Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s achievement as president so far has been phenomenal, his vice-president, Mahamudu Bawumia, has said.
Dr Bawumia has also asked for God’s blessings for his boss for his dedicated and selfless service to Ghana as he celebrates his 77th birthday today, 29 March 2021.
“Happy birthday to my boss, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. May God bless you for all the good work you continue to do for Ghana,” he wrote on Facebook.
He added: “Your achievements so far have been phenomenal and I wish you long life and heavenly wisdom to keep leading Ghana to greater heights.”
Akufo-Addo is out of the country attending a conference on the Africa-Spain relationship in Madrid. He is expected to return tomorrow (Tuesday 30 March 2021).
Akufo-Addo was born on 29 March 1944 to a former president and member of the Big Six, Edward Akufo-Addo, and Adeline Akufo-Addo.
He is a lawyer and politician who previously served as attorney general from 2001 to 2003 and as foreign affairs minister from 2003 to 2007 in the Kufuor-led government.
He assumed office as president on 7 January 2017 after winning the 2016 elections. He then won the 2020 presidential election and is serving a second term.
List of 85 achievements
Meanwhile, the vice-president has given firm indications of imminent take-off by the Akufo-Addo government to implement its second-term vision after the approval of the first Budget of its second term.
Parliament approved the 2021 Budget last week and the House is expected to finalise the Appropriation Bill today (29 March) to pave the way for normal government business to resume.
The government is eager to start implementing its second-term programmes, said Bawumia, who is also the head of the government’s economic management team. He then outlined the main first-term achievements of the Akufo-Addo government.
“Dear Friends, as we look forward to the implementation of the 2021 Budget in our second term, it is important that we take note of the accomplishments of the Nana Akufo-Addo government in our first term after inheriting an economy in crisis,” Dr Bawumia wrote on Facebook.
He went on to list the major first-term accomplishments in various sectors.
On macroeconomic management, Dr Bawumia listed a reduction in inflation from 15.4% in 2016 to 10.4% at the end of 2020, reduction of average lending rates from 32% in 2016 to 21% in 2020, lowest average exchange-rate depreciation for any first-term government since 1992 (at 7.3%), increased internal reserves (from US$6.1 billion in 2016 to $68.7 billion in 2020) and upgraded sovereign credit rating from B- to B among many gains.
Vice-President Bawumia also listed the success of the One District, One Factory industrialisation programme, increased food production through Planting for Food and Jobs, introduction of a pension scheme for cocoa farmers and the creation of roughly 550,000 public employment opportunities, including doctors, teachers, nurses and other health workers as well as police officers.
Dr Bawumia also touched on government efforts to reduce the rate of debt accumulation per annum. This is down from an average of 243% per annum between 2012 and 2016 to an average of 137% per annum between 2017 and 2020.
Courage in the face of challenges
As the government looks forward to its second term, Dr Bawumia acknowledged certain challenges facing the Ghanaian economy, especially from the impact of COVID-19.
He however offered assurances that the government will do its best to transform the Ghanaian economy for the benefit of all.
“Notwithstanding these solid achievements, there are still challenges facing the Ghanaian economy and Ghanaians following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and I look forward to working with President Akufo-Addo to address these challenges and deliver on his vision to transform and modernise the economy for the benefit of all Ghanaians in our second term,” Dr Bawumia wrote.
Below is the list of accomplishments as posted by Dr Bawumia:
- Inflation has been reduced from 15.4% in 2016 to 10.4% at the end of 2020.
- Reduced average lending rates from 32% in 2016 to 21% in 2020.
- The average exchange-rate depreciation over the past four years (7.3%) is the lowest for any first-term government since 1992. The year 2020 recorded the lowest rate of depreciation in the past 28 years.
- Cleaned up the mess in the financial sector that we inherited and saved the deposits of 4.6 million depositors.
- Ghana has been consistently one of the fastest-growing economies in the world for each of the past four years, notwithstanding the decline in GDP growth to 0.9% in 2020 as a result of COVID-19.
