Friday, March 24, 2023

Evil forces behind cedis’ free fall, rising inflation, says Ghana’s Akufo-Addo

Ghana’s inflation rate surged past its 21-year record high in August as its annual inflation rate climbed to 37.2 per cent in September from 33.9 recorded in August 2022.

• October 31, 2022
President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana
President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana (Photo Credit: @GhanaPresidency)

President Nana Akufo-Addo has described Ghana’s economic crisis as one fuelled by evil forces, as the West African country continues negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on an economic recovery programme.

“We are in a crisis, I do not exaggerate when I say so,” Mr Akufo-Addo tweeted on Sunday. “I cannot find an example in history when so many malevolent forces have come together at the same time.”

Mr Akufo-Addo addressed Ghanaians on Sunday on the economic challenges the country was enduring and the measures his administration was taking to address the situation.

Last week, he and other top government officials began a three-day retreat to discuss measures to tackle the economic problems, finalising the $3 billion loan deal with the IMF and the government’s 2023 budget and financial policy.

Ghana’s inflation rate surged past its 21-year record high in August as its annual inflation rate climbed to 37.2 per cent in September from 33.9 recorded in August 2022. 

Mr Akufo-Addo maintained in his address that he has total confidence in his administration’s ability to “work our way out of our current difficulties.”

Mr Akufo-Addo added that, “We are not afraid of hard work. We will triumph, as we have triumphed many times before. Let us unite, and rally around our Republic, its institutions and its democratic values, and insist that, under God, we will emerge victorious from our current difficulties. For this too shall pass, as the Battle is the Lord’s.”

Mr Akufo-Addo had promised that the country’s total public debt would be reduced to 55 per cent of GDP by 2028. He also promised that the cost of servicing the country’s external debt will not exceed 18 per cent of annual revenue by 2028.  

The cedi has depreciated by 56 per cent since the beginning of the year as Ghana struggles to check skyrocketing prices caused partly by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

To control price growth and bolster the currency, the central bank raised its benchmark lending rate this year by ten points to 24.5 per cent. 

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