EWN Network News

Executive Women Network partners with TheBoardroom Africa to increase board diversity

The Executive Women Network (EWN) and TheBoardroom Africa (TBR Africa) have signed a partnership agreement that will enable more senior executive women in Ghana to access board opportunities and advance their professional development objectives.

The partnership forms part of a Network Partnership Program launched by TBR Africa in 2019. As a pan-African organization, TBR Africa partners with national initiatives such as EWN to open doors for professional women. The Network Partner program supports TBR Africa’s efforts to double the number of women in African boardrooms by 2028.

TheBoardroom Africa has curated a unique pool of peer-endorsed female leaders and works with organizations across the region to improve gender balance in Africa’s boardrooms.  The pipeline of talent, combined with a uniquely collaborative and objective approach, is driving a fundamental shift in the gender balance among leadership teams in businesses in the region.

The Chairperson of the EWN Executive Committee, Eunice Biritwum, remarked that the partnership will offer an opportunity to EWN members, who are women in senior management and executive positions, to acquire great personal and professional dynamics as companies evolve and innovate for the future.

“Now, more than ever, learning and development, even when it comes to acquiring skills needed to be on boards, must take top priority. This is due to the fact that new markets are emerging and so are new technologies and ways of doing things. And as leaders, we know that these changes have a profound impact on self-development and on organizational growth. People need training, development and support throughout their careers, to develop their skills and continue to work effectively. When women and business leaders in general, are provided with practical guidance on common issues that may arise, they are shaped to be more efficient, competitive, and engaged in their roles.”

“We are therefore excited to partner the largest regional network of female executives in Africa, TheBoardroom Africa to enable our members get the requisite skills needed for Board placements”.

On her part, Marcia Ashong, Founder and CEO of TBR Africa noted that the organisation remains committed to equipping executive women with board readiness skills.

“I believe that this relationship with EWN will extend more resources and opportunities to Ghanaian women and help foster pan-African relations amongst the business community. Business and society both benefit when more women get a seat at the table. Together with EWN, we will expand the number of women who can network, dialogue and collaborate to drive business growth and, in turn, contribute to national development”, she concluded.

Executive Women Network (EWN) is a non-profit organization operating for close to five years with a membership of over 200+ women in senior management and executive positions in private organizations and women entrepreneurs from 10+ industries of well-established businesses in Ghana.

TheBoardroom Africa (TBR Africa) is the largest regional network of female executives in Africa. The organisation aims to improve access to board opportunities for women and accelerate the presence of women on boards by working with development finance institutions, private equity investors and companies to accelerate the appointment of women on boards and build a growing pipeline of board-ready women while inspiring and educating the business community on the power of diverse leadership.

EWN Network NewsExecutive Women Network partners with TheBoardroom Africa to increase board diversity
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Executive Women Network Appoint New Executive Committee Members

The Executive Women Network (EWN) has announced the appointment of a new Executive Committee to steer the affairs of the Network for a two year term.

The newly elected Executive Committee comprises Eunice Biritwum – an Energy Consultant as Chairperson, Antoinette Kwofie – Executive Director, Finance at ABSA Bank Ghana Limited (Member), Theresa Yamson – CEO of Phyto-Riker (GIHOC) Pharmaceuticals Ltd (Member), Angela Dedo Kofi – a Serial Entrepreneur (Member), Joyce Agyare- an Education Consultant (Member), Emma Wenani – Chief Director, Global Media Alliance (Member) and Janet Sunkwa-Mills – Marketing Strategy and Private Equity Investment Consultant (Member).

The Network, since its launch in 2016, has become a home base for women to grow their professional skills, build networks, be inspired, empowered and supported on their professional journeys whilst providing a platform to actively empower women across the country.

Over the years, since its inception, the Network has been led by the Executive Council, now the Executive Committee, comprising of its founders as members with Maidie Arkutu as the first chairperson, followed by Freda Duplan and subsequently, Pearl Esua-Mensah.

Commenting on the change in leadership, Mrs Esua-Mensah on behalf of the immediate past executives said “Over the last couple of years, we’ve had the privilege of leading this august body of professional women, to make the Network a core support group not only for our members to fully realise their potential but to pay it forward and impact the lives of young and women in vulnerable communities through our outreach programmes. We look back with pride at what has been accomplished in such a short time but even more delighted in the prospects for the future. In this regard, the Executive Council is delighted to hand over the baton to our in-coming executives led by Eunice. We are blessed to have such a talented group of leaders and have no doubt they will magnify our impact and influence”.

