Editorial: Prioritise high-productive sectors for economic recovery


A key take-away from the K.B. Amissah-Arthur Economic Forum held at the University of Ghana last week is for priority to be placed on high-productive sectors and diversification of the economy.

The Executive Vice President at the African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET), Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi, engaged the B&FT in an interview wherein she expressed the need for a shift toward high-productive sectors to foster long-term economic growth.

Ms. Owusu-Gyamfi highlighted the significance of utilising available resources to diversify the economy, improve export competitiveness and adopt technology while investing in human well-being.

Prioritising these factors over short-term gains, she argued, will enable the country to achieve sustained growth and transform its economy.

She emphasised that while the service sector is important, it primarily provides specialised roles for a small percentage of the population – leaving the majority engaged in low-income and low-productivity jobs within the informal sector, saying that urgent action is needed to address this situation as it hinders the generation of sufficient income for sustainable growth.

ACET’s African Transformation Index has revealed setbacks in Ghana’s economic transformation between 2000 and 2020.

The index, scheduled for publication by end-September 2023, indicates a decline in economic transformation – positioning the country below the African average in critical areas such as product and export diversification, technology adoption and labour productivity.

Ghana has made some progress in terms of human capital, but overall transformation and resilience to external shocks remain challenges. Over-reliance on one or two sectors for growth leaves countries vulnerable when demand declines.

However, diversification into sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture and technology ensures sustained growth even in the face of shocks affecting specific sectors. Export competitiveness is another area highlighted by experts.

Countries must be competitive in exporting goods and services to earn the necessary revenue for further development. Improving export-competitiveness is closely linked to diversification efforts, allowing countries to depend on multiple sectors for growth.

Professor Ebo Turkson, an associate professor at the Economics Department of the University of Ghana, contributed to the discussion and highlighted key challenges faced by the private sector – stressing the importance of consistent policies, infrastructure development and supportive government policies.

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