, paid a courtesy call on President Akufo-Addo, on the sidelines of the TICAD 7 conference.
One matter of discussion had to do with the decolonisation of the island of Diego Garcia, which is currently home to a United States military base. The International Court of Justice, in February 2019, indicated that Britain must give up control of the island to Mauritius.
The opinion, issued in The Hague by the court’s majority, said that the decolonisation of Mauritius “was not lawfully completed” when it attained independence because Britain carved away the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius and retained control of it.
In spite of this, the Prime Minister of Mauritius stated that “they are still maintaining that they have sovereignty over the British Indian Ocean territory, but they are in a very embarrassing position because they know they have been going against international law. Now there is tremendous pressure on the UK, but we don’t know what is going to be their next stand.”
On his part, President Akufo-Addo stated that “all of us are happy to see the developments in the judicial proceedings. The ruling has been made in your favour, and it has been strongly endorsed by the General Assembly.”
Nonetheless, the President’s major concern was the holding of the next session of the Permanent Joint Commission for Co-operation (PJCC), which serves as the legal framework for addressing the trade and investment concerns of Ghana and Mauritius.
“It means that some of the things that could normally have been dealt with are still outstanding. So, it will be good if we could make some firm commitments as to the holding of the next session of the PJCC. It is our turn to host it, and we are ready,” he added.