The Network over the last few years under the leadership  of the Executive Council , successfully initiated and implemented a 5-year partnership with SOS Ghana to empower and support a number of women in Chorkor and surrounding communities, organised training and mentoring programs for women in Accra and Tamale, successfully organised 3 major conferences that has become the premier conference for women in leadership positions in Ghana, increased membership and empowered women from diversified backgrounds.

The newly elected Chairperson, Ms. Eunice Biritwum, commented, “The in-coming Executive Committee Members and I are truly honoured for the opportunity to lead this esteemed Network at this point in our journey. We celebrate the achievement of our past Executive Council for laying a strong foundation for growth and the future success of this Network. Over the next two years, the Committee and I, with the support of all members will build on our strong legacy and leverage our collective leadership to inspire the change we want to see, empower more women to fully realise their potential and provide support for our members and women across the country to progress on their professional journeys”.

EWN Network NewsExecutive Women Network Appoint New Executive Committee Members
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The Executive Women Network, a non-profit organization for women in senior management and executive positions has demonstrated its commitment to the fight against covid-19 by donating relief items to the vulnerable communities in Greater Accra and Upper East region and some medical essentials to the covid-19 treatment centre at Kwabenya in the Greater Accra Region.

In the face of the coronavirus pandemic and a three week lock down of the greater Accra and the greater Kumasi area, many of the more than 6 million people living with extreme poverty in Ghana have had to face economic hardships. In these difficult times, the plight of such persons has been a major concern for the Executive Women Network, EWN.

The EWN donated some relief items to members of the Chorkor community, one of the most depraved urban communities in Greater Accra region who have been grappling with the effects of the movement of the restrictions of persons as part of the measures introduced by the government to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The relief items included some food items, veronica buckets and detergents to vulnerable families who reside within the Chorkor community and are mainly day by day income earners.

The recipients, many of who are women and primary contributors to their families’ bread basket, were grateful to the EWN for the gesture saying the items will go a long way to enable them survive the hardships brought on by the pandemic.

The Office Manager of the EWN, Mrs. Wendy Nunoo said the donation is in line with the groups’ vision of becoming a formidable backbone for the empowerment of women who are economically and socially challenged.

The EWN also donated to one of the covid-19 treatment centres in the country at Kwabenya in the Greater Accra region. The Network provided the centre with boxes of hand sanitizers, liquid soap and tissue paper.

In a bid to encourage the frontline workers who have been working tirelessly to provide quality health care to covid-19 patients, the Network also provided breakfast and lunch for health workers at the facility for three weeks.

The health workers at the treatment centre were elated about the visit by the Executive Women Network and advised the public to continue to take the precautionary measures issued by the Health Authorities seriously to contain the disease in good time.

Extending its support outside the capital, the Network also provided some essentials like personal protective equipment and veronica buckets to the Talensi District hospital, Bongo District hospital, Bolgatanga regional hospital, Zuarungu health centre and the coronation health centre all in the Upper East region.

These initiatives form part of the core visions of the EWN to alleviate the plight of the underprivileged and vulnerable groups of persons in the country with various interventions that will better their lives and that of their families in support of SDG goal five (5): Gender equality and empowerment for all women and girls.

Mrs. Wendy Nunoo said the magnitude of the havoc that the pandemic has wreaked in many parts of the world, requires an all hands-on deck approach to win the battle against covid -19 and that is what informed the efforts of the Executive Women Network to make the various donations. She said two organizations, Fredor GH and Zesuza Farms & Catering Services also supported the EWN to make the donation by giving them subsidized food prices as their contribution towards the fight against the coronavirus.

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Executive Women Network Annual Conference Energizes Women for Action

The 3rd Executive Women Network Annual Conference ended on a new high note this year calling for greater participation of women in leadership and energizing participants to be change-makers and leaders in their communities and organizations.

The conference, held under the theme: Our Voices In Action: Get On Board, brought together over 300 women leaders from diverse backgrounds under the chairship of Dr. Joyce Aryee of the Salt and Light Ministry to lead a call to action for greater participation of women and the implementation of policies that empower and galvanises women for national development.

