He projects a steady growth of 4.8 percent in the medium-term, between 2024-2026.
Ofori-Atta said growth is projected at 3.9 percent, 4.9 percent, and 5.6 percent, in 2024, 2025, and 2026, respectively.
Ghana’s economy has faced serious challenges in the past few years, with debt rising to GH¢467 billion, and the local currency depreciating by more than 50 percent by 2022.
This prompted the country to seek help from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which late last year gave a staff authorization for a $3 billion program for the government.
The program however depends on the country’s ability to restructure its debts which have reached unsustainable levels.
Although the government has announced a Debt Restructuring Programme, this program has been met with strong opposition from some groups and individuals, with some even threatening legal action.
This has led some analysts and market watchers to predict that 2023 will be a very difficult year for the country, with the IMF even predicting a global economic recession in 2023.
In a statement at the 74th Annual New Year School and Conference, Mr Ofori Atta, however, gave an assurance that the country will soon return to the path of growth and accelerate economic transformation.
“We are optimistic about the prospects of our dear country,” he said.
This year’s New Year School and Conference, held on the theme “African Market Positioning for Sustainable Economic Development through AfCFTA,” brings together academia, policy makers and industry players across the African region to discuss the facilitation of intra-Africa Trade and the improvement of African trade position in the global market.
The finance minister pointed out that despite good efforts, Africa’s share of global trade is still low, approximately three percent, with a lower share of intra-regional trade compared to other regions.
He said it is against this backdrop that the government seeks to strengthen the financial sector through policies and strategies to strengthen regional and continental initiatives including the AfCFTA, which is the largest free trade area of the world comprising some US$ 2.5 trillion in combined GDP.
He noted that an enhanced financial sector will not only boost international trade but also contribute to the development of cross-border infrastructure as well as stimulate regional and international investment.
“Therefore, empowering our financial sector to support our industries and trade is a central theme of the Government of Ghana’s strategy to recover, recover and consolidate our economic gains,” he said.
Operation of the AfCFTA
In a keynote address almost delivered, Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, Wamkele Mene, said that the full operationalization of the free trade area will contribute to the structural transformation of Africa.
He said the free trade system within the region would help transform markets and economies.
He pointed out that the AfCFTA Secretariat signed a US $ 10 billion agreement with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) for the management of the Base Fund of the AfCFTA Adjustment Fund.
He said the money available over the next five to 10 years will support African countries that have experienced short-term revenue losses as a result of reducing or eliminating their tariffs.
This, he said, will enable countries to effectively participate in the new trading environment established under the AfCFTA.