President John Mahama has said the Ghanaian economy is not lagging behind the world top cocoa producer, Ivory Coast.
In a reluctant mood to compare the two countries on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana Tuesday, the president said Ghana is the second largest economy in Sub-Sahara Africa. He further cited the UN Human Development Index to support his claim.
According to the president, the report puts Ghana behind Cape Verde in West Africa in water and other human development indexes.
“We are not lagging behind Ivory Coast. I normally don’t like to compare but we definitely are not lagging behind the Ivory Coast. If you take the UN Human Development Indicators, aside from Cape Verde Ghana is second in the whole of West Africa in terms of water, in terms of all the various human indicators,” he said.
The Ghanaian economy is projected by the International Monetary Fund to grow by 4.5 percent this year while the Ivorian economy is projected to growth at 8.5 percent.
Ivory Coast has rebound from a decade of political turmoil to become one of the favourite destinations for investors in West Africa.
It has also enjoyed stable power supply over the last five years while the contrary is the case in Ghana, forcing some businesses to relocate to the French speaking country.
Nonetheless, president Mahama said the Ivorians have gone through what Ghana is experiencing currently, arguing that it is nothing new.
He noted that in time past when Frenching speaking nation was hit with power crisis, Ghana went to their aid.
He, therefore , sees nothing wrong if Ghana is today importing power from Ivory Coast.
“Ivory Coast has gone through its own period when they didn’t have light. We’ve had to exchange power at times when they don’t have power. We have given them at times. When don’t have they give us, and so it’s not something new,” he said.
According to president Mahama, power is in short supply because of the demand for power, a position members of the opposition New Patriotic Party has said it cannot be true.
The NPP say the power challenge is a fiscal issue, saying the government is broke hence cannot buy crude oil and gas to power the country’s turbines.
“Our economy has grown very fast that demand for power has ballooned and we have not been consistent in putting in enough generation to meet demand,” president Mahama said.