When President Akufo-Addo took office on January 7, 2017, there was a lot of anticipation among Ghanaians since many people thought he would turn around the country’s fortunes based on his campaign and platform pledges.
The then-presidential candidate’s famous remark, “Yeti Sika Su Nanso Ekom Di Yen,” which, when crudely translated, means “we are sitting on a pile of money and yet we are hungry,” was one of his most motivating statements.
This assertion implied that the Akufo-Addo administration planned to use the nation’s natural riches to reverse the nation’s fortunes.
After 6 years in power, the Akufo-Addo-led government has been criticized by various groups and persons for worsening the economic fortunes of the country despite its many promises.
Currently, Ghana is not in a very good place as far as issues regarding the economy are concerned. There have been concerns about price hikes and inflation, cedi depreciation, excessive borrowing, and downgraded credit rating among others.
Aside from the above, corruption among some government appointees under the Akufo-Addo-led administration has also been cited on a number of occasions.
The Akufo-Addo-led administration has attributed a number of these problems to diverse causes in some cases. Early in his term as president, the problems were primarily attributable to poor management on the part of his predecessors. At one point, COVID-19 and other problems also surfaced.
Here are a few causes of the economic problem that Akufo-Addo and some of his appointees have cited.
John Dramani Mahama
Former President, John Dramani Mahama and his administration have been one of the reasons, cited on several occasions by the Akufo-Addo-led government for the economic woes of the country.
President Akufo-Addo, a year after the 2020 polls, for instance, blamed the NDC government for shrinking Ghana’s economy.
“When we took over in 2017, Mahama-led NDC government had messed up the economy. You agree with me that within a short while, we managed to put the economy back on track to the extent that in 2017, we have economic growth of 8%,” he said while speaking at a sod-cutting event in Juabeng.
The current economic crisis, according to vice president Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, should be attributed to the John Mahama-led administration because it was brought on by the NDC government’s mismanaged economy and the banking sector issue.
The vice president claimed that “the former government” is to blame for Ghana’s current economic difficulties during a lecture at the Accra Business School.
He continued by mentioning the excess capacity payments and the cleaning up of the financial sector as prior administration actions that contributed to the current economic disaster.
Undoubtedly, COVID-19 had a negative impact on Ghana’s economy as much as it did on the global front but even after 2 years of the pandemic, the government is still blaming the country’s economic woes on the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first case of the virus was recorded in Ghana in March 2020 and halted many economic activities.
Despite the effect of this, many economies around the world appear to have found a way around growing back their economies albeit with some difficulty.
President Akufo-Addo said he was making headway in turning around the economy until COVID-19 hit hard.
The COVID-19 pandemic he said, washed away the gains the country had made in a short period.
Speaking at the Accra Business School on July 14, 2022, Vice President Dr Bawumia on his part said,
“COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war were external and the other two (the banking sector clean up and the excess capacity payments) were the result of policies of the previous government,” he said
Russia Ukraine war
The Russia-Ukraine war in recent times has been blamed for sudden hikes in food prices and the high cost of living.
According to Akufo-Addo, the war between these two countries is having an impact on food security in the country.
The President further said that the Ukrainian crisis has compromised the food security of Africa, causing a disruption of commodity imports and shortages in fertilisers for crops.
“Growing concerns of fertiliser shortages in most African countries including Ghana are worrying.
“Ghana’s maize and soya production could be affected and our poultry industry could suffer greater shocks,” Akufo-Addo said.
Akufo-Addo also spoke about how crucial a steady supply of crude oil from Russia is to stabilizing rising energy prices and supply-demand disparities in commodities, especially in Ghana.
According to him, it could translate to increased global oil and liquefied natural gas prices which could adversely affect many importing countries.
“This means that fuel prices in the country are contingent on the ongoing conflict and likely to negatively impact Ghanaians, who, for apparent reasons, are already facing spikes in fuel prices,” he added.
“Although the Russian-Ukrainian crisis is not happening on African soil, the interconnectivity of the world economy and financial markets can trigger reactions in Ghana,” President Akufo-Addo stated.
“Already, fuel prices at various pumps in the country are inching towards the GH¢8 mark, causing transport fares to be increased by 15 per cent, effective February 26, 2022,” he added.
Despite all the above reasons, some groups, and persons have blamed the government for mismanaging the economy.
They have blamed the government for corruption, profligate spending like the use of an expensive, luxurious presidential jet, excessive borrowing, and a bloated government among others as self-inflicted.