In her opening remarks, Pearl Esua-Mensah, Chairperson of Executive Women Network said, ” Since our last conference, we literally put our hands to the wheel to push forward and action commitments in last year’s conference. We joined the global movement to drive equality and greater participation of women in leadership by becoming a member of the Coalition for Affirmative Action. We upped the ante on our capacity building and leadership grooming initiatives impacting over 300 young people, early and mid-career women with the skills and strategies required to be successful in their studies and careers. ”

” As a network, we want to be part of the solution in a bold way to tackle issues that confront and inhibit women in the workplace and our society. Issues such as harassment, bias among others. Now more than ever, we need to rise up to the challenge, not only to make our voices heard but to take action for equal opportunities for all by pushing for policies and programs that guarantee greater participation and creates prosperity for all irrespective of gender, age or geographical location”. She concluded.

The Chairperson, Dr. Joyce Aryee in her remarks, stated that the conference is an opportune call to all women in business, civil society organizations and politics to get involved to accelerate the nation’s development agenda.

She said “We should be excited that we can count on the passion exhibited by the Executive Women Network and all the participants gathered here today. Women are more powerful than we admit to ourselves or made to believe. We are change-makers, not just advocates and as we collectively inspire and empower each other, we create a force strong enough to cause the change we want to see in our communities, nation and continent as a whole”.

Mona Quartey, former Deputy Finance Minister, Founder & Managing Partner of BVM Advisory Services and keynote speaker remarked, ” I’m delighted to be among fearless and powerful women leaders ready to chart a course of leading change in our communities. Our goal of stepping up to model change is not a destination but a journey. I urge all to enjoy the journey as we collectively move our society forward by making our voices heard and taking deliberate action to be change-makers and leaders in our society”

This year’s event included a breakout speed mentoring and coaching session and panel discussions on juggling work and other commitments as well as a session on the phoenix moment – rising through the ashes – to empower participants with practical life skills to overcome setbacks in their endeavours.

The EWN conference is the biggest gathering of women leaders in Ghana attracting hundreds of participants every year.

EWN Network NewsExecutive Women Network Annual Conference Energizes Women for Action
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Mona Quartey to Give Keynote Address at Executive Women Network Annual Conference 2019


Former Deputy Finance Minister, Founder and Managing Partner of BVM Advisory Services, Mrs Mona Quartey is billed to deliver the keynote address at this year’s Executive Women Network (EWN) Annual Conference scheduled for Friday 18th October 2019 at the Labadi Beach Hotel, Accra.
The conference, to be held under the theme: Our Voices in Action: Get on Board, will empower participants to lead and model change in their workplaces, communities and the nation as a whole. Participants will also be coached and speed-mentored by senior women leaders on topics including leadership, shattering the glass ceiling, making their voices heard and managing change.
The annual conference, now in its third year, is the single-biggest gathering of women leaders committed to shaping the business and investment landscape and empowering women leaders to play a lead role in national development.
Mrs. Quartey is expected to share her experience in business, politics and civil service to inspire and challenge participants to take a seat at the table and make their voices heard.
The conference will have two panel discussions – one on juggling the responsibilities of work and family and the other on the Phoenix moment: rising through challenges and setbacks.
Panelists of the conference include Pamela des Bordes- Partner, Ernst & Young; Dr. Stella Agyenim-Boateng-HR Director, VRA ; Dzigbordi Kwaku-Dosoo – CEO, Dzigbordi Consulting Group; Dr. Geraldine Gina Abaidoo-CEO Perfocus innovations; Selina Aboyinga- Founder, SFD Foundation; Georgette B. Sakyi-Addo – CEO, Georgette Barnes Ltd and Ivy Ataa Ansah-Managing Director – IDS Consulting Ghana Limited among others.
The annual conference, one of the most anticipated events on the national calendar, attracts hundreds of women leaders in corporate Ghana, civil society and national leadership to lead a call to action and advance practical solutions to leadership, business, economic and national issues.
Tickets can be booked online via  https://www.ewntree.com/annual-conference-form/

EWN Network NewsMona Quartey to Give Keynote Address at Executive Women Network Annual Conference 2019
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Executive Women Network joins call for full probe and disclosure on Comprehensive Sexuality Education Curriculum

