The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and partners have launched the 2016 Country Profile for Ghana dubbed “Improving Energy Supply to drive Growth in the Country.”

It is aimed at providing analysis and recommendations on specific sectors beyond energy, a drive towards structural transformation to foster significant growth and sustainable social development, including its performance in areas like regional integration and the fight against social exclusion.

The 33-page document profile is predicated on the overview on national and sub-regional context, economic performance, social developments, the thematic analysis of poor energy supply as well as national data quality evaluation.

The report said Ghana has been in severe energy crisis since 2013, which became a source of major public outcry for the population, businesses, and industry, with resultant paralysis of the economy, in general.

The Country profile analysis demonstrated that the economy of Ghana is reliant strongly on a per capita electricity consumption and the load-shedding and power curtails had a negative impact on the economy impeding economic recovery, underpinned by lower production levels, high inflation, growing unemployment rates and lower living standards.

The report recommended the implementation of concrete policies within the energy sector to boost economic recovery including raising public awareness on better utility of electricity, innovative metering systems and investments in electricity and renewable energy across board.

Mr Dimitri Sanga, Director of ECA’s Sub-Regional Office for West Africa, said “Ghana in its quest to stimulate its socio-economic development has just passed a reform, through a ten-point agenda, aimed at transforming the industrial sector.

Boosting production, transportation and the distribution of electricity in Ghana should greatly contribute towards implementing this reform geared at creating jobs and prosperity for all”.

He called for greater collaboration from member countries in the future and pledged to facilitate better working relations by sending their methodologies to assist in data compilation to make production of the reports easy.

Dr Charles Godfred Ackah, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), said poor energy supply hampers economic backbone and growth, affecting businesses, productivity, job losses and standards of living.

He said Ghana’s economy needed serious attention because when the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 14 and 7 percent recorded in 2011 and 2012 respectively, failed to employ the teeming youth, the decelerating growth rates as being witnessed currently would have precarious situation for employment matters.

Dr Ackah said two percent of Ghanaians are poor with 2.2 million people, who could not afford 2.20 cedis a day classified as extremely poor.

On social development, he said the country has an increasing youthful population of the 27.6 million estimates of Ghana’s population in 2015, many of whom are in vulnerable or under-employment and called for creation of decent jobs and fine-tuning the labour market.

Mr Kwaku Adjei-Fosu, Deputy Director, Plan Coordination Division of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) called for sustained budget to the Statistical Service in order to strengthen capacity building and provide the necessary logistics to facilitate prompt capture and quality delivery of data for local and external consumption.

He suggested a disaggregation of data into locations for easy information as inequality continue to take downward trends saying profiling was good for planning purposes and needed to be sustained.

Source: GNA/