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GHANA





Special Report


‘middle income status’ mean for Ghana?


What does


Ghana attained a middle income status in November 2010 when government statisticians discovered that the economy had been undervalued by 60% and the Gross National Product now stood at $31bn, reports Clair MacDougall from Accra.


The value of Ghana’s GNP has been upgraded since the base year for price estimates was changed


Bediako, that Ghana had attained a middle income status, made headlines across the nation. With the government finding that the economy had been undervalued by 60%, the Gross National Product was now valued at $31bn; this was after the base year used for compiling constant price estimates was pushed from 1993 to 2006. The new figures incorporated the


significant growth of the banking and telecoms sectors. They also revealed the services sector now dominates Ghana’s economy, taking a 51% share, followed by agriculture on 31%, and the industrial sector on 18%. The figures point to a recent and dramatic change in the fabric of the Ghanaian economy that historically has been dependent on mining and agriculture. More significantly, the rebasing of the


W


hen Ghana joined the league of African oil- producing nations on 15 December 2010, President John Atta Mills set forth


his ambition for the nation to move beyond its economic dependence on raw materials and become a “prosperous industrial nation” with a diversified economy. Since the ceremony in which the


president made this statement, positive 46 | March 2011 New African


news stories have captured the headlines: (i) the government’s discovery that the economy had been undervalued by 60% and that Ghana had consequently reached middle income status; (ii) the increasing levels of foreign direct investment; and (iii) the government’s projected annual economic growth rate of 12.3%, taking into account this year’s oil revenues. In November 2010, the announcement by the government statistician, Dr Grace


economy pushed the per capita income up to just over $1,318, almost $500 over the previous estimate of $753, thus elevating Ghana into the World Bank’s “lower middle income status” category, signifying a major leap forward for the country. In early last year, the IMF had already predicted that oil revenues would push Ghana into the middle income category some time in 2011. While according to the Gross National


Income, the nation fits into the World Bank’s lower middle income category, the nation is yet to be classified as such by the World Bank, which releases its annual


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