The Executive Women Network has followed with deep interest and concern the national conversation on the Comprehensive Sexuality Education. The Network lends its voice to the call by concerned parents, groups and the general public to call for a full probe and disclosure on the matter.
The education of the young people of this country is the single biggest determinant of our commitment to empower them to be responsible adults and future leaders of this great nation. We all have an inexcusable responsibility to protect them from influences and practices that are at variance with our culture and norms.
“We call on the government to thoroughly investigate this matter and to make available to the public the full details of the proposed CSE curriculum”.
Signed: Executive Council
EWN Network NewsExecutive Women Network joins call for full probe and disclosure on Comprehensive Sexuality Education Curriculum
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Dr. Joyce Aryee is Chairperson for 3rd Annual Executive Women Network Conference

Founder and Executive Director of Salt & Light Ministries, Dr. Joyce Rosalind Aryee, has been announced as chairperson of the 3rd Annual Executive Women Network Conference scheduled for 18th October at the Labadi Beach Hotel.

The annual conference, one of the most anticipated events on the national calendar, attracts hundreds of women leaders in corporate Ghana, civil society and national leadership to lead a call to action and advance practical solutions to leadership, business, economic and national issues.

This year’s conference is being held under the theme: “Our Voices In Action: Get On Board, a call to action for women leaders to make their voices heard and to model the change they want to see in their workplaces, communities and at the national level.

Dr. Joyce Aryee is a distinguished leader with well over forty years service to the public and private sectors in Ghana.

She is the former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines where she served for ten years as the first woman to head an African Chamber of Mines. As a Management & Communication Consultant, she serves on the boards of diverse organisations including Volta River Authority (VRA), College of Education – University of Ghana, Data Bank Ark Fund, Chirano Gold Mines Limited, Newmont Gold Ghana Gold Limited and Newmont Golden Ridge Limited. She is the President of Bible Society Ghana and the Pro – Chancellor of Central University among others.

Under her chairship, this year’s conference will push for more action to inspire, empower, support women to make their voices heard and to be the change agents in their organisations, communities and the nation. The conference will also provide a platform for networking, mentorship and one-on-one coaching for women at different levels of leadership.

source: www.ghanaweb.com

EWN Network NewsDr. Joyce Aryee is Chairperson for 3rd Annual Executive Women Network Conference
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Executive Women Network 3rd Annual Conference Set for October 18, 2019

The Executive Women Network (EWN), a non-profit organisation of women leaders in senior management and executive positions in private organisations and women entrepreneurs of well-established businesses in Ghana has slated Friday October 18th, 2019 for its third annual conference to be held at the Labadi Beach Hotel, Accra.

The annual conference has been a massive success in its two editions with the third scheduled to be held under the theme: Our Voices In Action: Get On Board.

The annual conference brings together women in business and national leadership to discuss and recommend strategic initiatives to project and promote Ghana as an investment and tourism destination. Last year, the conference under the theme: Implementing Brand Ghana – the role of women leaders, attracted close to 300 participants and outlined practical and actionable recommendations on implementing a bold Brand Ghana agenda that drives business growth and fosters economic development.
In the statement, Pearl Esua- Mensah, Chairperson of Network said, “We are delighted to welcome another annual EWN conference which is scheduled for October 18th 2019 at the Labadi Beach Hotel. The conference to be held under the theme: Our Voices In Action: Get On Board, will host over 300 women leaders to collectively amplify our voices out to support and make massive calls for action in the implementation of plans and policies that support, empower and inspire women and the vulnerable for national development”.
“Last year’s conference was a massive success with participants calling for a collaborative effort in the implementation of a bold brand Ghana agenda that promotes business and investment. This year, we intend to build on the success of last year and go a step further to engage everyone in the society to add their voices and advance the course of developing Ghana for business, investment and tourism leaving no one behind”. She concluded.
The past conference was chaired by the Madam Esther Cobbah, Founder, Strategic Communications Africa with Lucy Quist- Author, The Bold New Normal as the keynote Speaker and eminent panelists including Estelle Akofio Sowah- Country Manager, CSquared; DerryDean Dadzie – Technology Entrepreneur ; Yolanda Cuba- Former CEO, Vodafone Ghana; Ing Ebenezer McHammah- CEO of McHammah Engineering Company Ltd; Juliet Asante- Founder, Black Star International Film Festival, Dr Elikem Tamaklo —Managing Director, Nyaho Medical Center among others.
This year’s conference is expected to attract several distinguished speakers, panelists and participants from business, politics, academia and civil society.

