On October 18, 2022, in Accra, Ghana, the government conducted discussions with interested parties regarding the 2023 Budget Statement and Economic Policy that Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta will present this month.
This engagement is part of the Ministry’s efforts to broaden citizen participation in budgeting and to ensure that the nation experiences inclusive growth and national cohesion through its policies and programs. Participants also had the opportunity to contribute to the budget through 2023 through the involvement.
Speaking at the event, deputy finance minister Dr. John Ampontuah Kumah stressed the importance of such partnerships given the current economic instability, which is felt both locally and globally.
Our economy, like many other developing and emerging economies, is still managing the pressures caused by the current global and domestic challenges, such as revenue underperformance, increasing debt service as a result of growing interest payments, credit rating downgrades, and rising cost of compensation payments, among several others.
Ghana is not anticipated to return to the international capital market anytime soon (a significant financing source in recent times to supplement domestic finance),” he stated, “therefore the financing issues currently being faced by the government are likely to endure.
The Deputy Minister was quick to add, however, that he was convinced that the plans and tactics being implemented and researched by the current Akufo-Addo administration will help to address the economic challenges.
According to Dr. John Ampontuah Kumah, the administration is focusing on a number of priority industries in the short to medium term to speed up the nation’s economic recovery.
Let us be guided by the focus areas of government for the upcoming fiscal year and the medium term as we make our comments and suggest recommendations for the preparation of the 2023 budget.
The promotion of social protection, ensuring inclusive and sustainable growth, and reestablishing and maintaining macroeconomic stability are a few among them. Expanding the tax base, enforcing compliance guidelines, and assiduously pursuing the digitization agenda are further actions made to maximize revenue mobilization. These actions aim to limit revenue leakage and promote efficiency measures in the utilization of public funds.
The administration will always be open to ideas, suggestions, and actions that might enhance the 2023 budget, he stated.
The yearly budget is a crucial policy tool for deciding the classification of programs, distribution of resources, and responsibility at the national level, stressed Dr. Patrick Nomo, Chief Director of the Ministry of Finance, in his speech.
The budget process, therefore, makes room for engagement of stakeholders across a broad spectrum of Ghanaians. This provides opportunity to obtain perspectives and insights that can only emanate from a collective national representation
Dr. Nomo added.
In order to process as many submissions as possible for the 2023 Budget Statement and Economic Policy, he invited other interested parties to send written comments to the ministry by October 26.
Participants in the engagement and contributors to the 2023 budget included representatives from SEND Ghana, the Association of Ghanaian Industries, the Makola Market Traders Association, the Institute of Statistical, Social, and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana, the Ghana Charismatic and Pentecostal Churches Association, as well as a large number of other academic institutions and civil society organizations.
Various issues were covered in the presentations, such as potential sources of money for the government to consider, modifications to social assistance programs, waste reduction in the public sector, security, education, digitization, and many more.
At the event were the Coordinating Director (Operations), Mrs. Stella Dede Williams, the Acting Director of the Budget, Dr. Patrick Nomo, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Finance, and numerous other senior Ministry officials.