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Akufo-Addo Champions Transformation

Africa's Startup Revolution: Ghana Leads with Robust Economic Recovery

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi

President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana has confidently declared that the nation has successfully navigated the challenging early years of the 2020s, leading to a robust recovery and resilience in its economy. Speaking at the ‘Timbuktoo: Unleashing Africa’s Startup Revolution’ event, held alongside the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, he highlighted the significant strides made in Ghana’s economic growth and the broader African context.

In his address to global leaders and the international business community on January 16, 2023, President Akufo-Addo pointed out that Ghana’s economy has shown promising signs of recovery. The nation’s GDP growth averaged 3.2% for the first nine months of 2023, a noticeable improvement from the 2.9% recorded during the same period in 2022. This growth is underpinned by a more stable exchange rate and softening interest rates, signaling a positive turn towards achieving a resilient and transformed economy.

The President also emphasized the broader economic recovery across the African continent, with an average growth rate of 3.8% in 2022, stabilizing at 4.1% in 2023, and projected to reach 4.3% in 2024. This growth is driven by several factors, including the continent’s youthful demography, which offers massive potential for further innovation and development. He noted the increasing interest from entrepreneurs and investors in Africa, attracted by the continent’s growing market and diverse industries.

Acknowledging the challenges that need to be overcome to unlock Africa’s full potential, President Akufo-Addo expressed optimism about the direction most African countries are taking. He stressed the importance of establishing the right structures to enable young Africans to create innovative businesses that can contribute to job creation and sustainable economic growth.

With Africa’s population expected to double by 2050, reaching 2.5 billion, and 60% of the current population under the age of twenty-five, the President highlighted the importance of harnessing this demographic dividend. He pointed out that Africa has the youngest population in the world, offering immense opportunities for growth and innovation.

President Akufo-Addo also touched on the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. He mentioned the need for substantial investment, estimated at around US$574 billion annually until 2030, to finance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region.

In conclusion, President Akufo-Addo called for collaborative efforts between governments, the private sector, and international partners to support the pan-African startup ecosystem. He emphasized the need for the right legal frameworks, systems, and deal pipelines to realize not only a demographic dividend but also to create a platform for funding solutions to some of the continent’s most critical problems.

The President’s speech at the ‘Timbuktoo’ event in Davos reflects a confident and forward-looking Ghana, as well as a continent on the rise. It underscores the potential of Africa’s youth demographic and the need for strategic investment to harness this potential for economic growth and development. As Ghana and the rest of Africa navigate the post-pandemic world, the focus on building a resilient, transformed economy that leverages the strengths of its young population is more important than ever. The vision set forth by President Akufo-Addo highlights the need for continued innovation, investment, and collaboration to realize the full potential of Ghana and the African continent.

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