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We’ve gained from G20 Compact with Africa – President

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Ghana’s participation in the G20 Compact with Africa (CwA) has enabled the country to tackle the structural challenges that have inhibited its drive towards becoming Africa’s investment hub, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.

That, he explained, was done with the implementation of targeted policies, such as establishing macroeconomic stability, enhancing domestic revenue mobilisation, improving fiscal risk management and strengthening the business legal and regulatory frameworks to de-risk private investments.

Addressing the CwA Summit in Berlin, Germany, last Friday, he said the COVID-19 pandemic had exposed deep structural fragilities in Africa that required urgent attention, particularly in relation to green growth, climate-conscious industrialisation and the creation of resilient economies.

The Compact

The CwA was initiated under the German G20 Presidency to promote private investment in Africa, including infrastructure.

The primary objective of the compact is to increase the attractiveness of private investment through substantial improvement of macro economy, business and financing frameworks.

Strong start

President Akufo-Addo said as one of the few economies to have recorded positive growth in 2020, Ghana had, so far, had a strong start to 2021, despite the ravages of the pandemic.

“With the economy recording a growth rate of 3.1 and 8.9 per cent in the first and the second quarters of this year, respectively, reflecting the impact of the government’s COVID-19 containment measures and recovery interventions, we believe we are on course to return our nation onto the path of steady economic growth,” he said.

Challenges

The President said despite the positives, Ghana was still confronted with numerous challenges in the areas of healthcare delivery, access to education, the provision of decent housing, developing road and railway networks and funding the GH¢100 billion Ghana CARES programme, aimed at revitalising the economy.

He added that with public debt levels in the country currently at 77.1 per cent of GDP, the government had limited the scope for growth through debt-funded large public investment programmes, bringing into sharp focus the importance of interventions such as the Compact with Africa initiative.

Partnership

President Akufo-Addo expressed delight that in the past year, Volkswagen (VW) had partnered with a Ghanaian company to establish a vehicle assemblying facility in the country.

“MoUs have also been signed with Voith Hydro Holding for the supply of technologies for the construction of a hybrid solar-hydro power plant attached to the Bui Dam project, and with Robert Bosch Packaging for the supply of technologies for the construction of a vaccine factory,” he said.

He added that Ghana was also grateful for the support received so far under the compact towards the establishment of the Development Bank of Ghana (DBG).

He explained that the vision for the bank was guided by the history of KFW, which had played an essential part in Germany’s post-World War II recovery experience.

He expressed optimism that the DBG, when launched, would efficiently deploy resources across key business sectors, fulfil Ghana’s ambition of rapidly creating a prosperous economy that offered opportunities for all and accelerate its path towards economic and social transformation.

President Akufo-Addo was confident that Ghana’s ongoing participation in the G20 CwA “will guide us as we work towards effective economic recovery from the debilitating effects of the pandemic”.

Colleagues

Turning his attention to colleague African Heads of State, the President urged them to help build a continent capable of safeguarding its environment, founded on the creativity, enterprise and industry of its citizens.

He also called for an Africa that welcomed investments and traded at the global marketplace at the high end of the value chain.

To the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who presided over her last compact meeting, President Akufo-Addo wished her a very fond farewell and a well-deserved retirement.

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