Gov’t admits to error in economic gains report

By | June 8, 2016

General News of Wednesday, 8 June 2016



Dr Edward Omane Boamah Comms Min Edward Omane Boamah, Minister of Communications

Communications Minister, Edward Omane-Boamah, has admitted that an aspect of a Human Development report claiming that Ghana’s GDP per capita was higher than that of Kenya was not accurate.

Edward Omane Boamah admitted on Top Story Wednesday that part of the report that stated, “our current per capita income is also higher than that of Cote d’Ivoire (US$1,314.7), Senegal (US$913.0) and Kenya (US$1,338.5)” could not have been entirely correct.

“Kenya’s [GDP per capita income] is $1,388 there about, Ghana’s is $1340,” he said but, was quick to add that, “it is also clear that Ghana’s also greater than that of Cote d’Iviore, that cannot be contested. That of Ghana is also greater than that of Senegal, that cannot also be contested.”

He maintained that in terms of purchasing power, Ghana was performing better than Kenya.

Edward Omane-Boamah, however, cautioned against too much focus on a minute part of the 12-page report on economic growth.

He said a chunk of the report focused on progress made by government in human development indicators, and not on economic indicators – suggesting that that should be how the report should be analysed.

“Mere economic growth and its associated indicators are necessary but not sufficient measurements of human well-being. We believe human development is a more encompassing and comprehensive way to conceptualise development as it puts people first. In this light, government acknowledges the gains made over the last few years in major human development indicators,” Dr Omane-Boamah quoted portions of the report.

MP for Obuasi West and a member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, however, said the indicators – economic growth and human development – as well as other stated achievements in the recently published report, do not measure up to previous accomplishments by the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

According to Kwaku Kwarteng, the report touting progress in human development under the current administration is instead a decline.

Government says it achieved the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target to halve the proportion of poor people two clear years before a 2015 deadline, citing World Bank studies that support this claim.

Government also claimed that the country’s current per capita income is either higher or at par with its West African neighbours.

Kwaku Kwarteng, however, said on Top Story on Joy FM Wednesday, that government may be gloating over insignificant gains.

“Even for these indicators, we have deteriorated. These indicators have always demonstrated some progress, but in themselves are not sufficient. They [government] have to look at the hard facts on the ground,” Mr Kwarteng said.

He said considering that government had access to money from the oil sector, its trumpeted achievements are mere noise.

“This is an administration that has got oil money – $3.2 billion at the close of last year. No other previous government got this money. This is a government that has collected more taxes than any other government. This is a government that has borrowed far more than any other government borrowed and yet this is a government that is giving us an economy that is growing at 3.8%,” said Kwaku Kwarteng.