- For the first time in over two decades, the trade balance (the difference between what we export and what we import) recorded a surplus for four consecutive years between 2017 and 2020.
- Ghana’s gross international reserves increased from $6.1 billion (3.5 months of imports) in 2016 to $8.6 billion in 2020 (4.1 months of imports).
- Successfully exited the IMF programme.
- Ghana’s sovereign credit rating upgraded from B- in 2016 to B with a stable outlook, the country’s first upgrade in ten years.
- Planting for Food and Jobs has increased food production. This has led to a 71% increase in national production of maize and 34% in paddy rice.
- The Global Food Security Index, which measures affordability, availability and quality of food across 113 countries, placed Ghana in 59th position in 2019, up from 78th in 2016.
- Introduced a pension scheme for cocoa farmers, the first such scheme since independence.
- Established a Tree Crop Development Authority with a focus on mango, cashews, rubber, oil palm, shea and coconut.
- Implemented the One District, One Warehouse initiative.
- Implemented the One District, One Factory Initiative. In four years, 76 companies have begun operating under 1D1F.
- The new Automotive Sector Development Policy has made it possible for VW, Sinotruk, Kantanka Group and Nissan to assemble vehicles in Ghana.
- We have established the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) and the Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC), both of which are progressing steadily in developing these industries.
- Established the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO). A hundred thousand graduates have been employed.
- Recruited nurses, doctors and other health-care workers, teachers, police officers and many others to the public sector, after many years of an employment freeze under the previous government. At least 550,000 public-sector workers have been recruited.
- Import duties reduced by between 30% and 50%.
- Lowest average annual increase (8.25%) in petroleum prices in the Fourth Republic.
- Cumulatively, we reduced electricity tariffs for residential, business and industrial consumers during our first term, the only government in the Fourth Republic to do so.
- The rate of growth of the debt stock has been reduced from an average of 243% per annum between 2012 and 2016 to an average of 137% per annum between 2017 and 2020. The debt-to-GDP ratio however increased from 56.8% in 2016 to 76.1% in 2020, largely as a result of the fiscal impact of COVID-19, excess capacity charges and the cost of the financial sector clean-up.
- Restarted the operations of AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi Mine, the Ghana Publishing Company, WAMCO and GhanaPost, with attendant job creation.
- We have enrolled 15.5 million people on the biometric National ID card (GhanaCard) scheme.
- We have implemented a digital addressing system capturing every square inch of land or water in Ghana.
- Implemented the groundbreaking Mobile Money Interoperability (MMI) project. Ghana is the only country in the world that has thus far implemented our version of MMI.
- Ghana is the fastest-growing mobile money market in Africa. The country has 36.9 million registered mobile money accounts.
- Ghana is the first country in the world to implement a Universal QR Code payment system which accommodates both bank accounts and mobile wallets.
- We have made it easy for people to renew their National Health Insurance membership on their phone without having to spend precious time in long queues.
- ECG customers can now easily buy pre-paid electricity units conveniently from wherever they are, using their mobile phone.
- The online passport application processes are helping many people and making it easier to obtain a passport.
- Digitisation at the ports, elimination of the long room, streamlined inspections and enhanced enforcement have made it easier to clear goods and have curbed corruption in the process.
- Following digitisation at the Scholarship Secretariat, everyone is able to apply for a scholarship and receive the same in the comfort of his or her home via online application.
- We have digitised our courts system by introducing:
– an e-justice system to end the manual filing processes of the Ghana Case Tracking System
– electronic case tracking
– an electronic case distribution system to ensure the fair, equitable and transparent distribution of cases.
- We have implemented the digitisation of the Motor Insurance Database. All insurance policies, which now have key security features, have been synchronised to a national database that can be accessed simply, using any mobile phone, by the insured, the police and the public.
- We have digitised the operations of the DVLA and today our citizens have a much more convenient and easy way to acquire a driver’s licence and register their vehicles.
- We have started automation of our hospitals and we have seen efficient and improved service delivery at hospitals that have implemented this. The goal is to go paperless in all hospitals within two years.
