Dear Friends,

As we look forward to the implementation of the 2021 budget in our second term, it is important that we take note of the accomplishments of the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government in our first term after inheriting an economy in crisis. Here are some:

  1. Inflation has been reduced from 15.4% in 2016 to 10.4% at the end of 2020
  2. Reduced average lending rates from 32% in 2016 to 21% in 2020.
  3. The average exchange rate depreciation over the last four years (7.3%) is the lowest for any first term government since 1992. The year 2020 recorded the lowest rate of depreciation in the last 28 years.
  4. Cleaned up the mess in the financial sector that we inherited and saved the deposits of 4.6 million depositors.
  5. Ghana has been consistently one of the fastest growing economies in the world for each of the last four years.
    notwithstanding the decline of GDP growth to 0.9% in 2020 as a result of COVID-19.
  6. For the first time in over two decades, the trade balance (the difference between what we export and what we import) recorded a surplus for four consecutive years from 2017-2020.
  7. Ghana’s Gross International Reserves increased from $6.1 billion (3.5 months of imports) in 2016 to $8.6 billion in 2020 (4.1 months of imports).
  8. Successfully exited the IMF program
  9. Ghana’s sovereign credit rating upgraded from B- in 2016 to B with a stable outlook. First upgrade in 10 years
  10. Planting for Food and Jobs has increased food production. It has led to a 71% increase in the national production of maize and 34% in paddy rice.
  11. The Global Food Security Index, which measures affordability, availability and quality of food across 113 countries, placed Ghana in 59th position in 2019, up from 78th position in 2016.
  12. Introduced a pension scheme for cocoa farmers. The first such scheme since independence.
  13. Established a Tree Crop Development Authority with a focus on mango, cashew, rubber, oil palm, shea and coconut.
  14. Implemented the One District One Warehouse initiative
  15. Implemented One District, One Factory Initiative. In four years, 76 companies are in operation under 1D1F.
  16. The new Automotive Sector Development Policy has resulted in VW, Sinotruk, Kantanka Group, and Nissan all assembling vehicles in Ghana.
  17. We have established the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) and the Ghana
    Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC), both of which are progressing steadily in the
    development of these industries.
  18. Established the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO). 100,000 graduates employed
  19. Recruited nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers, teachers, police officers, and many others in the public
    sector after many years of employment freeze under the previous Government. At least 550,000 public sector
    workers recruited.
  20. Import duties reduced by between 30%-50%
  21. Lowest average annual increase (8.25%) in petroleum prices in the fourth republic
  22. Cumulatively, we reduced electricity tariffs for residential, business, and industrial consumers during our first term; the only government in the fourth republic to do so.
  23. The rate of growth of the debt stock has been reduced from an average of 243% per annum between 2012-2016 to an average of 137% per annum between 2017 and 2020. The debt to GDP ratio however increased from 56.8% in 2016 to 76.1% in 2020 largely as a result of the fiscal impact of COVID-19, excess capacity charges and the cost of the financial sector clean-up.
  24. Restarted the operations of Anglogold Ashanti’s Obuasi Mine, the Ghana Publishing Company, WAMCO, as well as
    GhanaPost with attendant job creation.
  25. We have enrolled 15.5 million people on the biometric National ID card (Ghanacard) scheme.
  26. We have implemented a digital address system capturing every square inch of land or water in Ghana.
  27. Implemented the ground breaking Mobile Money Interoperability (MMI) project. Ghana is the only country in
    the world that has thus far implemented our version of MMI.
  28. Ghana is currently the fastest growing mobile money market in Africa. Ghana has 36.9 million registered mobile money accounts.
  29. Ghana is the first country in the world to implement a Universal QR Code payment system that accommodates
    both bank accounts and mobile wallets. We have made it easy for people to renew their national
    health insurance membership on their phones without having to spend precious time in long queues.
  30. ECG customers can now easily buy pre-paid electricity units conveniently from wherever you are from your mobile phone.
  31. The online passport application processes are helping many people and making it easier to obtain a passport.
  32. Digitization at the port, elimination of long room, and streamlined inspections and enhanced enforcement has
    made it easier to clear goods and curbed corruption in the process.
  33. Following digitization at the Scholarship Secretariat, everyone is able to apply for scholarship and receive same in
    the comfort of his or her home via online applications.
  34. We have digitized our court system through the introduction of: – e-justice system to end the manual filing processes, Ghana Case Tracking System – electronic case tracking –, Electronic case distribution system -fair, equitable and transparent distribution of cases.
