Nana Akufo-Addo’s claim about Ghana’s GDP growth rate was found to be half true while his claim about the unemployment of hygiene workers was found to be entirely true. He was speaking at the New Patriotic Party’s manifesto launch in Accra on October 09, 2016. Below are the specific claims he made, the fact-checking verdicts and the bases for the verdicts.
Claim 1: The economy has shrunk systematically with this year’s GDP growth rate being the lowest for 22 years.
Verdict: Half True
Explanation: If one is to use the projected GDP growth estimate of the IMF for 2016 which stood at 3.33%, then Akufo-Addo’s claim would be perfectly accurate. This is because it was in 1994 that Ghana recorded a GDP growth of 3.3%. However, there’s considerable uncertainty surrounding the projected growth for the year 2016, hence it is quite untenable to categorically claim that 2016 GDP growth will be less than what was recorded in 1994.
Claim 2: No one who has been through the school of hygiene for the past four years has been placed in our health system. I have met many of them and thousands more like him.
Verdict: Entirely True
Explanation: For some years now, graduates of the school of hygiene have been agitating for employment. In recent times the Local Government Workers’ Union (LGWU) of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC), has joined the fight to get the school of hygiene graduates employed. In January this year, the LGWU has appealed to the government to extend its employment gesture to graduates of the country’s schools of hygiene. A statement signed by the LGWU General-Secretary, Mr. Joe Boahen, in January this year said:
“It is unfortunate that 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 batches of graduates of the schools of hygiene have not been employed. These graduates have now formed the Concerned Environmental Health Officers Association and have been calling on the authorities to speed up issues on their employment situation.”
On Monday April 4, 2016, some of the graduates of school of hygiene picketed at the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations over the failure of the government to engage them.
In an apparent response to the pressure from the school of hygiene graduates’ demands, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu, said they would be enrolled on the Youth Employment Programme. He said: “While I work on the clearance from the Ministry of Finance and Local Government, we will absorb the 1, 470 of them under the Youth Employment Agency.”
He said their engagement by the YEA would be temporary, and will expire after one year.