EWN Network NewsExecutive Women Network 3rd Annual Conference Set for October 18, 2019
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Macroeconomics and fiscal gains are relevant benchmarks for assessing the performance of a country and the livelihood of its citizens. According to the World Bank, macroeconomics combines various policies, resources and technologies to develop the economy resulting in poverty alleviation and social equity. Fiscal policy, on the other hand, monitors the actions of governments in managing revenues, expenditures, and debt to ensure the attainment of a healthy economic growth in their quest to develop the country. The relationship between revenue and expenditure is therefore critical for policymakers as it determines the fiscal surplus or shortfall resulting in an overall macroeconomic stability.

The ordinary Ghanaian, irrespective of the stable macroeconomic indicators and fiscal discipline by governments, generally require a sustainable social and economic wellbeing, which include but not limited to increase in their income levels, purchasing power, job satisfaction, financial security, safe accommodation, sound education system, health and safety. Ghana in the recent past has seen some macroeconomic and fiscal gains such as achieving a consistent single digit inflation from July 2018 to March 2019 (9.3%), relatively stable currency, decline in interest rates with policy rate at 16%, increase in GDP to GHC 256bn and increase in economic growth of about 6.3% in 2018.

The most common commentary in the country lately is the fact that the stable macroeconomic indicators and fiscal discipline enumerated does not reflect in the pockets of the ordinary Ghanaian. This commentary has been met with mixed responses with some schools of thought questioning whether the sentiments shared by some Ghanaians are valid, others also suggests the sentiments are political in nature, while others are also questioning the fundamentals of the macroeconomic indicators. Therefore, the big questions to be addressed in this article are:

  1. What does having stable macroeconomic indicators mean to the country and its citizens?
  2. Does having stable macroeconomic indicators necessarily mean the livelihood of citizens should change immediately?
  3. Should the macroeconomic indicators exist for a consistent period for its benefits to be felt in the pockets of the ordinary Ghanaian?

This paper delves into the drivers and components of the various macroeconomic indicators and the changes necessary in these indicators to impact the lives of the ordinary Ghanaian.


GDP is one of the most common macroeconomic indicators that can be used to measure the standard of living of a society. GDP measures the economic activity of a region or a country at a given time providing a snapshot of its performance. GDP in general has been identified to have a relationship with the standard of living in the sense that most of the migration in the world involves people who are moving from countries with relatively low GDP per capita to countries with relatively high GDP per capita. It has however been argued that the use of GDP alone is unable to provide us with a realistic measure of the distribution of wealth among the population. This is because only a small proportion of the society may be benefiting from an increase in GDP and may not be affecting the standard of living for most of the citizens.

The economic growth in relation to GDP over a 10-year period has witnessed an inconsistent trend showing some up and downs. Agriculture, Industry and services are the three (3) major sectors of the economy that affects GDP. For the past ten years, the GDP contribution by the service industry has been significant up until 2017 when GDP growth in the service industry fell to 4.3% mainly due to the sanitization of the banking industry which resulted in the winding up of some banks, job losses and increase in the Debt to GDP ratio of the country among others.

             GDP growth trends excluding oil

The GDP growth from 2017 was underpinned by increased crude oil production, relative stability in energy supply and the implementation of pro-growth government initiatives. The improved GDP outturn was driven mainly by Industry while Services and Agriculture followed respectively. It is worth noting that even though the GDP growth was influenced greatly by the industry sector, that sector only employs 14.11% of the working force whereas the agricultural sector employs 40.65% of the work force but contributes to GDP minimally in comparison to the industry sector. This implies wealth distribution in the country may be concentrated among a few Ghanaians in specialized sectors such as mining, oil and gas, reinforcing sentiments that the increase in GDP is not reflecting in the pockets of Ghanaians though the fundamentals supporting the indicator is accurate. The ordinary Ghanaian would only benefit from these specialised sectors through the Government’s use of taxes from these institutions.

In addition, Ghana’s growth target for 2019 is projected at 7.4% to be mainly driven again by the industry sector which is expected to improve to 9.7%; indicating that the concentration will continue to persist until a period when agriculture and the service sector that employs about 80% of the Ghanaian workforce become key drivers of GDP growth for majority of Ghanaians to realize a positive change in their pockets.


