Afrobarometer & Global Info Analytics Reports Only Confirms the Sufferings of Global Economies and its Impact on Ghanaians; Nothing New Under the Sun: Razak Kojo Opoku Writes

According to the Afrobarometer Report, most Ghanaians believe that the Country is heading in a wrong direction. Per the Sample Size of the survey, 2,400 Ghanaians were interviewed with a margin of error +/-2 percentage at a 95% confidence level. According to the Afrobarometer Report released 2022:
1. Almost 9 out of 10 Ghanaians(87%) say the Country is heading in the wrong direction.
2. 85% described the economic conditions of Ghana as “fairly bad” or “very bad”.
3. 72% say that their personal living conditions are “fairly bad” or “very bad”
4. By large majorities out of the 2,400 Ghanaians interviewed, Citizens say the Government is performing “fairly badly” or “very badly” on keeping prices stable(94%), narrowing income gaps(92%), improving the living standards of the poor(85%), creating jobs(83%) and managing the economy(82%).

Also according to a Poll conducted by Global Info Analytics with the sample Size of 5,490 Ghanaians with a margin of error of +/-1.737% concluded that:
1. 76% of Ghanaians believe that the Country is heading in the wrong direction.
2. 72% disapproved the performance of President Akufo-Addo. And this was largely attributed to the use of State Funds for the National Cathedral.
3. Mahama to win by 58% if elections were held today.

My Response to the Afrobarometer Report and Global Info Analytics Poll 2022

For the purpose of this article, I, Razak Kojo Opoku would not make any attempt to discredit the figures established by the Afrobarometer Report and Poll by the Global Info Analytics. However, it is important to state that, the outcomes of the two Polls clearly confirmed the prevailing global economic crisis affecting the entire Countries of the World and truly speaking Ghana is not an exception.

The major Economies such as United States of America and United Kingdom are all suffering from the current global economic crisis caused by:
1. Disruptions of global supply chain caused by Russia-Ukraine War especially Food, Oil and Gas. It is a 100% fact that, Russia and Ukraine make up 30% of the global exports.

2. Exacerbation of global COVID-19 and the renewed lockdowns in China, one of the largest emerging markets.

As a matter of fact the:
1. International Monetary Fund(IMF) cuts its 2022 Global Growth Projection to 3.6% from the initial Growth Forecast of 4.4% in January 2022 citing Russia-Ukraine War.

2. The World Bank in April 2022 reduced the 2022 Global Growth Forecast to 3.2% and in June 2022 further reduced it to 2.9% from the initial projected Global Growth of 4.1%, citing the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is having on the World Economy. The World Bank even warns of 1970s- style Stagflation.

According to both the International Monetary Fund(IMF) and World Bank:
1. War in Ukraine and COVID-19 is reducing growth and raising poverty.
2. Supply disruptions to the Ukrainian Agricultural exports(including Fertilizers, Grains, Wheat etc.) are also contributing factors to driving prices higher across the World.

The global economic crisis caused by COVID-19 and Russia-Ukraine War has made every Government across the World unpopular among its citizens including Ghanaians. It has forced the Prime Minister of UK, Boris Johnson to resigned, Sri Lanka President to resigned and all leaders around the world are faced with multiple protests as a result of the current global economic crisis.

Comparing Ghana to other World Economies such as USA, UK and China as a benchmark clearly makes Ghana not the only Country that its Citizens are suffering from the rising living conditions. From Canada, Japan, Asia, Europe including Germany and France are all suffering from the impact of the Russia-Ukraine War and COVID-19.

Ghana Economic Outlook
Before the impacts of COVID-19 and Russia-Ukraine War, Ghana’s economy was relatively doing well with Growth rate of 8.13% and 6.2% respectively for the year 2017 and 2018. Inflation Rate for 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 were 12.4%, 7.8%, 7.1%, 10.4% and 12.6% respectively. Clearly, the adverse effects of the recent War in Ukraine has increased Ghana’s Inflation rate to 29.8% leading to low quality of living, slower growth and economic hardships among majority of Ghanaians. This is not the cause of Akufo-Addo’s Government but certainly global uncontrollable factors.

To mitigate the effects of the global economic crisis on Ghanaians, Akufo-Addo’s Government has been forced to IMF for balance of payments support after E-levy failed to meet its revenue expectations as well as the inability of Government to timely access the US$ 1 billion syndicated loan.

