The World Bank has raised concerns that Ghana might face difficulties in achieving its Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) regarding poverty reduction due to recent global economic shocks.
These economic shocks, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian-Ukraine War, and the global economic recession, have disrupted the country's progress towards reducing poverty by 2030, as more than a quarter of Ghanaians currently earn less than $2.15 per day.
The event focused on the theme “Delivering Growth through People for Better Jobs in Ghana” and included activities like a panel discussion on macroeconomic factors contributing to unemployment, industry perspectives on job creation, and policy recommendations for job creation.
Mr. Laporte emphasized the challenges faced by Ghana over the past year, noting that economic difficulties emerged following the twin crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
These events had a significant impact on the nation, compounding pre-existing fiscal vulnerabilities and exacerbating high inflation levels that further deteriorated poverty conditions.
The Country Director pointed to domestic factors, such as inflation and steep depreciation, along with limited international market access, as factors contributing to the increased poverty situation in Ghana.
He also noted that incomes had not kept pace with the surge in inflation, potentially pushing many Ghanaians into poverty.
To address these issues, Mr. Laporte urged the Ghanaian government to implement structural reforms aimed at sustaining long-term growth and enhancing economic resilience through agriculture and food systems.
Additionally, Paul David Elmaleh, a Senior Economist at the World Bank, highlighted that macroeconomic conditions, particularly food inflation and a substantial budget deficit coupled with debt accumulation, had exacerbated poverty levels in Ghana.
For instance, food inflation had a severe impact on poverty, resulting in 850,000 people falling into poverty in 2022.
Emmanuel Awuni, a private sector consultant at the World Bank, observed that Ghana's economic growth had not been congruent with job creation.
He called for reforms to align macroeconomic indicators with the extent to which progress could generate jobs for the nation's youth.
These measures are crucial to addressing the challenges presented by the recent economic shocks and achieving the poverty reduction goals set for 2030.