Exchange rate fluctuations are also a factor that has the ability to affect the standard of living of the ordinary citizen. The cedi, over a 10-year period, has generally depreciated against the three major trading currencies averaging an annual depreciation of 12% for the USD, 10% for the GBP and 11% for the EUR. Fluctuations in the currency of a country are as a result of the use of a floating exchange rate system that permits factors such as demand and supply, inflation, capital flows, interest rate differentials, the performance of the economy and other foreign pressures to determine the price of the currency.

The ordinary Ghanaian is directly affected by exchange rate fluctuations, as most goods are imported, and such fluctuations will alter the prices of imported goods and services that will eventually be passed on to the final user that is the citizen. Importers may, however, be affected the most if they are unable to factor in the full cost of depreciation of the currency in their pricing for fear of losing demand for their products.


Inflation is generally the persistent increase in the prices of goods and services over a period of time. This simply means you have to spend more, for instance, to buy a carton of milk, fuel your tank and buy a bag of rice without compensatory increases in income levels. Inflation increases your cost of living whiles reducing your purchasing power thus explaining why it is an obvious factor in determining the standard of living of the ordinary Ghanaian. President Reagan, buttressing the fact that inflation cannot be overemphasized, has even described it as a mugger, arm robber and a deadly hitman.

Ghana has witnessed a continuous single digit inflation from July 2018, which currently stands at 9.3% as at March 2019, within the Government inflation target of 8+/-2%. The main drivers of inflation for the past ten years have been food and non-food inflation. Non-food inflation even though it has recorded a steady decline in the past ten years is always higher than the food inflation. Generally, with inflation reducing, it is expected that the average increase in the price of goods and services should increase at a reducing rate. With inflation properly anchored, it is expected that this would also reflect positively in the finances of Ghanaians as the prices of goods and services are expected to increase at a decreasing rate.

For the rich and middle class in society such price changes may not affect them as they have the capacity to absorb the increase in price. For the poor in society who live just at the edge of the poverty line, a slight change in the prices of goods and services would have an impact on their lives. According to the Bank of Ghana, the downward inflation trends is mainly influenced by the permanent components of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) basket coupled with further easing pressure in housing and utilities, and transport prices. It is worth noting that key areas of concern to majority of Ghanaians; Recreation and culture, Transportation, Clothing and Footwear, Furnishing, Household Equipment and routine maintenance in March 2019 recorded a higher year on year inflation higher than the group’s average. This may explain sentiments by some Ghanaians that the single digit inflation is not reflecting in their pockets as key areas of concern are seeing inflation increasing at an increasing rate compared to the overall core inflation.

Though Inflation was lowest in the Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels subgroup (2.1%), the rate of change has been minimal, and that subgroup only contributes 2.1% to the total. Also, the daily minimum wage in Ghana has seen a year on year increase of 10% from 2017 to 2019. Over the same period inflation also ranged averaged at 10.17%. This, therefore, would mean that increments in the income levels would be wiped away by the degree to which prices of goods and services had increased. Thus, Ghanaians would not feel the impact of any increment in their pockets and their standard of living generally. This notwithstanding, it is argued that inflation alone cannot influence the wellbeing of citizens.


The trend in interest rates over the past 10-years has seen a significant decline. The downward trend in interest rates over the period was supported by the continuous decline in the monetary policy rate from 26% in 2016 to 16% in 2019 coupled with the decline in lending rates in the banking industry.

The decline in interest rates is expected to reduce the cost of borrowing in the country with a ripple effect on the living standards of Ghanaians. As the cost of borrowing reduces, it is also expected that the prices of goods and services will decline as local producers and service providers are able to access funding at a lower cost, which translates into their cost of production. This then has the ability to improve the purchasing power of Ghanaians all other things being equal. Loan and advances in the banking sector shows concentration of loans in Commerce & Finance (25.2%), Services with (21.1%) and Construction with 11.0%. The three sectors with the lowest shares of banking industry credit were Manufacturing (8.1%), Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (4.1%), and Mining and Quarrying (3.0%). This indicates access to funding is less available to sectors that employ majority of Ghanaians thus explaining concerns that most Ghanaians are not feeling the effect of the decline in interest rates in their pockets even though interest rates are evidenced to be declining in the banking industry.

