Ghana: Press highlights expansion of nation’s economy in 1Q, multiple registration

The expansion of Ghana's economy by 4.9 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020 and the detection of 32,756…

The expansion of Ghana’s economy by 4.9 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020 and the detection of 32,756 suspected cases of multiple registration dominate the headlines of Ghanaian newspapers on Thursday.The Graphic reports that Ghana’s economy expanded 4.9 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020 compared to 6.7 percent in the same period last year, driven mainly by the services sector.

The report said that Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) stated on Wednesday that the Services sector recorded the highest growth of 9.5 percent; the Agriculture sector expanded by 2.8 percent and the Industry sector by 1.5 percent.

It added that the Services sector contributed 3.6 percentage points (73.1 percent) to the overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 4.9 percent in the first quarter.

The newspaper also says that the National Identification Authority (NIA) has detected 32,756 suspected cases of multiple registration in the ongoing registration exercise in violation of a law that requires each eligible citizen to be issued with a card.

The report said that the Executive Secretary of the NIA, Professor Kenneth A. Attafuah, told a press briefing in Accra yesterday that the authority would begin investigations into the matter and those found culpable would be prosecuted

“The NIA has a board which comprises heads of key state institutions and security agencies such as the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), the Births and Deaths Registry, the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), the Ghana Statistical Service and three other members.

“The board will look at these double registrants on a case by case basis and when it is estimated that there are fraudulent motives behind their action, prosecutions will be done,” he added. The Times reports that the Ministry of Education has announced a $219m collaborative project between the Government of Ghana and the World Bank, the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) and the Global Partnerships for Education (GPE), to be launched by President Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House today.

It quoted a statement from the Ministry as saying that the project, dubbed the Ghana Accountability for Learning Outcomes Project (GALOP) is aimed at ‘improving qualities of education in low performing basic education schools and to strengthen education sector equity and accountability in Ghana.’

The project, according to the statement, is targeted at the 10,000 least performing basic schools (kindergarten, primary and junior high schools) across the country as well as all special schools with direct interventions.

The newspaper also said that the Ministry of Business Development yesterday launched this year’s Presidential Pitch aimed at providing startup capital for young entrepreneurs across the country.

The initiative, as part of government’s efforts to curb the high unemployment rate, will see 10 successful applicants pitch their business ideas before a jury in a final competition slated for July 1, 2020 to qualify for financial support.

It added that this year, the government has earmarked a GH¢1 million grant for successful applicants to realise their business ideas and improve livelihoods.

The Times also reported that Ghana’s coronavirus (COVID-19) case count has increased to 12,590 following confirmation of 397 new cases.

According to the Ghana Health Service (GHS) 4,410 people have recovered from the virus with 66 deaths thereby bringing its active case count to 8,114.

Three of the deaths have no underlying conditions and they were persons aged below 40.