International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Economic Outlook, 2016 has put Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita for 2015 at 1,340.4 dollars representing 5.9 per cent increase over the 2008 figure of 1,266.1 dollars.
A statement signed by the Communications Minister, Dr Omane Boamah, shows that Ghana’s 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).
It said human development was a more encompassing and comprehensive way to conceptualise development as it put people first, hence government acknowledged the gains made over the last few years in major human development indicators.
“Ghana achieved the Millennium Development Goal 1 target of reducing the proportion of poor people by half by 2015 in 2013 – a clear two years ahead of the deadline. A recent World Bank study; Poverty Reduction in Ghana: Progress and Challenges, supports this,” the statement said.
However, other recognised benchmarks show significant improvements owing largely to the unprecedented investments into critical sectors such as health, education, and water provision.
The statement said in terms of education, Ghana had the highest school enrolment rate in West Africa with over 90 per cent of eligible school children currently in school.
And as of the 2014/15 academic year 9,202,894 pupils/students were enrolled in 57,293 educational institutions from kindergarten to tertiary level indicating 30.74 per cent over enrolment in the 2008/9 academic year, it said.
The statement said: “Today Ghanaians are living longer and healthier lives than any other period in our history and Ghana’s life expectancy at birth has increased from 56 years in 1990 to 58 and 60 years in 2000 and 2008 respectively, (World Bank, 2015; World Health Organisation, 2016).”
It said government continued to invest heavily to improve the coverage and content of existing social welfare programmes while rolling out new social interventions to assist vulnerable groups in society.
With the Human Development Report in 2015, Ghana was placed in the Medium Human Development Category with a score of 0.579 higher than Nigeria (0.514), Kenya (0.548), Senegal (0.466) and Cote d’Ivoire (0.462) who all co-signed the Low Human Development Category by their respective scores, it said.
“This current score of 0.579 (57.9 per cent) is ahead of all its West African neighbours except for Cape Verde.” it said.
“It is clear from the facts stated that in various facets of our national life, Ghana is making significant strides and moving in the right direction with reasonable speed,” the statement quoted President Mahama as saying.
“President Mahama’s Government is encouraged by these positive developments and deems it as a call to do even more to bring further improvements in the lives and well-being of all Ghanaians. We shall continue to pursue The Agenda for Transformation to change more lives and transform Ghana,” it said.
The index is a composite indicator of health status, educational attainment (social development) coupled with per capita income (economic performance) and remains one of the most credible measures for human development across countries and regions worldwide.