There’s a story by one Ekow Dontoh, under Bloomberg (5th February), touting Ghana’s economy as the “Star of Africa” at the same time that Ghanaians, ranging from petty traders to big companies, are complaining about a weak economy and low sales. Here are a few things to know.
1. It is not uncommon for governments in trouble to engage PR firms using legitimate media outlets to plant false stories that make them look better than they are. This might be one of them, especially given the blatant distortions and lies in the story.
2. According to the story, Ghana is to become “Africa’s fastest-growing economy this year – for the first time in at least three decades.”
Here are the facts:
Fact 1: In October 2017, the IMF projected 2018 economic growth for Ghana at 8.9% (with oil); Ethiopia 8.5% (without oil), and Cote d’Ivoire 7.3% (without oil).
Exactly one month later, the Government of Ghana reported in its budget to Parliament that economic growth in 2018 would be a more realistic 6.8%, far lower than those of Ethiopia and Cote d’Ivoire.
Fact 2: As recently as 2011, Bloomberg and other global media outlets reported Ghana as having the fastest economic growth in the world, not just Africa, at 14.0% that year. That’s certainly not three decades ago. Doesn’t Bloomberg fact-check stories submitted by its reporters? Or they value propaganda more than their integrity?
3. The real record of NPP’s mismanagement of the economy does not appear in the Bloomberg story (as it was meant to be propaganda, not factual reporting). In its 2016 manifesto, the NPP promised Ghanaians that they would “achieve double digit growth annually for the next four years”.
In its 2018 budget to Parliament, however, these are the growth rates that the NPP Government projected: 2018, 6.8%; 2019, 7.3%; 2020, 5.6%; and 2021, 5.3%.
The growth rates are not only single digits but they are generally declining, a clear indication of the government’s failure to deliver on its economic promises to Ghanaian, and the main reason why Ghanaians are complaining of increasing hardships.
These hardships will worsen as the economy slows down in the coming years as per their own projections.
Ghanaians should brace for difficult days ahead and watch out for propaganda designed to cover up the associated hardships.