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15 January 2017

BoG Governor positive about Ghana’s economic growth

Mr Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku, the Governor of Bank of Ghana (BoG), says Ghana’s economic prospects look brighter as the nation is currently free from worst energy crises.

He observed that though there were global uncertainties, the nation had the capability to address some of its economic hiccups.

Mr Issahaku said this in an interview with Oxford Business Group (OBG), a global publishing, research and consultancy firm, which deals in the publications of market economic intelligence.

He expressed the belief that the improvements in the nation’s energy supply were evident and added that the country’s fiscal imbalances were receiving robust remedial measures, which had boosted investor confidence and enhanced macroeconomic stability.

“Real growth for 2016 has been revised downwards but there are signs that point to a rebound in growth,” Mr Issahaku said and added that key developments, including new production at several oil and gas fields, should enable Ghana to meet growth projections of seven per cent in 2017, rising to eight per cent the following year.

Issahaku was also cautiously upbeat about the cedi’s prospects, saying he did not expect the local currency to come under the same levels of pressure seen in 2014 and 2015.

He gave the assurance that the BoG would work harder to address unfavourable competition between the cedi and other currencies to accelerate the growth of the economy.

“The Central Bank has instituted measures including tightening the monetary policy and tweaking the forex surrender policy,” he said.

A statement issued by Mr Marc-André de Blois, the Director of Communications of the OBG, however, indicated that, the full interview with the BoG Governor would be published in a report dubbed “The Report: Ghana 2017”, an OBG’s forthcoming publication on the country’s economy, which will be made accessible online and on other media outlets.

“The report would include in-depth analysis of Ghana’s banking industry, alongside interviews with representatives from both the private and public sectors,” the statement said.

Topics explored will include the shift away from branch banking towards digital services, which is helping lenders to meet the needs of younger customers and reach rural communities in a country where an estimated 70% of the population remains unbanked.

The report would also touch on some of the key trends, such as the allocation of resources to e-banking and partnerships with technology companies will be analysed in detail.

Mr Frank Adu Jr, the Managing Director of CAL Bank, who contributed to the report said the future of Ghana’s financial services sector will depend on the evolution and successful implementation of technology tools, particularly when it comes to accessing the large demographic of customers aged 18 to 35.

“Complex structured transactions and corporate finance structures will not be easily digitised, but we will in time see the digitisation of all standard services previously provided in a brick-and-mortar bank,” he observed.

The report will also feature concerns of representatives, including Mr Alexander Mould, Acting CEO, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Mr Seth Twum-Akwaboah, CEO, Association of Ghana Industries and Mr Kweku Bedu-Addo, Chairman, Ghana Stock Exchange.

Other contributors include Mr Valentina Mintah, CEO, West Blue Consulting, Mr Joe Tackie, Chairman, Steering Committee, Ghana Commodity Exchange and Mr Adam Afriyie, UK trade envoy to Ghana.

“The Report: Ghana 2017” has also received support from Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Association of Ghana Industries, Deloitte Ghana, Liberty Capital as well as AB and David law firm. GNA

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