Akufo-Addo’s Speech in Switzerland: 3 Claims Fact-Checked – 2 Entirely True

As part of a two-day State visit to Switzerland, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo delivered a statement at the Federal Assembly of the Swiss Confederation in Bern on Friday, February 28, 2020. He made claims on macroeconomic indices, Gross Domestic Product and Investments. The Media Foundation for West Africa’s (MFWA’s) fact-checking team has examined three of the claims. Below are the specific three claims that have been subjected to fact-checking and the bases for the verdicts.

Claim 1: “We have succeeded, over the last three years, in ensuring that all our macroeconomic indices are pointing in the right direction.”

Verdict: Mostly True

Explanation: There are a number of macroeconomic growth indicators; but, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Consumer Price Index (Inflation), Investment and Employment rates remain some of the mostly referenced. Available data indicate a positive trend for all the aforementioned indicators except Employment since 2017 when Akufo-Addo assumed power.

On GDP, according to data from the World Bank, Ghana recorded a GDP growth rate of 8.14% in 2017 and 6.26% in 2018. The World Bank also projected Ghana’s GDP growth rate in 2019 at 7.6%. Compared with 3.6% growth rate recorded in 2016, the GDP has been improving since 2017.

On Consumer Price Index (Inflation), according to data from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), the most recent inflation rate recorded (January 2020) is 7.8%. This is a 0.1% reduction from the previous month (7.9%) and among the lowest in recent years.

On Investment, a report released in 2019 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) titled “UNCTAD Global Investment Trends Monitor” indicates Ghana is the largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) in West Africa, a position previously held by Nigeria.

However, on employment, the recent Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS 7) released in June 2019, indicates that unemployment rate (15 years and older) is 8.4%. This is a rise compared with the previous survey (GLSS 6) which reported 5.2%.

 

Claim 2: “[Our] interventions have led to Ghana recording an annual GDP average growth rate of 7% since 2017, making Ghana, consistently, one of the world’s fastest growing economies during the period.”

Verdict: Entirely True

Explanation: According to data from the World Bank, Ghana recorded a GDP growth rate of 8.14% in 2017 and 6.26% in 2018. The World Bank also projected Ghana’s GDP growth rate in 2019 at 7.6% The average of the GDP growth rate for the past three years is therefore 7.3%. Based on this record, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its 2019 World Economic Outlook Report places Ghana among the fastest growing economies.

 

Claim 3: “We have one of the most business-friendly economies in Africa, evidenced in our status as the largest recipient of foreign direct investment in West Africa.”

Verdict: Entirely True

Explanation: The current World Bank Ease of Doing Business report (2020) ranks Ghana among the best countries in Africa to do business, despite a slip of 4 places from the previous rankings (World Bank Ease of Doing Business report 2019).

Also, a 2019 report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) titled “UNCTAD Global Investment Trends Monitor” indicates Ghana is the largest recipient of the foreign direct investment (FDI) in West Africa.

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