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False! Nana Akomea’s claim of Ghana’s economic growth rate as Africa’s highest is incorrect

Claim: Member of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Akomea, says that between 2017 and 2019, Ghana’s economic growth rate was the highest in Africa.

Verdict: This is false. We analysed data from the World Bank and the IMF, and we found that for each of the individual years, there were at least two other countries in the continent with a much higher growth rate than Ghana’s.

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Member of the ruling New Patriotic Party and Chief Executive Officer of STC, Nana Akomea, has reemphasised the government’s position of leading a stable economy before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He insists that but for COVID-19, Ghana would have been in a better economic situation than it is experiencing currently.

Speaking on the Big Issue on TV3’s New Day programme, Nana Akomea claimed that Ghana’s economic growth rate was the highest among other African countries between 2017 and 2019.

“We are in economic difficulties largely because there is a major international crisis. Because the three years from 2017 – 2019, all of us will agree that there was decent stability. Our growth rate was the highest in the world for an African country between 2017 and 2019,” he said.

The full recording of the show is available on Facebook, and a short clip capturing the claim is published on X, former Twitter, which can be found here.

Is it true that Ghana’s economic growth rate in the three years before the pandemic was the highest in Africa?


We relied on data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for our analysis. Our first approach was to be year-specific to ascertain if at any time Ghana’s economic growth rate was the highest in Africa.

The second was to find the average growth rate over the three years for the various countries we observed to have recorded a growth rate higher than that of Ghana within the three years.

In the first year of the current administration, Ghana recorded a growth rate of 8.1%. This reduced to 6.2% in 2018 before a marginal rise to 6.5% in 2019, according to figures from the Bank of Ghana, IMF, and the World Bank accessed on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023.

Ethiopia, Guinea, and Libya all recorded a growth rate higher than Ghana’s in 2017. Whereas Ghana recorded a 6.2% growth rate in 2018, Burkina Faso and Rwanda’s economies grew by 6.6 percent and 8.5 percent respectively.

The situation was not different in 2019. At least Benin and Uganda recorded higher growth rates when compared to Ghana.

On average, between 2017 and 2019, Ghana’s economy grew by 6.9%. However, there is Guinea, Libya, and Rwanda whose respective economies grew on average by 7.4%, 9.7%, and 7.3%.

The table below shows how Ghana’s GDP growth rate for 2017, 2018, and 2019 compares with selected African countries. 

Areas marked in yellow are to indicate a situation where the rate was higher than Ghana’s.


It is not true that before the COVID-19 pandemic, Ghana’s economic growth rate was the highest in Africa.

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