  35. We have implemented the digitization of Motor Insurance Database. All insurance policies, which now have key
    security features, have been synchronized to a national database, which can be accessed simply with any mobile
    phone by the insured, the police, and the public.
  36. We have digitized the operations of DVLA and today our citizens have a much more convenient and easy way to
    acquire their driver’s license and register their vehicles.
  37. We have started automation of our hospitals and we have seen efficient and improved service deliveries at hospitals
    that we have implemented this. The goal is to go paperless in all hospitals within two years.
  38. We have completed the infrastructure to provide free Wifi to all 722 senior high schools, the 46 Colleges of Education, 260 district education offices, and an initial successful pilot of 13 public universities.
  39. We have developed a one-stop shop for government services (Ghana.Gov). The process of on-boarding all
    government institutions is ongoing. On this website you can apply for and obtain various government services from
    MMDAs.
  40. By making the National ID number the TIN number, we have increased the number of people with TIN numbers from 750,000 in 2016 to 15.5 million.
  41. By making the National ID number the SSNIT number, we have increased the number of people with SSNIT numbers from 3 million to 15.5 million.
  42. The National Health Insurance number is now your Ghanacard Number
  43. The digitization of the births and deaths registry is 80% complete
  44. Abolished excise duty on petroleum
  45. Reduced special petroleum tax rate from 17.5% to 15%.
  46. Abolished the 1% Special Import Levy
  47. Abolished the 17.5% VAT/NHIL on domestic airline tickets
  48. Abolished the 17.5% VAT/NHIL on financial services
  49. Abolished the 17.5% VAT/NHIL on selected imported
    medicines, that are not produced locally
  50. Abolished the 5% VAT/NHIL on Real Estate sales
  51. Abolished import duty on the importation of spare parts.
  52. Reduced National Electrification Scheme Levy from 5% to 3%
  53. Reduced Public Lighting Levy from 5% to 2%
  54. Introducing a new basic curriculum from kindergarten to primary six with a focus on reading, writing, arithmetic and
    creativity (the 4Rs)
  55. Government is now paying the examination registration fees of BECE and WASSCE candidates
  56. Teacher training allowances have been restored
  57. Nursing training allowances have been restored
  58. Scholarships increased by 70%
  59. One Constituency one ambulance policy has been implemented.
  60. Introduced drones in the delivery of critical medicine, vaccines and blood to people in remote parts of the country. Ghana has now the largest medical drone delivery service in the world.
  61. SSNIT pension can now be received within 10 days of application
  62. President Akufo-Addo’s government has expanded school feeding by 78%
  63. We have expanded the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme by 53%
  64. Doubled the capitation grant Abolished utility bills for tertiary students
  65. Abolished the 3-month arrears policy for teachers who had worked 2-3 years
  66. Abolished the fees for post graduate medical training President Akufo-Addo has also abolished market tolls for kayayei
  67. Established the Zongo Development Fund to address the needs of Zongo and inner city communities.
  68. Increased the allowances for peacekeeping soldiers from $30 to $35
  69. Increased the share of the DACF to persons with disabilities by 50%
  70. Implementation of our pledge of employing 50% of the persons who manage the country’s toll booths from amongst Persons with Disabilities.
  71. Established the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Progam (NEIP) –
  72. Establishing a Ghana Commodities Exchange –
  73. Launching a comprehensive Building Code for Ghana for the first time- ;
  74. Implemented one village one dam and constructed over 400 dams
  75. President Akufo-Addo has also created six new regions to help promote decentralized and inclusive development
  76. Not a single case of cholera in Ghana in the last four years. The massive investment in water and sanitation facilities in many rural and deprived communities by our government has resulted in over 5400 communities being declared open defecation free (ODF)
  77. The largest investment in infrastructure (roads, railways, schools, etc.) for any first term government in the fourth
    republic (www.deliverytracker.gov.gh)
  78. Improved the financing of governance and anti-corruption MDAs like the Ministry of Justice and Office of the Attorney General, NCCE, CHRAJ, EOCO etc.
  79. World class leadership demonstrated by President Akufo-Addo in the management of COVID-19. Notwithstanding the impact of COVID-19, inflation, interest rates and exchange rate depreciation are much lower today than they were in 2016!
  80. Long running chieftaincy dispute in Dagbon has been solved against all odds.
  81. Implemented Free Senior High School and Free TVET education

Notwithstanding these solid achievements, there are still challenges facing the Ghanaian economy and Ghanaians following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and I look forward to working with President Akufo-Addo to address these challenges and deliver on his vision to transform and modernize the economy for the benefit of all Ghanaians in our second term.

The author, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia is the Vice President of Ghana.