- We have completed the infrastructure to provide free wifi to all 722 senior high schools, the 46 colleges of education and 260 district education offices, as well as an initial successful pilot around 13 public universities.
- We have developed a one-stop shop for government services (Ghana.Gov). The process of on-boarding all government institutions is ongoing. On this website you can apply for and obtain various government services from MMDAs.
- By making the National ID number the TIN number, we have increased the number of people with TIN numbers from 750,000 in 2016 to 15.5 million.
- By making the National ID number the SSNIT number, we have increased the number of people with SSNIT numbers from three million to 15.5 million.
- The National Health Insurance number is now your GhanaCard number.
- The digitisation of the births and deaths registry is 80% complete.
- Abolished excise duty on petroleum.
- Reduced the special petroleum tax rate from 17.5% to 15%.
- Abolished the 1% Special Import Levy.
- Abolished the 17.5% VAT/NHIL on domestic airline tickets.
- Abolished the 17.5% VAT/NHIL on financial services.
- Abolished the 17.5% VAT/NHIL on selected imported medicines that are not produced locally.
- Abolished the 5% VAT/NHIL on real estate sales.
- Abolished import duty on spare parts.
- Reduced National Electrification Scheme Levy from 5% to 3%.
- Reduced Public Lighting Levy from 5% to 2%.
- Introducing a new basic curriculum from kindergarten to primary six with a focus on reading, writing, arithmetic and creativity.
- The government is now paying the examination registration fees of BECE and WASSCE candidates.
- Teacher training allowances have been restored.
- Nursing training allowances have been restored.
- Scholarships increased by 70%.
- The One Constituency, One Ambulance policy has been implemented.
- Introduced drones to deliver critical medicine, vaccines and blood to people in remote parts of the country. Ghana has now the largest medical drone delivery service in the world.
- SSNIT pensions can now be received within ten days of application.
- President Akufo-Addo’s government has expanded school feeding by 78%.
- We have expanded the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme by 53%.
- Doubled the capitation grant.
- Abolished utility bills for tertiary students.
- Abolished the three-month arrears policy for teachers who have worked two to three years.
- Abolished the fees for postgraduate medical training.
- President Akufo-Addo has also abolished market tolls for kayayei.
- Established the Zongo Development Fund to address the needs of zongo and inner-city communities.
- Increased allowances for peacekeeping soldiers from $30 to $35.
- Increased the share of the District Assemblies Common Fund to individuals with disabilities by 50%.
- Implementation of our pledge to recruit 50% of the people who manage Ghana’s toll booths from among people with disabilities.
- Established the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Progamme (NEIP).
- Establishing a Ghana Commodities Exchange.
- Launching a comprehensive building code for Ghana for the first time.
- Implemented One Village, One Dam and constructed over 400 dams.
- President Akufo-Addo has also created six new regions to help promote decentralised and inclusive development.
- Not a single case of cholera in Ghana in the past four years.
- The massive investment in water and sanitation facilities in many rural and deprived communities by our government has resulted in over 5,400 communities being declared open defecation-free (ODF).
- The largest investment in infrastructure (roads, railways, schools, etc) by any first-term government in the Fourth Republic (www.deliverytracker.gov.gh).
- Improved the financing of governance and anti-corruption MDAs such as the Ministry of Justice and Office of the Attorney General, NCCE, CHRAJ, EOCO etc.
- World-class leadership demonstrated by President Akufo-Addo in managing COVID-19. Notwithstanding the impact of COVID-19, inflation, interest rates and exchange-rate depreciation are much lower today than they were in 2016!
- A long-running chieftaincy dispute in Dagbon has been resolved against all odds.
- Implemented Free Senior High School and Free TVET education.
“Notwithstanding these solid achievements, there are still challenges facing the Ghanaian economy and Ghanaians following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” wrote Vice-President Bawumia, “and I look forward to working with President Akufo-Addo to address these challenges and deliver on his vision to transform and modernise the economy for the benefit of all Ghanaians in our second term.”