Policy think tank, Imani Africa, has said Ghana’s economic freedom is not encouraging in the wake of efforts to move the country beyond foreign assistance.
“Though Ghana compares favourably in economic freedom with countries in the West African sub-region, a rank of 103 out of 159 countries is still poor, especially in light of the agenda for Ghana to go beyond aid,” the group’s founding President, Franklin Cudjoe said in a report.
Economic freedom is the fundamental rights of individuals and families to prosper within a country without intervention from a government or economic authority.
In an economically-free society, individuals are free to work, produce, consume, and invest in any way they please as well as secure and protect their human resources, labour and private property.
Imani’s report said successive governments in Ghana have made promises and some attempts to create an environment that promotes growth and equal opportunity for all to make wealth.
“Yet, enormous gaps exist between reality and the goal. Governance and public service delivery, in the judiciary, central government, local government, state owned enterprises, defence and security, are constantly riddled with corruption, bureaucracy, and delays which affect the freedom and speed with which citizens and businesses make economic decisions”.
Mr Cudjoe, therefore, admonished that: “Any government focused on facilitating the creation of billion-dollar industries, creating sustainable jobs, reducing poverty levels and growing its economy beyond aid, must uphold economic freedoms that will enhance optimal distribution of scarce resources and provide equal opportunity for all”.
He said given that Ghana’s rank of 103 on the Economic Freedom of the World Index in 2015 is in the bottom 50% of global rankings, improvements need to be made to ensure that Ghanaians have a fair stake and opportunity for all. By expanding economic freedom, Ghanaians could have the ability to develop economic policies that will lead to prosperity and safeguard hard won freedom, democracy, and peace.