The Ghanaian Government, in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA) Sub-Regional Office for West Africa, launched the 2016 Country Profile for Ghana, in Accra.
The purpose of this initiative is to provide analyses and recommendations specific to Ghana following its drive towards structural transformation that will foster significant growth and sustainable social development, including its performance in areas such as regional integration and the fight against social exclusion.
According to this Country Profile, Ghana has, since 2013, been grappling with a severe energy crisis, which has brought about profound dismay within the population and paralysed the economy. The Country Profile holds that “Since December 2014, the situation of power cuts resulting from load-shedding has gone worst. Serious problems relating to the availability of quality electricity have dampened the economic prospects of the Country”.
Based on the 2014 study conducted by the Institut of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (Charles Ackah, 2015), Ghana loses, on average, some 2.1 million dollars per day (that is, 55.8 million dollars per month) in production because of the energy crisis alone. This figure is said to have stood at some 680 million dollars in 2014, that is, 2% of the GDP. Production and sales made by companies that did not have sufficient access to electricity ranged between 37% and 48% below the annual base.
The analysis contained in this Country Profile has shown that the economy of Ghana is strongly reliant on a per capita electricity consumption. The load-shedding experienced in recent years, caused by an inadequate supply of electricity, thus, has a negative impact on the Ghanaian economy. It also impedes Ghana’s economic recovery which is underpinned by lower production levels, high inflation, growing unemployment rates and lower living standards.
Consequently, the 2016 Country Profile for Ghana recommends the implementation of concrete policies within the electricity sector to boost economic recovery. These policies should mainly raise awareness among the population on how to better use electricity, run programs such as the prepaid meter system, invest in the electricity sector and develop renewable energy.
ECA is one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Its Office for West Africa aims to support the development of 15 countries across the sub region (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo) by helping them formulate and implement policies and programs that support their economic and social transformation.
The ECA Country Profiles were designed in 2015 in accordance with Resolution 917 of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (Abuja, 2014). Their aim is to provide African decision-makers with an independent analysis of their countries’ economic and social development and the progress made to achieve regional integration. Each Country Profile is based on data provided by member States and complement ongoing ECA efforts to improve the collection of statistical data in Africa.
The Country Profiles include various innovations such as the African Regional Integration Index, co-designed by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Union Commission (AUC), based on the five pillars of regional integration (trade, infrastructure, production, free movement of people, and financial and macroeconomic integration).