The World Bank’s Vice President for Africa, Mr Makhtar Diop, has extended the Bank’s support towards addressing Ghana’s numerous economic challenges.
He said the Bank was concerned about “one of the engines in the sub-region” and was determined to help Ghana emerge out of her current situation.
Mr Diop made the commitment when he called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Flagstaff House on Tuesday, in Accra.
He commended President Akufo-Addo for his decision to grow Ghana’s economy by stimulating private sector activity, saying that that decision was prudent, considering Ghana’s high levels of indebtedness and the lack of fiscal space.
Mr Diop said: “The financing needs that the economy must have to sustain the growth that is envisaged for Ghana cannot be attained through public financing, due to the high level of indebtedness that you inherited. So we need to help create all the conditions for the private sector to lead this process.”
He thus pledged the support of the World Bank – experience, technical and monetary – to helping the Government of Ghana succeed.
He said the Bank was willing to also help Ghana to process its cocoa to make the country depart from being an exporter of cocoa beans, akin to the support given to Cote d’Ivoire, which had received a $120 million facility to boost value-addition for its cocoa industry.
“Your vision is very clear, and we are supporting it. We have discussed with your team the options from which we can help you address the difficult situations you are facing today. You can count on our full support to be with you and to work with you towards a lasting solution,” he said.
Mr Diop congratulated President Akufo-Addo and Ghana “on being an example in Africa on how democracy and political transitions can be held successfully.”
President Akufo-Addo thanked Makhtar Diop for the gesture and acknowledged the role he was playing in the global financial organization, adding that “you have gained the confidence of your peers and the admiration of the continent.”
He was thankful for the commitment of the World Bank towards the realisation of his vision of a private sector-driven economy, explaining that despite the promise of Ghana’s economy being derailed in recent years, largely as a result of the mismanagement of the economy, he was confident of the return of the country onto the path of progress and prosperity.
Describing Ghana as “a country of immense potential,” with “a people who are capable of working hard to produce a prosperous Ghana,” President Akufo-Addo noted that his government was determined to create conducive climate to stimulate private enterprise growth.
He said the 2017 ‘Asempa Budget’ contained policy initiatives that would create the needed fiscal space for government to implement its programmes and spur on the development of the private sector.
“It is only when we grow the economy that we will create jobs and prosperity for the people,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo reiterated his commitment to protecting the public purse and dealing with corruption through the “office of Special Prosecutor”, which will be independent of the Executive.
It will have the mandate to deal with issues of corruption and allegations of corruption against public office holders.
The meeting was attended by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia; Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei Opare; and Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.