I certainly hope this is true. I do know that Ghana needs to increase employment for this to happen. There are many people I know in Ghana, especially many young people, willing and able to work, but who can’t find jobs. We need many more small businesses in Ghana providing employment. There are features of doing business that make business more difficult, such as the obstructive practices of Ghana Telecom. But at least cell phones can provide an alternative to Telecom. Ghana needs to be business friendly, and to look after the interests of all her citizens.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday said Ghana, at its current development pace, could achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of halving poverty in 2012 ahead of 2015 deadline.

Mr. Sam Itam, Senior Advisor in the African Department of the IMF, said even though the situation might not be true for most African countries, Ghana’s economic performance over the last few years has been very satisfactory with real GDP growth increasing from 3.7 per cent in 2000 to 5.9 per cent in 2005. Mr. Itam noted that the situation had led to a more than doubling of the growth of real GDP per capita from 1.2 per cent in 2000 to 3.2 per cent in 2005.
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Ghana has a three-year PRGF arrangement with the IMF to support Ghana’s poverty reduction strategy approved in May 2003 for 274.20 million dollars. This was later extended until October 31, 2006. In the last few years, economic activity has broadened and while agriculture continues to be a key sector, manufacturing and construction are emerging as important contributors to overall growth.

Mr Itam said even though the process of disinflation had not been smooth, 12-month inflation declined from 40.5 per cent in 2000 to 14.8 per cent in 2005.

Inflation has been well contained more recently, apart from the impact of oil price increases in the context of high world crude prices and the recent adoption of a full-cost pass-through regime. The inflation figure declined to a single digit levels in March- April 2006 for the first time in more than 20 years.

Mr. Itam described policy implementation that has underpinned the good economic performance throughout the programme period of 2003-2006 as satisfactory.

Overall deficit has reduced from 6.7 per cent of GDP in 2003 to 3.0 per cent of GDP in 2005. Total public debt declined substantially as a result of both fiscal prudence and debt relief under the HIPC Initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative went down from about 24 per cent of GDP in 2000 to 11 per cent of GDP in 2005. Mr Itam said he was happy that government was able to maintain fiscal consolidation resulting in a significant reduction in domestic debt service.