The economic indicators before COVID-19 and Russia-Ukraine War under Akufo-Addo’s Government are FAR BETTER than that of John Mahama’s administration. It is therefore absolutely false for Global Info Analytics to conclude that Mahama will win by 58% if elections were held today. Mahama has NOT proven to be a better alternative to NPP. Maybe Mahama’s 58% data was collated from the Volta Region, the traditional stronghold of the NDC.

United States of America Economic Outlook
According to CNBC News, “the increasing economic issues are driving Biden’s approval rating to depths not seen during his presidency or any of the prior two presidents as Americans”.

According to AP-NORC survey released June 2022:
1. 85% of Americans say the Country is heading in the Wrong Direction.
2. 79% of Americans say the US Economy is very Poor and things keep getting worse under Joe Biden’s leadership.

Before the impacts of COVID-19 and Russia-Ukraine War, the inflation rate of America for 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 were 2.1%, 2.4%, 1.8%, 1.2% and 7% respectively.

But currently the inflation rate of Almighty America for 2022 is 9.1%, a record experienced since 40years ago. Americans are suffering from higher Food and Fuel Costs, worsening the living conditions of Majority of Americans(85%).

United Kingdom Economic Outlook
UK inflation currently in 2022 is at 9.4%, a 40year higher since 1982 thereby worsening the living conditions and standards of UK Citizens.

Before the impacts of COVID-19 and Russia-Ukraine War, inflation rate in the United Kingdom for 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 were 2.6%, 2.3%, 1.7%, 1% and 2.5% respectively. The cost of living in UK is very high now and Citizens of UK are unhappy with the Government forcing Boris Johnson to resigned as the Prime Minister.

Based on responses from the Voluntary Fortnightly Business Survey(BICS) under the theme, Business Impact of COVID-19:
1. Businesses turnover have been lowered.
2. 50% of businesses currently trading in the United Kingdom reported that the prices of goods or services had increased.
3. 35% of businesses in the United Kingdom reported that their production and suppliers had been affected by the recent increases in energy prices.

With energy costs soaring, the UK Government imported 9.8 billion pounds of fuel goods in April 2022 alone, the highest since 1997.

China Economic Outlook
All the Emerging Market Economies including the four largest ones such as Brazil, Russia, India and China(BRICs) are suffering from the War in Ukraine and COVID-19.

Before the impacts of COVID-19 and Russia-Ukraine War, the inflation rate of China for 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 were 1.6%, 2%, 2.9%, 2.4%, and 1% respectively. However the inflation rate of China has increased to 2.5% June 2022.

China’s relatively lower inflation is as a result of:
1. Plunging domestic demand caused by Beijing’s Zero-Covid Policy.
2. Weighting of goods and services in its CPI Basket
3. Prices Reform.

China’s economy contracted sharply in April 2022 due to lockdowns. The retail sales of consumer goods shrank to 11.1%, the highest contraction since March 2020 according to the Data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics. Industrial production fell by 2.9%, the largest decline since February 2020. Manufacturing also declined by 4.6%.

China set a growth target of 5.5%, however it is expected to reduced to 2.9% for the year 2022 partly due to China’s COVID-19 containment restrictions.

In conclusion, all the economies of the World are suffering and Citizens are unhappy with their respective Governments across the World therefore there is nothing new under the sun as far as the Afrobarometer Report and Poll by Global Info Analytics are concerned. This feedback from 2,400 and 5,490 Ghanaians respectively interviewed by Afrobarometer and Global Info Analytics are the true reflection of the global economic suffering trends.

The War in Ukraine has disrupted global markets and supply chain for raw materials, oil, gas, petroleum products, fertilizers, grains and other commodities leading to higher cost of living among Citizens of all Countries globally.

European Central Bank policy makers, led by President Christine Lagarde, are said to be ready to consider doubling the size of their next rate increase, to 50 basis points, given Europe’s worsening inflation.

There is still hope under Akufo-Addo’s Government. If the Government is able to get its policies right, correct some administrative weaknesses and with coming onboard of IMF plus E-levy funds certainly the economy of Ghana will bounce back stronger and the narrative will completely change in favour of NPP Government and the love of Ghanaians for NPP will be brought back in the 2024 general elections.

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