afrol News, 4 October - Ghana has had one of West Africa's strongest economic growth rates before and during the crisis. The growth continues, and now, Ghana is preparing for next year's foreseen boom.
The Ghanaian economy has been among Africa's top ten performers during the last decade and will also be so during 2010, according to an analysis from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Also the latest data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) confirms this AfDB analysis. Peter Allum, who led an IMF team in Accra last week, concludes that the Ghanaian "economy grew by 4.1 percent in 2009, with a pick-up to the 5–6 percent range projected for 2010."
The IMF even has improved its GDP growth projection since its last analysis, in June. At that point, Ghana's GDP was expected to grow by around 4.5 percent this year.
Mr Allum said that the strong growth was "led by a recovery in construction and strong business services activity" ahead of the projected start of oil production in Ghana around end-2010.
And it is the programmed start of oil production that really sees Ghana's economy booming in about one year. GDP growth in 2011 is projected at over 20 percent due to oil production. Without oil, Ghana's economy still is expected to grow at an impressing rate of 6 percent in 2011. Similar numbers are expected for 2012 and 2013.
The sound growth, substantially higher than population growth, means that the Ghanaian per capita economy also has grown. Even in 2009, GDP per capita grew by 1.6 percent, and in the typical year, it grows by 3 percent.
The IMF analysis is fairly optimistic for Ghana in the upcoming oil economy, foreseeing substantial GDP per capita growth and poverty reduction. With a new Petroleum Law and Oil Revenue Management bill, Ghana was preparing for this new era.
Especially state revenues were foreseen to increase, and public spending could be extended to new areas. But the IMF already was seeing negative tendencies of overspending by Accra authorities. Mr Allum had observed "substantially larger budget deficits and public borrowing than envisaged" in the 2011 budget.
The Fund advised the Ghanaian government to "tailor spending plans to projected revenues, which oil incomes will increase only modestly in the coming years."
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