Mr Irchad Razaaly, The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Ghana, says Ghana’s economy is “bouncing back” despite current economic challenges.
Speaking at a Breakfast Meeting with editors in Accra on Friday, May 6, 2022, Mr Razaaly said Ghana’s recent removal from the EU’s Money Laundering list was indicative that the reforms implemented in the financial sector had yielded positive returns.
“…I know this is not a relief for the people who are paying 10 cedis for petrol but the truth of the matter is, this work conducted along the years by the financial sector makes it more resilient and is helping the economy to bounce back because even (though) there is an economic downturn, the good news is that the economy of Ghana is growing and bouncing back in terms of GDP,” he said.
Ghana’s economy grew by 0.4 per cent in 2020 largely as a result of the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
The economy bounced back to an appreciable rate, growing at 5.4 per cent in 2021 – 0.4 per cent above the government’s growth target of five per cent for last year.
This year, the Government has projected that the economy will grow by 5.8 per cent.
Mr Razaaly restated the EU’s commitment to the growth of Ghana’s economy and said the global economic crisis would not affect the Union’s financial commitment to the country.
He said the war in Ukraine had disrupted global supply chains and gave an assurance that the EU would continuously support its partners to build resilience to overcome the impact of the war on food security, health, and access to essential commodities.
“The EU in Ghana and elsewhere in the world will not diminish its financial support because of the situation in Ukraine,” he emphasised.
Last month, the EU signed a €203million agreement with Ghana under the Multiannual Indicative Programme for Ghana for 2021-27 to create green jobs, build smart and sustainable cities, and promote good governance and security.
Mr Razaaly said disbursements had not yet been made but there were ongoing projects being implemented as part of the programme.
The EU’s meeting with editors was facilitated by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and formed part of the Association’s activities to mark the 2022 World Press Freedom Day.
It also formed part activities to Mark the Europe Week in Ghana and the Europe Day, which is celebrated on every May 9 to commemorate a speech by French Foreign Minister, Robert Schuman, on 9 May 1950, which led to the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community the following year, leading to the formation of the European Union.
Mr Affail Monney, President of GJA, said the fallout of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war emphasised the need for journalists to sharpen their skills in solution-oriented journalism and be sensitive in their reportage.
Professor Amin Alhassan, Director General, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, appealed to media owners to resource journalists and “pay them well” to improve their economic conditions.
“The poorly paid journalist is a threat to national security,” he said.