President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will today deliver his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on the floor of parliament in accordance with Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution – which states that the president shall deliver a SONA at the start of each session and before the dissolution of parliament.
The SONA is expected to provide details into some of the policies that will help turn around the economy’s fortunes. In his statement at the 66th Independence Anniversary parade in Ho in the Volta Region, the president said his government is working hard to resolve current difficulties which the economy is faced with – characterised by high public debt and rising cost of living.
“I am very much aware of the current difficulties confronting our nation, and we are working hard to resolve them. Government has deployed a number of fiscal interventions to help bring relief for Ghanaians, and I’m confident that sooner rather than later we will see significant results of relief and recovery.
“In two days, on Wednesday 8th March, I will in the Chamber of parliament deliver a message on the state of the nation – when I will delve into much greater detail the entire package of policies government is implementing to bring back the days of rapid growth,” he stated.
Despite the challenges, the president indicated that the country should also be proud of how well they are being managed – citing as a major achievement that there is no shortage of food and fuel.
“Undoubtedly, major global developments have had a negative impact on our domestic economic performance. We have witnessed historic highs in global inflation and food prices; rising global interest rates triggered by tightening monetary policy of central banks across several advanced economies to tame rising inflation; and an energy crisis with crude oil prices reaching unprecedented highs – at one point above US$120 a barrel; strengthening of the United States dollar against all other currencies; and the tightening of global financing conditions, especially for emerging markets and developing economies,” Mr. Akufo-Addo said.
He added that these phenomena have manifested in Ghana through the depreciation of our currency, decline in gross international reserves, high inflation, elevated debt burden, significant fiscal stress, constrained domestic and external financing, and reduced GDP growth. “It is these which have brought hardships upon our people.
“But maybe we should also count our blessings in how, together, we are managing the difficulties. We all see the images around the globe: we have not had any fuel queues; we have not suffered shortages of food and essential items, or the catastrophe of ‘dumsor’,” he added.
The address, which was rescheduled from last month, is expected to highlight government’s key policy objectives for the year; as well as provide information on how government intends to address the poor economic conditions faced by the country.
For many Ghanaians who have had to bear the difficulties presented to households and businesses due to these ongoing difficulties, their expectations are that the SONA should encourage hope by providing practical steps to restore economic stability and an improvement in cost of living.