Press highlights President’s assessment of Ghana’s economy, others

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo's statement that Ghana's economy is rebounding faster from the ravages of COVID-19 than envisioned, following…

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s statement that Ghana’s economy is rebounding faster from the ravages of COVID-19 than envisioned, following a slow rate of growth in 2020 is one of the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Wednesday.The Graphic reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says Ghana’s economy rebounding faster from the ravages of COVID-19 than envisioned, following a slow rate of growth in 2020.

Speaking at the maiden edition of the Presidential Business Support, on Tuesday, 14th September 2021, at the Kempinski Hotel, President Akufo-Addo noted the support offered by the private sector, coupled with effective management of the COVID-19 crisis by Government, have seen the Ghanaian economy outperforming her peers, and rebounding faster than envisioned.

“After recording negative growth in the second and third quarters of 2020, the economy recovered strongly in the fourth quarter of the year, and well into the first and second quarters of 2021, registering an impressive growth rate of 3.1% in the first quarter of this year, and 8.9% in the second quarter,” he said.

The President continued, “The strong rebound in growth, low inflation rates, the stable currency, the strong reserve position, and FDI flows are clear indicators of our collective desire to restore the Ghanaian economy onto a path of sustained stability and growth. We will continue to strengthen and deepen our engagement with the private sector towards realizing this goal.”

Towards the growth of the Ghanaian economy, President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that, since 2017, Government has implemented policies and programmes that led to consistent economic growth averaging 7%, making Ghana one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

Ghana, he stressed, has become the leading recipient of foreign direct investments (FDI) in West Africa, and one of the most attractive investment destinations on the continent of Africa.

However, following the onset of COVID-19, which disrupted the global economic order, the President stated that the pandemic eroded the significant gains made by the Government in the management of the economy.

“That notwithstanding, we were one of the few economies in the world to have recorded positive growth, as the global economy went into recession. We have taken bold measures necessary to stem the risk of a recession, mitigate the negative economic impact of the pandemic, and significantly reduce its burden on our population,” he said.

The newspaper says that the Narcotics Control Commission (NACOC) has warned the public not to see the new Narcotics Control Commission Act, 2020 (Act 1019) as a free pass for the use of narcotic drugs.

The acting Deputy Director-General of NACOC, Mr Michael Addo, said what the law sought to do was to offer a system of punishment which allowed a court to order a person who purchased narcotics for personal use to seek treatment and rehabilitation, without necessarily being incarcerated.

“This is a great relief because now there is an alternative to prison for such offenders.

“But let me reiterate that this provision, in no terms, implies the legalisation nor the decriminalisation of drug use in Ghana. Use of narcotics remains an offence under the Act,” he stressed.

Mr Addo was speaking at a two-day workshop on the  Narcotics Control Commission Act, 2020 (Act 1019) in Accra yesterday.

It was organised by the POS Foundation, a civil society organisation, in partnership with the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), and the West Africa Drug Policy Network (WADPN), with support from the Open Society Foundation.

The workshop was on the theme: “Understanding the Narcotics Control Commission Act, 2020 (Act 1019). — The role of law enforcement and prosecutors in health, rights-based best practices to handling people who use drugs in the implementation of the Act.”

Participants have been drawn from NACOC, the Ghana Prisons Service, the Ministry of Health, Ghana Police Service, the Attorney-General’s Department (A-G) and other narcotic prevention related agencies.

The Times reports that the reconstituted Board of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has been inaugurated in Accra with a call on them to initiate innovative strategies to make the sector a lead contributor of revenue to the economy.

The 11-member board of GTA comprised Mr Charles Osei Bonsuas, Chairman, Mr   Akawsi Agyemang, Mr John Yao Agbeko, Madam Eva Esselba Mends, Mr Samuel Seth Passah, and Madam Fati Lily Soale.

Others are Mr Mohammed Abdul-Karim, Madam Cecilia Sheitu Nyadia, Mr Gbati Jacob Najombe, Mrs Dentaa Amoateng MBE and Madam Comfort Yamoah as members.

At a brief inaugural ceremony yesterday, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal who led the board members to swear the oath of office and secrecy said ‘the constitution and sustenance of high profile boards of this nature was mandatory and requirement of the Tourism Act 817 of 2011.’

He stressed that his expectation was to see members of the GTA initiate actions that would enable them implement the organisation’s approved scheme of services.

Some of these services, he stated, were marketing and promotion of domestic, regional and international tourism, tourism education and training, development of standards and guidelines for designs, use of tourist attractions and enterprises to reflect Ghanaian culture, among others.

Dr Awal noted that,the vision of the ministry was to make the tourism industry the number one contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product within the next two years.

He reiteratedthe ministry’s commitment to raise US$5billion each year from tourism receipts by 2022.

But, Dr Awal said this could be achieve if the board initiate measures to drive investments into the creative arts and culture sub-sectors.

“I have signed that contract with the President and the board must help me to achieve that,” he stated.

The newspaper says that students and medical doctors in the Upper West Region will benefit from Indian educational scholarships aimed at improving educational system and health care delivery in the region.

The Indian High Commissioner in Accra, Mr Sugandh Rajaram announced this when he paid a courtesy call on the Upper West Regional Minister, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih on Monday.

He said India was focused on building the capacity of the human resource, hence the desire to offer scholarships to Ghanaians to help broaden their knowledge and skills in ICT, health and other areas of specialisation.

The courtesy call formed part of activities earmarked for his six-day tour of the region.

“I will also be exploring the possibilities of facilitating support for interested Indian businesses to invest in the region and also brief the authorities on the development of the India-Ghana bilateral relations”, he said.

Mr Rajaram said Ghana and India had constantly stood by each other and expressed hope that the friendly relationship between both countries would continue.

The High Commissioner mentioned that he would as part of his visit, interact with the management of the Upper West Regional Hospital as well as the Simon Diedong Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (SDD-UBIDS) to explore the potentials of the institutions.

He added that he interacts with various government authorities in the region to highlight economic initiatives in India and opportunities to strengthen relations between the two.

The Minister, Dr Salih on his part expressed his appreciation to the High Commissioner, saying he looked forward to lasting relationship with the people of India.

The minister also acknowledged the special relationship between the two countries, adding that the relationship would continue.

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