Ghana can transform Post-covid economic through digital creation of jobs – Mr laporte
Country Director of World Bank, Mr Pierre Laporte said in successive years, Ghana can make a positive impact in its econnomic transformation. This he said can be done if the country creates more and better jobs in the field of digital innovation and trade.
Mr Laporte spoke at the launch of World Banks’s new country economic memorandum (CEM) which was titled : “Ghana Rising – Accelerating Economic Transformation and Creating Higher Quality Jobs”. He said the COVID-19 pandemic has destroyed and weakened many economies and Ghana is of no exception. Therefore in order for the economy to bouce back, Ghana has to partake in global integration, technological transformation, macroeconomic stability, and financial sector development.
The Director is also in charge of Liberia and Sierra Leone. He said Ghana is more than capable of making giant strides in economic development if it took the right steps to nurture growth and job creation.
“This is the time for Ghana to fill that ‘missing middle’ by cultivating export-oriented activities in both manufacturing and services, and harnessing the transformative potential of trade; it faces an historic opportunity to do so with the Africa Free Trade Continental Area (AfCFTA),” he is noted to have said.
Mr Larporte cited four main pillars for economic acceleration and transformation which can improve job outcomes.
First, he said, was job creation, indicating that Ghana would need to drive sectorial transformation through the movement of workers into higher productivity firms and sectors and spatial transformation through trade, urbanization, and connectivity.
On top of his list, was job creation. He said Ghana would need to drive sectorial transformation through the movement of workers into higher productivity firms and sectors and spatial transformation through trade, urbanization, and connectivity.
“Global innovator services, in particular ICT and business services, could play a critical role” he said.
Mr Laporte advised that to icrease productivity growth and boost innovation and entrepreneurship, the country needs to invest more into technological transformation through the adoption of digital and complementary technologies in domestic firms, saying, “To enable this change, it will be key to improve internet connectivity, invest in foundational skills, advanced digital skills, and facilitate technology adoption for firms.”
He said the government needs to support the private sector development and this can by done by leveraging the financial sector to facilitate firm expansion, technology adoption and innovation.
“To enable long-term inclusive growth, Ghana will need to double down on macro-fiscal stability, natural resources management and revenue mobilisation (to generate the revenues to fund reforms for economic transformation). Environmental taxation can boost revenues while helping to minimise the impact of climate change on households and incentivise sustainable land-use,” he said.
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, commented on the theme of the CEM, saying it resonates with governments priority to create jobs for the youth and to create an entrepreneurial state as part of the post-COVID revitalisation of the economy.
He said it was estimated that about 10 million jobs has to be created between now and 2040 to absorb the labour force.
Highlighting on the report, David Elmaleh, World Bank Senior Economist, and co-author of the report, said, “This report lays out three scenarios for an accelerated economic transformation for better jobs.”
He said “Without reforms, in a ‘business as usual’ scenario, Ghana’s economy is currently projected to reach upper middle-income status by 2037, while under a ‘bright horizons’ scenario, which includes the adoption of some key reforms to drive economic transformation, Ghana’s economy could reach upper-middle-income status by 2032. However, under a ‘pitfalls’ scenario, Ghana would have to wait until 2040. The greatest impact on GDP would be from reforms to raise the productivity of export-oriented global innovator services and manufacturing. This can start now, under the new budget.”