ISSER Launches 2013 State of the Ghanaian Economy Report

Prof. Felix A. Asante, Director of ISSER


The Institute of Statistical Social & Economic Research (ISSER) has launched the 2013 edition of the State of the Ghana Economy Report (SGER). The Report was launched by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research Innovation and Development, Prof. John Gyapong. The ceremony which was held at the ISSER conference hall was chaired by the Provost of the College of Humanities, Prof. Samuel Agyei-Mensah.

Prof. John Gyapong, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research Innovation and Development, performing the official launch of the SGER


Director of ISSER and coordinator of SGER 2013, Prof. Felix A. Asante gave an overview of the eight chapter Report. His presentation highlighted global economic developments and Ghana’s economic performance in 2013. It discussed developments in the various sectors of Ghana’s economy including fiscal developments, monetary and financial developments, international trade and payments – as well as developments in the agricultural, industrial, and services sectors. He noted that Ghana’s economic growth remains fairly resilient in the face of the global recession, though the rate has been declining since 2011, adding that the inability of the Ghanaian economy to sustain the growth momentum is an issue of concern.

According to the report, global growth is projected to gradually improve through 2014.However, there is the need for more decisive corrective action to support recovery and reduce downside risks, because, developing countries and economies in transition remain vulnerable to the economic woes of the developed countries.

The Report further stated that the service sector remained the largest and the fastest growing sector of the economy in 2013, even though growth of the sector fell from 10.2% in 2012 to 9.0% in 2013 against a targeted rate of 8.5%. The industrial sector was said to be the second largest and second fastest growing sector of the economy in 2013. Growth in the sector remained at 7% in 2013, against the 2013 target of 8.7%. Agriculture recorded a growth rate of 5.2% in 2013 against the 2013 Target of 4.9%, up from the 1.3% dismal growth in 2012.

It was observed that Ghana’s exports continue to be dominated by primary commodities, predominantly gold and cocoa. During the year under review, gold exports recorded US$4,965.7 million and cocoa exports amounted to US$ 2,267.3 million, together accounting for 52.6% of total export receipts in 2013.

On the way forward, the report noted that Ghana can sustain continuous economic growth well into the future, provided the country improves its macroeconomic management which requires bold efforts to reduce its budget imbalance. It proposed that continuous economic growth needs to be backed by strong investments made in the oil and gas sectors, as well as by public infrastructure and favorable commodity prices, on the fiscal side, the Report proposed the urgent need for prudent management of government resources. While increased efforts to mobilize revenue through an expanded tax base should be pursued, the main culprit for recent huge deficits is expenditure by government, which should be reined in the short-to-medium term.

Prof. Asante expressed gratitude to individuals and institutions which provided information for the Report.

A question and answer session was held after the presentation by Prof. Asante. The launch was attended by various publics including policy makers, civil society organisations, members of the University community, journalists and students. It provided for constructive interactions between ISSER economists (authors of the Report) and the publics present and gave the former opportunity to share thoughts on new and developing issues regarding the state of Ghana’s economy.

The State of the Ghanaian Economy Report (SGER), a flagship publication of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) was first published in 1991. The Report provides a detailed assessment of how the various sectors of the economy have performed in the past year and makes recommendations on what measures should be taken to grow the economy. The team of Researchers who prepared the 2013 edition of the Report were Dr Robert D. Osei- Senior Research Fellow/Head, Economics Division, ISSER; Prof. Peter Quartey, Associate Professor, ISSER & Head, Department of Economics; Dr. Charles Ackah, Senior Research Fellow, ISSER; Dr. Patricia Aidam, Research Fellow, ISSER ; Prof. Kwabena Anaman- ISSER; Dr. Fred Dzanku , Research Fellow, ISSER; Prof. Augustine Fosu , ISSER and Ms. Abena Oduro- Senior Lecturer, Department of Economics, University of Ghana.

At the high table (l-r): Dr. Robert Osei, Head of the Economics Division, ISSER; Prof. Felix Asante, Director, ISSER; Prof. Samuel Agyei-Mensah, Provost, College of Humanities, UG; Prof. John Owusu Gyapong, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the Office of Innovation Research and Development (ORID), UG; Rev. Dr. Adobea Owusu, Head of the Social Division, ISSER.


The audience at the launch