"Building a Sustainable Entrepreneurial Nation: Fiscal Consolidation and Job Creation"

At the beginning of 2021, Ghana, like many other countries started to chart a path to economic recovery with the hope of restoring macro-economic stability to Pre- Covid-19 levels. Despite the ambition and aspiration of government, the country experienced a third wave of the pandemic, which again disrupted economic activities and affected households and individuals. This called for a further prioritisation of the health, safety and well-being of the citizenry, which subsequently impacted government expenditure.

Although we are not out of the woods yet, it appears the economy is on a recovery trajectory, albeit at a slower pace but quite competitive in comparison to our peers in the sub-region. Macroeconomic growth rate at the end of June 2021 stands at 3.5% against a projected 5.1% growth rate full year 2021.

On 17 November 2021, the Minister for Finance, Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta presented the Budget Statement and Economic Policy (the budget) under the theme, "Building a Sustainable Entrepreneurial Nation: Fiscal Consolidation and Job Creation" to Parliament on behalf of the President, His Excellency Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo- Addo.

With this budget, government seeks to sustain the recovery efforts and restore economic growth to pre-pandemic levels whilst achieving a sustainable debt position.

From the recent population and housing census, the Ghanaian youthful group is growing at a burgeoning rate amidst high unemployment. Government intends to find innovative solutions to curb the unemployment issue in the country. Several policies have been rolled out in the past to salvage the employment situation by successive governments. We believe that a lot more could be done through a collaborative effort with the private sector. The rising debt levels, which has been a major concern in the economy, calls for drastic debt management measures to bring to sustainable levels.

In achieving and realising the objectives of the 2022 budget, government set out the following to be the main macroeconomic focal areas:

  • Ensuring restoration and sustained macroeconomic stability with a focus on debt sustainability.
  • Building a robust financial sector to support growth and development;
  • Maintaining a good balance between the implementation of the revitalisation and transformation programme and fiscal consolidation to promote growth within a stable macroeconomic environment;
  • Providing a supportive private sector environment (including promoting entrepreneurship) for domestic businesses and for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to thrive;
  • Deepening structural reforms to make the machinery of Government work more efficiently and effectively to support socioeconomic transformation. In particular, implementing reforms to increase revenue mobilisation and the efficiency of public expenditure.
  • Using digitisation to increase tax revenue, expand the tax net and monitor expenditure

We encourage the government to consolidate the gains of digitisation by harnessing data to uncover predictive patterns and insights into key focus areas of the economy for decision making.

We also encourage government to ruthlessly implement the stated policies to consolidate the gains achieved on the path to economic recovery. This is expected to provide certainty in the business environment and ultimately drive job creation.

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