Real interest rate is another significant factor that can affect the standard of living for the Ghanaian investor who invests purposely for immediate income. Averagely the real interest rate for a 10-year period was at its highest in 2012 and 2013 at 9.6% and 10.4% respectively reducing to its lowest of 1.74% in 2017 with the current real interest rate average at 5.52%. Previously the real return was high thus an incentive to invest funds as against putting the funds into a business venture, but this would in the long run not stimulate economic growth. As real return reduces, immediate income for investors also reduces thus investors may not be able to feel the impact of the stable interest rate benefit in their pockets if their expenditure levels, taste and preferences, remain same over time.

Interest rates in the West African sub region averages about 8.5%. Ghana’s interest rates are therefore very high in comparison to countries such as Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, and Senegal who offer interest rates of about 4.5%. The high interest rates may thus be a source of competitive disadvantage as investors looking to set up industries may prefer to set up in neighbouring countries and be able to assess financing at relatively cheaper rates. Other factors such political stability and availability of skilled workforce affects investors’ choice though.


The borrowing and expenditure patterns of the government have been identified to also have an impact on interest payments and the standard of living. Government’s ability to raise the needed revenues is a major determinant in its quest to implement policies and programmes that improve the living standards of Ghanaians. Over the years, it has been identified that the major source of revenue for the government is taxes whereas its largest expenditure item for the period is compensation of employees. It can directly be inferred also that total revenue generation would not be able to cover our entire expenditures and the deficits are financed both domestically and externally. Questions thus arise on how Government’s proposed expenditures should be financed and whether it is prudent for the government to borrow to pay salaries, interests on previous government borrowing and capital expenditure.

Comparisons made to other countries in the sub-region revealed a similar trend in the borrowing and investment patterns. In view of this, African countries are encouraged to regularly recalibrate their fiscal policies to focus on increased revenue collection and take into account business cycles and sources of repayment while diversifying borrowing sources to prevent adverse effects on macroeconomic stability.

Tax-to-GDP ratio is the ratio of a country’s tax revenue in relation to its GDP which is mostly a very relevant parameter in addressing budget deficits and deficiencies. Sub-Saharan Africa has been experiencing a significant shortfall in financing for investment. The average ratio of tax revenue to GDP for sub-Saharan Africa stood at 15.1% in 2018; with Ghana’s at 13.1% which is even below the African average. Even though this is a significant improvement over the years this ratio falls short of the desired level and remains below the average ratio of 24% for the OECD countries. Ghana is therefore expected to strive to ensure that tax revenues hits 20% of gross domestic product (GDP) which can be done through the strengthening of tax capacity and improving governance in revenue collection.

Government social intervention policies

The extent to which government should be involved in the provision of goods and services that promote citizen well-being is a perennial debate worldwide today.  While others support government interventions such as generous unemployment protections and welfare benefits other believe minimal government intervention will allow the market to operate most efficiently and attain equilibrium. In Ghana, governments have introduced special interventions such as the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP) programme which provides cash and health insurance to the extremely poor households across the country to alleviate poverty in the short-term. Such interventions have often being criticized because of their short term nature and their inability to solve extreme poverty conclusively. It is also seen as a conduit to increase unemployment especially among the poor who otherwise could have engaged in productive sectors of the economy. Governments today are therefore implementing innovative interventions that tend to increase economic growth while alleviating poverty by channelling the funding to other productive sectors of the economy which would yield a higher return. In Ghana, Growing to Feed the Nation is a social intervention programme that supplies farmers with the requisite farm inputs for free with the expectation that production will be increased and poverty will be alleviated through the creation of jobs. The production from this project affects local consumption, reduces the importation of similar produce, possible value addition and exportation of excess produce thereby generating foreign currency that can help to stabilise the currency. Thus such projects are expected to yield results that far exceed the investments made in them thereby not eroding gains made from economic stability to excite citizens unduly.

Distribution of Government expenditure

The distribution of expenditures among the key sectors of the economy provides a snapshot of government’s priority areas and their direction in terms of economic development. From the recent 2019 budget, the expenditures were distributed among seven (7) main segments namely administration, economic, infrastructure, social, public safety, multi sectorial and other government obligations. Government obligations alone represented 49% of the total expenditure leaving 51% to the remaining sectors. Citizens of a country are interested mostly in the sectors that are able to provide them with improved conditions of living and such sectors of concern here in Ghana will be the Social (23%), Infrastructure (6%) and Economic (4%) sectors. Ghana is committed to the education and health with the social sector which is evidenced by a high level of expenditure allocation to provide relief in terms of free education, provision of educational infrastructure, universal health coverage, provision of health facilities and recruitment of qualified educational and health professionals. Other areas such as sanitation, transport, roads and highways, works and housing, special development initiatives and inner city and Zongo development also had their share of the public cake even though not so much as would have been expected. But then again, expenditure allocation for government obligations should be properly managed to free up funding to be reallocated to the economic sector to propel sustainable growth.


