Ghana must move to upper middle-income country by 2030 – Economist
A Research Professor of Economics and Applied Statistics at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) has urged the government to introduce sustainable policies which will help move Ghana from a low-income country to upper middle-income country by 2030.
Professor Kwodwo Ewusi believes the country can achieve this through “strong planning” and increasing its growth rate.
Delivering a lecture on the theme: “The Relationship between Public Debt and Economic Growth in Ghana from 1947 – 2016; A Granger Causality Analysis,” at the Ashesi University on Wednesday, Prof. Awusi said instead of depending on IMF and World Bank loans, government should rather find profitable ways of managing the country’s resources.
He said government must concentrate on its oil production and establish a “Minerals Heritage Fund” to support the production of other minerals in the country.
According to him, minerals production companies across the country and government would be required to contribute about 0.5% of their revenue to support the fund which can be used as a collateral to borrow money from the commercial market rather than going to the IMF with its conditionalities.
The Minerals Heritage Fund, he added will also serve as a stabilisation fund which can be used for many other development projects.
“I support the Kibi bauxite effort very strongly and I’m very sure that there are so many other projects like that and it is these projects which will take us there,” he said.
Ghana, he said, would also need direct foreign investment to supplement the country’s efforts in the exploitation and proper management of the natural resources.
Prof Ewusi also mentioned agro-based industrialisation as one of the strategies that would ensure economic progress by reducing poverty in the country.
He lauded government’s initiative of building a factory in every district under the One-District, One-Factory policy, saying it is a good plan which will go a long way to reduce unemployment and subsequently transform Ghana’s economy.
“As I said, the highest problem of the country is unemployment and I estimate that about 2.8 million people were unemployed in 2010, so by now, we should be speaking of a higher number, maybe 3.5 million or so. So all those projects under the ‘one-district, one-factory’ should be based on employment,” he maintained.
He, however, advised that only investors who would establish factories that have the capacity to employ not less than 100 job seekers should be considered under the one-district, one-factory project.
“If there’s one big factory serving about three districts that will be more meaningful than just having a splinter of small industries all over,” he explained.
About Ashesi Economics Lecture Series
The Ashesi Economics Lecture Series AELS) was introduced by an Assistant Professor at Ashesi, Dr. Stephen Armah in 2009 with the aim of bringing students and faculty together to “engage active researchers on their research work”.
The papers address economic and public policy issues of relevance to the international community and to the Sub-Saharan African region.
The lectures are open to students and the general public who have interest in knowing more about the status of Ghana’s economy and research by experts on management of the country’s economy.