The Republic of Ghana benefits from strong GDP growth, strengthening oil production volumes, and a track record of political stability. However, it continues to suffer from weak fiscal management highlighted by a widening of the fiscal deficit in 2010 and increased supplier arrears.
We are therefore affirming our 'B/B' foreign- and local-currency sovereign credit ratings on the Republic of Ghana. The stable outlook balances our view of the country's strong growth prospects and track record of political stability against its weak payment culture and fiscal challenges.
Figures from the West African Examinations Council show that the pass-rate of students who sat for the Basic Education Certificate Examination has been on a constant downward decline since 2009. In sum, out of the total number of 1,121,817 students who sat for the BECE in the past three years, 574,688 failed to achieve the pass mark.
This means that more than half a million young people, with an average age of 15 years, have been thrown onto the streets with no employable skills in the past three years alone.
A national opinion poll conducted by international market research organization, Synovate, has the 2012 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, 5 percentage points ahead of his closest rival, President JEA Mills, Presidential Candidate of the ruling National Democratic Congress, in the run up to the 2012 general elections.
However, if elections were held today Nana Akufo-Addo would lead but still fall short of the more than 50% mark required for outright victory. The opinion poll carried out in September this year surveyed a total of 1,723 respondents.
The World Bank has urged Ghanaians to expand public discussions on the controversial record loan facility from China to focus more on interrogating the efficient use of the funds and the nature and scope of the projects selected in order to achieve the desired national development results.
Speaking at a public forum on the $3 billion Chinese Development Bank loan for infrastructural development, organized by the Danquah Institute, the resident Chief Economist of the World Bank, Sebastien Dessus, has called for a competent assessment of infrastructural projects to ensure that Ghana consistently gets value for money and that such investment spending does not disturb future national budgets and the country’s ability to pay off its debts.