The Ghanaian economy has begun to show signs of recovery on the back of robust measures put in place by government to address the challenges the country has faced since March 2020, the 2024 budget statement as present to Parliament indicated.
This is evident by the half year average growth rate of 3.2 percent recorded in 2023 compared to 2.9 percent recorded for the same period in 2022.
The agricultural sector remains a key driver of Ghana’s economy, employing an average of
38.3 percent of the total work force and contributed an average of 20 percent of GDP
between 2017 and 2022. The sector’s GDP grew at an average rate of 6.3 percent between
2017 and 2021 boosted by Government’s flagship program – Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ).
As of 2022, Aquaculture employed approximately 30,000 people in both rural and urban
communities who worked on small- and large-scale farms to produce 133,000mt of fish.
The Growth Strategy aims to boost fish production mostly through increased focus on oceanic and inland earthen ponds. The goal is to support fishermen, fish farmers, fish processors, and marketers to produce more fish as substitute for imports and thereby ease the pressure on marine fishing.
Government has identified strategic industries to anchor the growth of the Ghanaian manufacturing sector. These Strategic Anchor Industries are being complemented by the flagship 1D1F programme. The Free Zones Authority and the Export Promotion Authority in collaboration with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre will facilitate investment into these industries.
Ghana aims to be the regional manufacturing hub for West Africa. The 15-month Growth Strategy leverages on the 1D1F and Free Zones projects to attract investments into the industries and create massive job opportunities in Ghana.
The Strategy seeks to increase export revenue through the Ghana Free Zone Authority (GFZA) and the Ghana Export Promotion Agency (GEPA). The 15-month targets for the GFZA and GEPA are as follows:
- 64 additional companies will be licensed by GFZA by end December 2024. This will
increase the number of companies from 207 to 271. This is expected to increase export
earnings from US$1.8bn (indicate year) to US$2.19bn (2024).
- Capital investment by licensed Free Zone Companies increased from US$131m (2022)
to US$370m (2024)
- 5,000 additional jobs will be created by the end of 2024;
- Earnings from Non Traditional Exports (NTEs) are increased from US$3.51bn (2022)
to US$4.8bn (2024);
- Volume of NTEs is expected to increase from 3.46m mt (2022) to 4.2m mt (2024);
- 20,000 additional jobs will be created by NTE companies by the end of 2024;
- Give 50 companies support to access African markets under the AfCFTA Agreement
Government intends to provide skills training for theyouth. This will be achieved through partnerships with TVET institutions, nationally designated Tech hubs and other similar institutions utilising Tech platforms and training programs provided by Google, Andela, MEST, Soronko Academy, among others. The objective is to ensure the youth are having the requisite skills to compete in both the local
and global market.
In 2022, there was an increase in the total number of jobs (both direct and indirect) created
by the tourism sector. Specifically, 277,985 jobs were created, marking a 10 percent increase
from the 252,714 jobs created in 2021. To bolster this trend, the Growth Strategy training
will be provided to 6,000 young people engaged in various aspects of the tourism value chain,
including cooks, security personnel, and tour guides.
The Ghana Mutual Prosperity Dialogue (GMPD) serves as a special platform for government
and the private sector to dialogue on the challenges and opportunities with the ultimate aim
of promoting mutual prosperity through an enabling environment for doing business.
Boosting Access to Finance by domestic investors: The strategy sets ambitious but attainable targets premised on improving ease of access to finance by leveraging the financial ecosystem. The Development Bank Ghana, GIRSAL, Ghana Export and Import Bank, Consolidated Bank Ghana, Venture Capital Fund, Ghana Investment Infrastructure Fund (GIIF) and the Ghana Commodity Exchange will support private entrepreneurs with loans, partial guarantees and venture capital.
The establishment of the Development Bank Ghana (DBG) has been critical in fostering economic growth and providing long term finance to vital sectors of the Ghanaian economy, thereby creating jobs and sustaining SMEs. In about 2 years, DBG has loaned a total of GHS829 million (out of a target of GHS1 billion) through Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs). Of this, GHS 110 million was directed towards Gender Finance, while GHS 19.7 million was allocated to green finance deals to promoting gender equality and sustainable practices.
Additionally, GHS 385.3 million was disbursed to high-value services, GHS 122.2 million to Manufacturing, GHS 212.5 million to enhance Food Security, focusing on maize, soya, rice, and poultry value chains.
Since its inception, the GCX has facilitated the trade of close to 50,000mt (1,000,000 bags) of largely maize, rice, soya, and cashew nut (through spot, Over the Counter (OTC) and auction trades) at a trade value of over GHS280 million from eight warehouses located in Ashanti, Bono, Ahafo, and the Northern Regions of Ghana.
In 2024, GCX is expected to increase the number of commodity listings on the exchange to include cowpea, sheanuts, and some cash crops through five new warehouses (out of expected 40 for the next 5 years). Some of the success factors of the GCX include collaboration with Venture Capital Trust Fund (VCTF), Ministry of Food and Agriculture (through the Enhanced Planting for Food and Jobs Programme), and the Ministry of Education (for the implementation of the Free Senior High School project).
As part of measures to increase access to Long-term Finance for SME’s, the Venture Capital Trust Fund has established two (2) new Funds: The Startup Catalyst Fund (SCF) and Strategic Industries Funds (SIF) under the Ghana Economic Transformation Project (GETP). Through these Funds, the Trust Fund has committed US$16 million into four (4) funds namely: Injaro Ghana Venture Fund, Industrial Support Fund, Mirepa SME Fund and Wangara Green Ventures. These funds are expected to yield a minimum of about US$150 million through private sector participation.
Ghana Incentive- Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL) will provide GHS 350million in partial risk guarantees to leverage private sector participation in the agricultural and agri-business sector. Relying on the GHS 350million guarantee, banks will be able to lend about GHS 700million to the agricultural sector and agri-business. GIRSAL guarantees help to reduce banks’ risk perception of the agricultural sector and encourages them to increase lending at slightly lower rates and longer tenor.
As part of efforts to address the high rate of youth unemployment in the country, Government designed the YouStart initiative with the aim of creating 1 million jobs for the youth within a five-year period of its implementation. Through this initiative, Government is providing training, funding, access to market and technological support to the youth (between the ages of 18-40 years) to assist them start, build and grow their own businesses.