Domestic manufacturers are hopeful that the current relative stability being experienced will remain throughout this year, following close to three years of a dire economic downturn.
Inflation, after ending 2022 at 54.1 percent – a 22 year high, consistently declined from January to April but went up in May, June and July on account of higher food prices, implementation of new tax measures and utility tariff adjustments. Overall, it rose from 41.2 percent in April to 42.2 percent in May, 42.5 percent in June and further to 43.1 percent in July.
Despite the uptick in inflation over the last three months, the rate is relatively stable compared to this period of 2022 – with the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) optimistic of a further drop in the rate, or at least stability in the worst-case scenario.
Another key indicator that has seen relative stability in the first seven months of this year, the AGI said, is the exchange rate.
“We are not expecting a significant jump in growth; that will take a while. If we can sustain the current progress to end of the year, that will be great. I am quite sure that if we continue with the efforts we are making on all fronts, there should be consolidation and stability,” AGI’s Chief Executive Officer, Seth Twum Akwaboah, said at the 12th AGI Ghana Industry and Quality Awards launch in Accra.
Undeniably, he said, the year has been challenging but added: “We have been seeing some level of stability recently if you look at some indicators. Even though inflation is still high, compared to last year it has improved a little bit. The exchange rate has also improved quite significantly; some stability is being experienced”.
To sustain the gains made so far – which he credits to the IMF bailout, he emphasised that consolidation should be the ultimate goal throughout 2023 and beyond.
“Our caution is that we are not out of the woods yet; and it is because the IMF deal has helped to bring confidence back a little bit. The challenge remains consolidating the stability we have – at least up to end of the year, after which we may begin to see growth,” he noted.
AGI’s president, Dr. Humphrey Ayim-Darke, stated that the theme for this year’s awards – ‘Promoting local manufacturing in an ever-changing business climate’, resonates deeply in a world where businesses are navigating exceptional challenges and opportunities.
“In this dynamic business landscape wherein global markets are interconnected and innovation is the driving force, we recognise the vital role that local production plays.
“It is not just about creating products; it is also about fostering resilience, adhering to the right standards, generating employment and nurturing the spirit of entrepreneurship within our business communities,” he further noted.
The awards scheme organised by the AGI in collaboration with Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) is meant to inspire local producers in an ever-changing business environment.
The ceremony, which will be held on the theme ‘Promoting local manufacturing in an ever-changing business climate’, is also aimed at raising awareness and promoting strong domestic business brands.
This year’s event will recognise outstanding successes in various areas of industry and innovation in categories which included sector and regional awards.
Chairperson of the AGI awards planning committee, Dr. Nora Bannerman-Abbott, noted that the awards have been running continuously over the past decade.
“While moving this national award to another level, we found it necessary to strengthen institutional collaboration with the Ghana Standards Authority which also instituted the National Quality Awards (NQA).
“Today, the NQA is an integral part of the AGI awards and our collaboration with the GSA has been worthwhile. So, you can now understand why we have such important personalities in our midst,” she added.