In the light of the above, it may be inferred that some sentiments by Ghanaians on the stable macroeconomic indicators not reflecting in their pockets may to some extent be valid, however, sentiments on the fundamentals and the fact that the indicators are political in nature may not be established as key data supports these indicators.

Key interventions by governments, for example, the current government flagship programs for the developments of the agricultural and manufacturing sectors are to be critically exploited to increase employment, exportation of value-added products through manufacturing and foreign direct investments. These activities have the ability to generate foreign currency to increase our gross international reserves and stabilise the currency. Subsequently, an improvement in the agriculture, manufacturing and services sectors may result in wealth being equitably distributed.

A major challenge faced by developing countries is often the ability to identify and carry out macroeconomic policy reforms that foster growth and reduce poverty. Government is therefore encouraged to maintain a high level of fiscal discipline within the approved cap of 5% of GDP and avoid excess deficit financing.

In furtherance to the above, there should be civic involvement to deepen commitment to macroeconomic reforms to avoid policy reversals. In recognizing this, the ordinary Ghanaian should be involved in making governments responsible for the adoption and execution of sound macroeconomic policies to alleviate poverty and improve the standard of living for Ghanaians.



By: Akofa Dakwa | The writer is the Head of Treasury at the Bank of Africa Ghana Ltd. She is a Chartered Banker, a Certified Financial Markets Dealer and holds an MBA in Finance and Risk Management.





  1. Akofa Dakwa – Head of Treasury at the BANK OF AFRICA, Ghana Ltd
  2. Bank of Ghana: https://www.bog.gov.gh/
  3. Ministry of Finance: https://www.mofep.gov.gh/
  4. Ghana Statistical Service: http://www.statsghana.gov.gh/
  5. World Bank: http://www.worldbank.org/
  6. Statista: https://www.statista.com/
  7. https://www.uneca.org/sites/default/files/PublicationFiles/era2019_eng_fin.pdf
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Executive Women Network Commemorates 3 Years Of Meaningful Impact

The Executive Women Network (EWN), Ghana’s pre-eminent network for professional women to connect, inspire and support each other on their professional journeys, is commemorating its third anniversary throughout the month of April.

The Network, since its launch three years ago on 19th April 2016, has grown exponentially and chalked significant success as a sustainable support infrastructure for professional women – providing a robust environment for members to be mentored, coached and supported to fully realise their personal and professional ambitions.

EWN continues to extend its reach beyond the network to support women in vulnerable communities to be economically empowered in line with their ambition not to leave any woman behind.

The Network has announced a series of activities to mark the anniversary throughout the month of April including an anniversary health jam at the Burma Camp Sports Complex on April 6, an interactive Round Table Lunch at the Modern City Hotel, Tamale on the topic: Finding Your X-Factor with distinguished speakers including Dr. Geraldine Abaidoo – CEO of Perfocus innovations, Petra Aba Asamoah – Head, Sales & Marketing, Akosombo Industrial Co. Ltd, (Akosombo Textiles), Fathiya Imoro – CEO, Malwin Events Limited and Afi Amoro – CEO, Jandel Limited.

The Network will, as part of its outreach programme, hold an engagement session with students of Tamale Girls Senior High School to inspire and empower the next generation of women leaders as well as pay a working visit to the Song-Ba Empowerment Centre – a training center supported by the Network – that trains women in weaving and other skills to be self-employed.

The celebrations will be climaxed with a Round Table Discussion on 26th April 2019 on the topic: Realizing Balance for Better: Women being denied opportunities or Women not stepping up, at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Accra.

The Network invites the general public to join in these celebrations. Follow the network’s activities on their website www.ewntree.com or via their social media handles with the hashtag #EWN3rdAnniversary.

EWN Network NewsExecutive Women Network Commemorates 3 Years Of Meaningful Impact
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