Ghana’s President delivered his State of the Nation Address (“SONA”) on 30 March 2022. The SONA provided an update on the Government’s implementation of key policies outlined in the 2022 Budget Statement.
1. Infrastructure; Agenda 111
The government is constructing 111 hospitals which are expected to be commissioned before 7 January 2025. Agenda 111 is expected to create 33,900 jobs for construction workers, and upon completion, 34,300 jobs for health workers.
2. COVID-19 Related Expenditure
Ghana has spent GHS 17.7 billion (or 4.6% of GDP) in containing COVID-19. These expenditures included but were not limited to health professionals’ recruitment, the payment of extra incentives to frontline health workers, keeping children and teachers in school safely, and providing households with water and electricity during the period.
3. Russia – Ukraine Conflict
The President emphasized that the Russia – Ukraine Conflict has had a direct impact on Ghana and has contributed to rising living costs at markets and fuel stations, as 30% of Ghana’s wheat flour and fertilizer imports come from Russia, 600% of iron rods and other metal sheets are imported from Ukraine, and almost 20% of Ghana’s manganese is shipped to Ukraine.
4. Upgrade and Construction of TVET Institutions
- 34 refurbished National Vocational and Technical Institutes are expected to be commissioned in 2022.
- The construction of five (5) technical colleges is expected to begin in 2022.
- Three (3) technical institutes are expected to be upgraded to tertiary status in 2022.
- The initial phase for the construction of nine (9) TVET campuses is expected to commence in April 2022.
- Government is in the process of securing financing for the construction of five (5) STEM universities in Ghana’s five (5) new regions.
- The Bunso campus of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development is expected to be turned into a standalone, independent University focused on the study of Engineering, with construction expected to begin in June 2022.
The Government is undertaking a comprehensive renovation and modernization of tourist attractions across the country, such as the Cape Coast and Elmina Castles, and Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, to position Ghana as the preferred tourism destination in West Africa.
6. Planting for Food and Jobs
- The Tono Irrigation Dam has been fully rehabilitated.
- 13,190 hectares of additional irrigable land, through the rehabilitation of Tono, Kpong Left Bank, and Kpong Irrigation Schemes, are available for rice and vegetable cultivation.
- The construction of 80 warehouses, with a combined storage capacity of 80,000 metric tonnes, has been completed.
- Through the Ghana Peri-urban Vegetable Value Chain Project, the Government has provided irrigation infrastructure covering a total of 541 hectares. The government has also provided inputs and technical support to vegetable farmers at Hikpo in the Volta Region and Asokwa in the Ashanti Region.
- Ghana produced 1,047,385 tonnes of cocoa in 2021, the highest ever recorded in Ghana’s history.
- Ghana has begun paying cocoa farmers a Living Income Differential of US$ 400 per tonne of cocoa.
- A non-adjustable weighing scale for the purchase of cocoa from cocoa farmers that cannot be tampered with by purchasers has been introduced.
- The government is training 537 youth in the production of high-value vegetables using greenhouse technology, with 190 of them engaged in an 11-month internship in Israel.
8. Revenue Generation
- The Electronic Transfer Levy Act, 2022 (Act 1075) has been passed.
- Customs revenue increased by 27.6% to GHS 14.36 billion between June 2020 and May 2021 through the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS). Ghana recorded a 2021 custom revenue of GHS 16.08 billion, up from GHS 12.03 billion in 2019 when the ICUMS had not been implemented.
The digitisation of hospital records has begun through the LightWave Health Information Management System.
10. One District One Factory (“1D1F”)
- 106 factories are currently operational, 148 are under construction, and 24 projects are at the mobilization stage.
- 58 out of the intended 278 1D1F projects have been developed as enterprises fully owned by youth groups, with direct Government support.
- 5 medium-scale state-of-the-art agro-processing common-user facilities owned by farmers have been established with direct support from Government.
The Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) has been launched to connect African banks, payment service providers and other financial market intermediaries to enable instant and secure payments between African countries.
12. Automobile Industry
- Global vehicle manufacturing companies such as Toyota and Suzuki have set up assembly plants in Ghana and have started producing vehicles for both Ghanaian and West African markets.
- The Minister of Finance has announced an embargo on the importation of 4×4 vehicles for official use.
The Right to Information Act, the Witness Protection Act, and the Criminal Offences Amendment Act have been passed.
14. Roads and Infrastructure
The Tamale Interchange, the first in the northern sector of Ghana, has been commissioned.
- 279 communities have been connected to the national grid increasing the national electricity access rate from 85.17% in 2020 to 87.03% as of January 2022. 487 more communities are at various stages of connection and completion.
- Additional bulk supply points have been introduced in areas such as Kasoa and Pokuase to improve power transmission in the southwestern and northwestern parts of the Greater Accra Region.
- River bodies and forest reserves have been declared as “Red Zones” – or prohibited zones – for mining.
- The issuance of prospecting, exploration and/or reconnaissance licenses for minerals in forest reserves has been suspended.
- Operation Halt II has been launched to rid water bodies and forest reserves of illegal miners.
17. Green Ghana Agenda
The Government is collaborating with the private sector to establish 14 medical waste treatment facilities and commence the construction of 16 integrated recycling and composting plants across Ghana before the end of 2022.
18. Water Supply
- Phases I and II of the Upper East Region Water Supply Project have been completed and are expected to be commissioned soon.
- Water projects in Keta and Sunyani, Yendi, Damongo, Tamale, and Sekondi-Takoradi are on-going.
These developments have been welcomed as signalling a positive step in building a sustainable entrepreneurial nation and ensuring fiscal consolidation and job creation, which is the focus of the Government’s 2022 agenda. We note that the SONA is a political statement, and objective monitoring of all the above initiatives will be necessary to ensure their effectiveness.
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