Specific microeconomic policies needed for Ghanaians well-being – Economists

Some Economists have proposed the introduction of specific microeconomic policies into national budget, and ensure its full implementation.

The policies should support small businesses and productive sectors, as well as low-income earning workforce.

The Economists said the move would help in making macroeconomic gains reflect in the well-being of Ghanaians.

They said this in relation to the 2024 budget, presented by Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister, on Wednesday, November 15.

Ghana’s economy has recorded a growth, averaging 3.2 per cent in the first half of 2023 compared to 2.9 per cent in same period in 2022, which, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Ken Ofori-Atta, described as a signal of ‘a strong rebound.’

This growth is expected to indirectly reflect in the microeconomy, but Dr Daniel Amateye Anim-Prempeh, Chief Economist, Policy Initiative for Economic Development (PIED), holds a different view.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency on Friday, November 17, he said the country not having any specific pol
icies directed at the vulnerable group, would not make macroeconomic gains yield the expected benefits to Ghanaians.

‘The assumption is that once the macroeconomy grows, it would create opportunities that will cushion Ghanaians, but without specific microeconomic policies, we won’t see the impact in the lives of Ghanaians,’ he said.

‘As a nation, we must have deliberate policies in the budget to support vulnerable groups in society, as the assumption of macroeconomy growth indirectly improving the living standards and income levels, does not address the issue,’ he noted.

The Economist lauded government for the social interventions like the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Free Senior High School (Free SHS).

He, however, explained that such interventions, do not support the translation of improvements in macroeconomic growth into tangible benefits, particularly, better living conditions of Ghanaians for the productive force.

‘These policies are geared
towards people who are economically unproductive, but the microeconomic specific policies will be focused on the economically productive group,’ Dr Anim-Prempeh.

He urged government to create structures that would have some of the energetic youth into vocational training, and capital support provided to be able to cater for themselves and families.

He also called for a conducive environment to propel sustainable growth in industry – a sector whose fortunes and contribution to the overall economic growth had been dwindling in recent times.

Professor Yaw Nyarkoh, an Economist, also explained that often, government was pre-occupied with macroeconomic numbers with the budget, which did not help in the development of the country.

‘Sometimes the numbers just fly by… what do they mean by 1.5 per cent versus 1.7, per cent growth,’ the New York University professor of economics asked when he spoke at a forum, ‘Achimota Speaks,’ in Accra on November 16.

‘If you are in the ministry of finance it’s very important, b
ut if you are looking for the development of Ghana, then we must go back to our micro economics,’ he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency