Mahama Takes Credit For 2017 Economic Growth

John Mahama 


Ex-President John Dramani Mahama says the 8.5 per cent economic growth experienced in the country in 2017 is a function of his policies, and not the making of his successor.

According to him, the efforts by the Akufo-Addo government to take credit for the 2017 GDP growth are “bizarre,” asserting that the hard work of the National Democratic Congress in 2016 led to the significant economic growth.

Ghana’s economy expanded at the fastest rate in five years in 2017, growing 8.5 per cent compared with 3.7 per cent recorded in 2016 by the Mahama administration.

But speaking at Chatham House in London last Friday, Mr. Mahama insisted that the records were clear to point to the good work done by his government.

He criticised the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration and said the government had driven the country into a ditch, while addressing his audience on “Africa’s Strategic Priorities and Global Role.”

“When we were leaving office in 2016, all the multilateral agencies predicted Ghana was going to grow at 8 per cent because of the work that we had done, and in 2017, it grew at 8 per cent. There was no way the current government could have influenced that growth in 2017,” he intimated.

Former President Mahama continued, “The indices showed that when we left office, the debt to GDP was 56 per cent. Meanwhile, you inherited it in 2017 at 56 per cent of debt to GDP, so what other evidence do you need to attribute Ghana’s fiscal and economic growth to the NDC?”

He stated that the outcome of mismanagement had ended the country at the debt restructuring programme, and pointed out the NDC government went through an IMF programme without putting Ghanaians through the current situation.

“There is one significant fact that I kept saying that nobody pays attention to. Under an IMF programme, for the first time in history, we agreed with the IMF that we were going to do zero Central Bank financing so in the 2016 fiscal year, the government implemented its whole budget without taking a single Cedi from the Bank of Ghana,” he posited.

On the Africa front, he encouraged the youth not to lose hope in Ghana and Africa since “it is far more useful to look forward to the future with hope than to brood over the present with despair. I am an eternal believer in the potential and positive energies of Africa and her youth.”

“In December, next year, what I consider to be the most important elections in Ghana’s history will be held. The electioneering period will offer a scope for deeper discussions about Ghana’s future and what needs to be done to get us out of the current economic quagmire and to avoid a recurrence.

“We in the opposition in Ghana are very clear on our vision for the country and how to build the Ghana that we all want,” he said.

By Ernest Kofi Adu