Ghana's economic progress disappointing.

A posting on the Ghanareview.com website on March 24, 2006, quoted the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana to the effect that Ghana was now poised for a surge in growth. Specifically, the website summarized the Vice Chancellor's remarks as follows: " . . . A solid foundation had been laid for Ghana's economy to grow."

The Vice Chancellor conceded that a growth rate of 7 percent per year was required to begin to resolve Ghana's poverty.

A separate posting on the same website (March 13 2006) summarized remarks by Ghana's Vice President to the effect that the government was now committed to the diversification of its economy.

Among the poor countries of Africa, Ghana has the distinction of having a relatively high per capita income. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that for 2006, Ghana's per capita income will be us$2,717. Per capita income from 1997 through the end of 2006 will have grown an average of 4 percent annually, according to the IMF's statistics.

There is a marked difference in the per capita income growth rate between the first half of the decade and the second half of the decade. For the first five years, per capita income grew an average of 3.4 percent annually. During the second five years (including 2006) growth averaged 4.5 percent.

Inflation remains a serious problem. The average annual increase in the rate of inflation for the decade is 19 percent. During the first five years the rate of inflation grew an average of 22.6 percent. During the past five years, the rate of inflation grew 15.4 percent. The IMF says the rate of inflation will finish 2006 having grown 8.7 percent-a significant improvement.

The Ghanian Chronicle (Accra), on March 14, 2006, however, carried a report on a presentation by an economist who was severely critical of the government's efforts and who accused the government of misrepresenting progress in the country. The economist gave several examples of inconsistencies in government reporting on key infrastructure projects. And he was particularly disapproving of the government's efforts to reign...

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