President John Dramani Mahama has dismissed assertions that neighbouring Ivory Coast is performing better economically on the West African continent than Ghana.
According to him, Ghana is the second largest economy after Nigeria in West Africa adding that all the human indicators used to measure progress in the sub-region places Ghana ahead of Ivory Coast.
The leader and flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo has on several occasions slammed the NDC government stating that Ivory Coast has overtaken Ghana in several aspects of development.
But speaking on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana Tuesday Evening, Mr. Mahama told host Paul Adom Otchere that claims that Ghana is lagging behind Ivory Coast are untrue.
“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.
“If you take the size of the economy, Ghana has the largest second economy in West Africa after Nigeria, and Cote d’Ivoire is third, and so I normally don’t like those comparisons because each country is at a different stage in its development and the circumstances in each country are peculiar.” Mr. Mahama said.
The President also said comparison that Ivory Coast is performing better in power generation on the continent is untrue stating that Ghana is only second to South Africa in power generation.
“Cote d’Ivoire has gone through its own period where they didn’t have light. We had to exchange power. At times when they don’t have, we have given them, at times when we don’t have, they have given us. And so, it’s not something new.”
“Since the ’70s, our two power systems have been interconnected with each other. Ghana had Akosombo Dam which we thought would never finish and so we had excess power and so we used to give Togo, Benin, and Cote d’Ivoire, but the results of climate change have changed things and aside from that, it’s a sign of our growing economy.
“Our economy has grown so fast that demand for power has ballooned and we have not been consistent in putting in enough generation to meet the demand. Aside from that, while demand was increasing, power from our hydro sources was going down because of the low level of the lake, because of climate change, less rainfall and all that.
“So, it’s been a very complex situation but I normally don’t want to place blame. I took responsibility to fix it and I believe that we do have some stability in our system now.”
Source: Ghana/Starrfmonline.com/103.5FM/Kobina Welsing