Ghanaians Lament Over Harsh Economic Conditions, Say Country Heading in the Wrong Direction

From ( l-r ), Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance and Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President, Ghana

Accra, Ghana//-Most Ghanaians who are lamenting over the current harsh economic conditions, say the country is heading in the wrong direction.

The latest findings of the Afrobarometer Ghana round 9 survey on the economy, taxation, and public service delivery, have revealed.

They gave these unfavourable assessments of both their personal living conditions and the nation’s economic condition, and few were optimistic that things would improve during the coming year.

While citizens’ ratings of the government’s performance on key economic issues were overwhelmingly negative, their gloomy outlook aligned with macro-level indicators on Ghana’s struggling economy in a difficult global environment.

Ghana which is seeking a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after saddling itself with ballooning public debt hopes to receive balance of payment support.

Key findings

▪ Almost nine out of 10 Ghanaians (87%) say the country is heading “in the wrong direction.” Only 11% see things going in the right direction, a 24 -percentage-point decline since 2019.

▪ Majorities offer negative assessments of economic conditions: 85% describe the country’s economic condition as “fairly bad” or “very bad,” up from 62% recorded in 2019. And 72% say their personal living conditions are “fairly bad” or “very bad,” compared to 58% three years ago.

▪ Ghanaians are not very optimistic about the economy: Only 25% expect things to be better in 12 months’ time.

▪ By large majorities, citizens say the government is performing “fairly badly” or “very badly” on keeping prices stable (94%), narrowing income gaps (92%), improving the living standards of the poor (85%), creating jobs (83%), and managing the economy (82%).

Eight survey rounds in up to 39 countries have been completed since 1999. Round 9 surveys (2021/2022) are currently underway.

Afrobarometer’s national partners conduct face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice.

The Afrobarometer team in Ghana, led by the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), interviewed a nationally representative sample of 2,400 adult Ghanaians in April 2022.

A sample of this size yields country-level results with a margin of error of +/-2 percentage points at a 95% confidence level. Previous surveys were conducted in Ghana in 1999, 2002, 2005,  2008, 2012, 2014, 2017, and 2019.

Instructively, Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan survey research network that provides reliable data on African experiences and evaluations of democracy, governance, and quality of life.

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