Mr. Chairman, notwithstanding an extremely challenging macroeconomic environment, most Low and Lower Middle Income countries (LLMICs) including Ghana have recorded a robust but gradually declining growth over the past decade. The Ghanaian economy has started a turnaround to continue to remain resilient, and despite recent slowdown, is currently in its thirteenth (13th) consecutive year of expansion It combines improvements in macroeconomic management and strong capital investments in infrastructure and the energy sector during this period. this performance has pushed Ghana into the Lower Middle Income bracket and the prospects for consolidating this status also remains bright.
The recent slowdown in the economy occurred as a result of serious disruption in gas supply for generating power and falling commodity prices – notably gold, cocoa and crude oil. In 2013, Ghana launched a Home-Grown policy that was later transformed to an IMF ECF Programme in 2015. The review and reforms in tax policy and administration reforms remain a key element of the Programme. The Programme also has strong elements of public financial and debt management reforms. I will return to this topic later.
Ghana recorded inclusive economic growth of about 6% between 2001 and 2010 and 7.7% between 2011 and 2015. Improved social spending under the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) and Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA 1 and 2) have contributed to a significant decline in poverty rates. In 2013, Ghana achieved the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving its extreme poverty level. The overall poverty rate declined from 31.9 percent in 2005/06 to 24.2 percent in 2012/13. Similarly, extreme poverty rate declined from 16.5 percent to 8.4 percent over that period.