Nana Akomea’s claim of Ghana’s GDP growth being world’s best before COVID-19 false

The Vice Chairman of the Bawumia Campaign Team, Nana Akomea, has said before the outbreak of COVID-19, Ghana’s GDP growth was the best in the world.

He made the claim while praising the Nana Addo and Bawumia-led government for their stellar economic management, stating that the impressive achievements chalked by the administration began to decline due to the global pandemic and how it crashed almost all countries in the world.

Nana Akomea, also the Managing Director of the State Transport Corporation (STC), was interacting with the New Patriotic Party (NPP) sympathizers at the NPP UK Town Hall Meeting at TBC Oasis House on Sunday, June 23, 2024, when he made the claim.

Fact-Check Ghana has verified the claim and presents the facts below

Claim: “Ghana’s economic GDP growth was the best in the world, 8% 2017, 6.5% 2018, 6.2% 2019, and we had Covid in 2020.”

Verdict: False

Explanation:

Investopedia defined the GDP growth rate as the comparison of the year-over-year (or quarterly) change in a country’s economic output. It is usually expressed in a percentage rate. This measurement helps economists, policymakers, and investors gauge the overall health and trajectory of an economy over time.

In the claim, Nana Akomea emphasised Ghana’s GDP growth rate from 2017 to 2019, Fact-Check Ghana retrieved records from the World Bank Group to verify the validity of his statement.

According to the World Bank and Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) data, Ghana had an 8.1 growth rate in 2017 which was not the highest in Africa. In the year under review, even in Africa, Guinea recorded the highest growth rate at 10.3%, followed by Ethiopia at 9.6%, and Somalia at 9.5%.

Ghana’s growth rate was 6.26%, as per the World Bank and GSS data in 2018. This was a decline from the previous year’s growth and not the best in Africa. Rwanda had the highest growth rate in Africa with 8.5%, followed by The Gambia and Niger all recording 7.2%. Ethiopia had 6.8%, Benin 6.7%, Burkina Faso 6.6%, Guinea 6.4%, Uganda 6.3% and both Senegal and Ghana had 6.2%

The World Bank data shows that in 2019, Rwanda recorded the highest growth rate with 9.5% followed by Ethiopia at 8.4%, with Cabo Verde and Benin both making 6.9%. Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana had the same growth rate of 6.5%.

The Vice Chairman of the Bawumia Campaign Team interchanged the GDP growth rates of 2018 and 2019 in his presentation.

Calculating the average GDP growth rate within the three years stated by Nana Akomea, Fact-Check Ghana observed that Ghana was not the best as per the data. The average growth rates within those three years placed Ethiopia first with 8.3%, and Guinea second with 7.4%. Rwanda at 7.3%, Ghana at 6.9%, Benin at 6.4%, Cote d’Ivoire at 6.3% and Burkina Faso at 6.2%, Both Gambia and Senegal recorded 6.1% average growth rate and Niger 6.0% in that order for the first ten Sub Sahara countries.

Thus, even in Africa Ghana’s average GDP growth rate from 2017 to 2019 was not the highest even though it was among the fastest-growing on the continent. Nana Akomea’s claim is therefore false.

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