NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFO-ADDO, President of the Republic, delivered a speech to the nation on the economy on Sunday, October 30, 2022.
Good evening, my fellow Ghanaians.
When the Corona virus epidemic first broke out in 2020, I began a regular dialogue with you that we came to refer to as Fellow Ghanaians.
The globe felt in danger at the moment, and there was a tremendous deal of anxiety of the unknown. I frequently visited your homes to inform you of what the scientists were learning about the virus and how we should proceed.
Now that we have experienced the worst of the COVID-19, I can admit that there were times when I felt upset, when I was in despair at the apparent inadequateness of our health facilities, and when I questioned whether the ominous prophecies of dead bodies on our streets would actually occur.
However, I was aware that it was my duty as your president to maintain composure, exercise leadership, and steer the country out of the crisis. We can report that we survived the pandemic’s ravages with one of the lowest fatality rates worldwide thanks to your assistance and support as well as the immense graces of the Almighty. In actuality, everyone praised Ghana for how it handled the outbreak.
Although the pandemic’s economic destruction was visible to everyone in real time, I doubt that anyone anticipated the scope of the harm. Our economy in Ghana, like countless others throughout the world, was severely disrupted.
At the height of the COVID pandemic, I did not make light of the fact that we knew how to revive the economy but not how to revive the populace. We had already accomplished it once, and we were about to do it once more. The astonishing 5.4% expansion of Ghana’s GDP in 2021 contrasts sharply with the 0.5% growth that the COVID-19 pandemic caused in the previous year. In truth, our economy expanded by 7% in the final quarter of 2021, but the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the first quarter of this year exacerbated COVID-19’s effects and sent the global economy into a tailspin from which it has not yet recovered.
The rate at which inflation has eaten away at people’s incomes has shocked the entire world. Large and small economies alike have seen the highest inflation in forty (40) years, the highest rise in government borrowing in over fifty (50) years, the steepest depreciation of their currencies against the US dollar in the past thirty (30) years, the fastest peak in interest rates in over twenty (20) years, and the greatest threat of unemployment in peacetime, with over one hundred million people out of work.
Between the end of 2019 and the present, inflation has grown five times in Ghana, sixteen times in Togo, eleven times in Senegal, and seven times in Cote d’Ivoire. But in reality, the fact that there are gas lines in France does not make the fact that the cost of a trotro from Kasoa to Circle has doubled over the past year or that the price of cooking oil increases every other week any more bearable.
It is crucial to note that bringing up price rises around the world is not intended to minimize the severity of the hardship experienced here, but rather to help us put things in perspective and, ideally, draw some helpful conclusions about how other people are handling similar situations.
My fellow Ghanaians, this is the reason I am back in your homes this evening to seek for your help as we collaborate to turn around our economy.