EconomyFact Check

Recounting Ghana’s worst inflation rates and Samuel Awuku’s false inflation claim

Inflation has become a topical issue in the past few days due to the recent announcement by the Ghana Statistical Services (GSS) pegging Ghana’s October 2022 inflation rate at 40.4%. Pegging inflation at 40.4% means prices of goods and services are on steady rise. This is evident in the incessant increase in fuel prices, resulting in hikes in transport fares and foodstuff, among others. 

Ghanaians and several government officials have lamented over the issue and have called for drastic measures to be taken to salvage the situation. 

In discussing the matter, the Director General of the National Lottery Authority Samuel Awuku has indicated that Ghana’s worst inflation rate was 40.5% in the year 2000 under the late Former President John Jerry John Rawlings.

The statement was made on Peace FM’s Kokrokoo’s Morning Show hosted by Kwami Safa Kai. It can be found in the 8 minutes 4 seconds – 8 minutes 16 seconds of a shorter version of the show published on YouTube. 

With the continued rise in inflation, DUBAWA decided to give a history of the worst inflation rates recorded in Ghana with the claim by Sammy Awuku in context. 

Even though the inflation rate was 40.5% in the year 2000 when Flt. Lt. Rawlings was president, that year cannot be said to be the worst inflation rate under Mr Rawlings. There were other worse inflation rates recorded when Rawlings was still president and when John Agyekum Kufuor was also president. We relied on data from the World Bank, an international financial institution supporting countries including Ghana. 

We found out that Ghana began recording the worst inflation rates in 1976 during the rule of Ignatius Kutu Acheampong. His administration recorded inflation rates of 56.1% and 116.5% in 1976 and 1977 respectively. 

1978 inflation rate was 73.1%. In 1979, it dropped to 54.4%. In 1980 and 1981, inflation rates were 50.1% to 116.5%. This was during the reign of Hilla Liman.

Ghana’s Worst Inflation Rates
Source: World Bank

Former President Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings came to take charge of the government for 11 years as a military ruler from 1982 to 1992. Rawling’s rule began with the worst inflation rate ever recorded in the history of Ghana. In 1983, inflation stood at 122.9%. This was the year when food was scarce, leading to higher food prices. 

In 1995, 1996, and 2000 inflation rates were 59.5% and 46.6%, and 40.2% respectively. These years were when the fourth republic began, with former President Rawlings being its first president.

Source: World Bank

In 2001, the inflation rate was 41.5%. This was a slight increase from the inflation rate in the year 2000, which stood at 40.2%. This was during the reign of Former President John Agyekum Kufuor. In 2001, inflation rates were recorded on the high side–over 40%– ended.


The assertion by Samuel Awuku that the 40.2% inflation rate recorded in the year 2000 under former president Rawlings was the worst rate Ghana has ever recorded is misleading.

It is clear, however, that Mr Rawlings recorded the worst double-digit inflation rate in the fourth republican constitution in 1995 and not in 2000. As a military ruler, Rawlings recorded the worst triple-digit rate.  

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