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Ghana’s debt would have stood at 68% of GDP if COVID-19, others were excluded – Bawumia



Ghana’s debt would have stood at 68% of Gross Domestic Product if COVID-19, Financial Sector and Energy Sector debts were excluded.

This means the public debt stock will have been lower than ¢300 billion as of the end of December 2021.

According to Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Ghana’s debt increased by17.6% of GDP between 2019 and 2021 because of the aforementioned debts.

Speaking on the “State of the Economy”, Dr. Bawumia said “because of COVID-19, GDP growth was virtually zero in 2020, and this is also bound to increase the debt to GDP ratio other things being equal with a lower base”.

He cited the World Bank statement that attempt by governments across the world to provide livelihood and stimulate their economies has meant higher fiscal deficits and debt levels globally.

Ghana’s debt surged to ¢351.8 billion in December 2021, approximately 80.1% of GDP.

In examining the economic fundamentals further, the Vice President said sizeable discretionary support, along with a sharp contraction in output and an ensuing fall in revenues, has led to a surge in government debt and deficits, and as such in 2020, global government debt increased by 13 percentage points of GDP to a new world record of 97% of GDP.

“Sizeable discretionary support, along with a sharp contraction in output and an ensuing fall in revenues, has led to a surge in government debt and deficits. In 2020, global government debt increased by 13 percentage points of GDP to a new world record of 97% of GDP. In advanced economies, it was up by 16 percentage points to 120 percent of GDP, and in emerging market developing economies by 9 percentage points to 63% of GDP.”

Russia/Ukraine war a major trigger of higher inflation

On inflation, Dr. Bawumia said the path of inflation in Ghana has been similar to those of other countries following the COVID pandemic.

He also blamed the rising prices of food and other goods to the Russian/Ukraine war and COVID-19 pandemic, as the major trigger of inflation.

According to him, the countries and economies throughout the world are experiencing severe challenges following the COVID-19 pandemic and the more recent Russian-Ukraine war.

“The pandemic which started early 2020 resulted in the greatest economic depression in the world since the 1930s with most countries in the world recording negative GDP growth rate. Supply chain disruption and the rising price of oil, which up to a high of $130 this year, has resulted in major increases of fuel across the globe with petrol prices doubling in most countries.”

He also said food prices have not be left out, outlining that the Food and Agriculture Organisation Global Food Price Index increased from 95.1% at the end of 2019 to 140.7% in February 2022.

He also pointed out the increase in commodity prices have been exacerbated by the  Russia/Ukraine conflict.

“In Ghana, 30% of our cereal grains, wheat flour and fertiliser is from Russia, 60% of iron rods and metal sheet imports is from Ukraine, 20% of Ghana’s manganese exports is to Ukraine”, the Vice President added.

Inflation in some selected countries (%)

 Country 2019 (December) 2022 (February) Factor of increase
USA 1.81 7.9 4.3
UK 1.79 6.2 3.4
Nigeria 11.4 15.7 1.37
Coted’lviore 0.81 4.6 5.68
Ghana 7.9 15.7 1.98

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Provide us with evidence of $17 billion payment for excess capacity – John Jinapor to government



Ranking Member on Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee, John Jinapor, has asked government to provide evidence for payment of 17 billion dollars for excess power capacity as it claims.

This follows Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia’s assertion that the Akufo-Addo administration has made some payments for energy sector capacity building projects in the last five years.

During a public lecture at the NPP’s TESCON event on April 7, Dr. Bawumia outlined three major expenditure items that have contributed to the country’s budget deficit and rising public debt stock.

These, according to Dr. Bawumia, resulted from expenditure on the coronavirus pandemic, banking sector clean-up, and Energy Sector Capacity payments, for which the government has spent GHC17 billion in the last five years [2018-2021].

Speaking on Top Story, on Friday, in reaction, Mr. Jinapor claimed that “the issue of the 17 billion I have raised has never been dealt with.”

The discussion centered on whether or not the country currently lacks adequate power supply, which may bring about power rationing, otherwise known as ‘dumsor’

According to him, “the Vice President said that we’ve paid 17 billion in excess capacity. We have challenged them for over one month now to provide us with the evidence. You have an opportunity to issue a statement to reinforce the Vice President’s statement and you can’t even bring that evidence. Where is that evidence? he quizzed.

Mr. Jinapor urged the government to, “provide us with that evidence of the 17 million so that you and I can peruse that 17 billion… the issue that ‘dumsor’ is imminent can be found in their statement and that we must get new capacity is found in their own document.”

Meanwhile, Deputy Energy Minister, Andrews Egyapa Mercer has assured Ghanaians that there is excess capacity for power, hence there is no cause for imminent ‘dumsor’ as the Minority has alleged.

He said there are idle plants which could take care of any excess power demanded.

“In fact, as we speak we are not on our peak demand and so solar is running but some plants are idle and they are in excess for which the government of Ghana is paying for as a result of the contractual obligation that we have. So I don’t see where the crystal of the issues raised is coming from. It is soo clear that the committee has come out to debunk the fear mongering that they sought to put out,” he said.

He noted that the government will also provide evidence of payment of 17 billion cedis in excess power capacity if the need be.

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Your skills won’t always fetch you the job, get right attitude – Entrepreneur



An entrepreneur is admonishing the youth, especially the unemployed, to uphold good working ethics and decent behaviour in their pursuit of employment.

Executive Director of Agri Impact Consult, Daniel Acquaye, disclosed employers are now keen on the attitudinal conduct of their employees towards work.

He indicated the emerging recruitment process has transitioned from predicating on the certificates and skillsets of the job seeker to their attitudes.

“Initially, we were hiring based on knowledge and certificates; then we moved to skills. Now, it is more on attitude,” he said.

He believes it is worth investing in an employee with a good attitude but little or no skills than the skilled personnel with uncouth behaviour.

Speaking to students and the faculty of KNUST at its Science and Technology Exhibition Forum, the AgriBusiness Consultant revealed his outfit considers a good attitude and mindset as a prerequisite for employment.

Mr Acquaye believes the employee’s attitude contributes to the efficient outputs of a business.

“For me, if you don’t have the skills and attitude, we can train you to gain the skills. But if you have skills and not the attitude, no matter the investment we put in you, we will not get any output from you,” he said.

Emerging research reveals that traditional recruitment methods have metamorphosed from being based solely on technical qualifications.

The landmark ‘Hiring for Attitude’ study discovered that most bad hires are not candidates who lack the needed technical skills but those who lack the right attitudes and mindset.

The study further reveals that employers are increasingly open to recruiting candidates with optimistic attitudes and not-so-perfect skills.  

Optimism, persistence, fearlessness, emotional intelligence or composure, and comfort with change are traits that could be cultivated to fashion the mindset of job seekers. 

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Commercialise our research outputs – KNUST Vice Chancellor to local industries



Professor Rita Akosua Dickson, Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

The Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Professor Rita Akosua Dickson has called on industry professionals to utilise the research from the University and the academic community to transform society.

According to her, this will help in making technological findings more relevant to the daily needs of society, instead of leaving them to gather dust on shelves.

Speaking at an exhibition by the School, as part of its 70th Anniversary Celebrations, Professor Dickson stressed the need for enhanced collaboration between academia and industry, in order to stimulate development in the country.

“The problems of society are our problems. And we go through research to proffer solutions to the problems of humanity. In that sense, what we say is that, if we carry out these research, we must ensure that the research or the outcomes of this research are impacting the people for whom the research are carried out.

KNUST believes in constructive partnership and we cherish the kind of partnership that we enjoy with our industrial partners. And we welcome them to even help us to commercialise all these research outcomes that are coming. They should come and take it up and then take it all out there, so that it will be very beneficial to society”, she remarked.

Impressed by the innovative exhibitions, the Executive Director of Agri Impact Consult, Daniel Acquaye, observed that most private industries shy away from collaborating with the universities.

This, according to him, stems from the bureaucratic channels investors have to go through.

He therefore called for the establishment of a platform for investor friendly engagements between the universities and industries.

“In most instances, private sector is frustrated when they’re engaging with universities. First, it is not straightforward. Secondly, it takes quite a long time, and the third thing is that, you don’t even know where to start from.

We need to foster these kinds of partnerships. And to foster these kinds of partnerships, there should be a platform for engagement. And this platform for engagement needs to be facilitated. So we would need someone who would facilitate this kind of engagement process, so that the private sector will see what the universities and the research institutions have”, he said.

The exhibition brought together persons from both industry and academia to witness the innovation of students from the various departments in the school.

In a related development, an engineer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, has developed a mechanized cocoa pod breaker to ease the burden of cocoa farmers.

The conventional method of removing the cocoa bean from its pod has always been with a cutlass supported by man-power. The process always leaves the farmers fatigued and exposed to severe bodily injuries.

But the engineer believes that his innovation, will address the challenge and make work convenient for workers.

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