Economic recovery program of Ghana
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Published: Fri, 12 May 2017
This chapter attempts to provide an overview on the problem statement of the entire research work, objectives of the study, relevance of the study, methodology applied as the research unfolds and the organization of the study.
Ghana is one of the fast emerging developing countries in West Africa with twice the per capita output of the poorer countries in West Africa. With well endowed natural resources, Ghana still relies heavily on international financial and technical assistance. Gold, cocoa and timber are the major sources of foreign exchange. The introduction of Ghanas Economic Recovery Program (ERP) in 1983 to recover the initially very weak private sector participation did improve consistently but although still levels were modest during 1987-91.
Over the past years Ghana has witnessed dynamic changes in its private Sector. The number of banks has increased from 9 in 1989 to 21 at May 2006 (www.bog.gov.gh). These banks serve a prominent role as corporate entities that provide investment capital in the economy to support employment opportunities, human resources development and contribute towards national and community development programmes (Aryeetey, E. & Gockel, F. 1990). They primarily furnish loans to individuals and companies to finance various projects which lead to economic and private sector development.
Brownbridge, M., & Gockel, A.F. (1997) are also of the view that these financial institutions support savings and investment in the economy, which plays a major role in the overall development in terms of increasing productivity of resources in the economy. They further highlighted that this role of banks in the Ghanaian economy is crucial, in that shortcomings in the industry directly affect the trend of economic growth.
In recent times Ghana has discovered crude oil, which is expected to boost the economic growth by bigger margins. Ghana has a unique welcoming attitude towards foreign investors; the long political stability of the country has attracted a lot of business investors to establish businesses in the country. The rate of foreign investors has not reduced as better prospects in doing business in Ghana are yielded in the long-run. The political state of the country has also been very peaceful with a vibrant atmosphere to establish businesses.
During the fifth banking awards ceremony in Accra, Dr. Paul Acquah (Governor of Bank of Ghana) revealed that the banking industry in Ghana has become highly competitive due to the increased sophistication of customer needs coupled with tremendous global competition. He further stated that these reasons over the years have been the driving force for banks, in particular private owned banks, to focus on increasing shareholders value, delivering superior services aimed at achieving over all customer satisfaction and value.
The concept of competition has introduced an overwhelming challenge among organisations worldwide. Most organisations are forced to compete by promptly responding to changes in national and world economies, technological changes, new business environments, cultural diversity and deregulation in emerging capital markets to improve overall organisational performance. Privately owned businesses in Ghana are constantly entwined in this fierce battle of global competition and the pressing need to sustain its existence in the growing rate of change in its environment.
Recent trends in the Ghanaian economy have revealed that keen competition in the business sector has been as a result of an open market which promotes private sector participation. Though most private owned organisations have managed to survived, a considerable number of them do fail due to reasons not limited to economical and financial factors.
A study conducted by Dun and Bradstreet (cited by Gaughan Patrick A. 1999, pp. 432) reveals that there are three most common factors that cause business failure such as economic, financial and experience factors (refer to Table 1).
In some developing countries market forces are completely eliminated as a result of controls imposed by the ruling governments. These controls create adverse effects on the economy such as large fiscal deficits coupled with weak macroeconomic management leading to high inflation in the economy. The consequences are generally felt by banks and other non-banking institutions, in that, loans borrowed by individuals or organisations are not paid back due to economic hardship (Brownbridge M., & Gockel A.F., 1997).
According to Pfeffer J. (1994; p. 6), People and how organisations manage them are becoming more important because many other sources of competitive success are less powerful than they once were. He emphasises the fact that in recent times most organisations rely extensively on the traditional sources of competitive success such as product and process technology, regulated markets, access to capital resources, and economies of scale which provide an insignificant competitive influence as compared to the past. He further argues that organisational culture and potential employee contributions derived from managing employees in an organisation are crucial as compared to the traditional sources of competitive success. Employees have been referred to as assets to a firm or an organisation when they possess the right skills needed to work effectively and efficiently (Odiorne G. S, 1984). However, these employees may possess diverse capabilities that lead to various potential contributions to an organisation because of previous education, experience, or individual qualities. In view of the fact that employees contribution to the organisation determines extensively competitive success, their individual skills are considered vital (Pfeffer J. 1994).
1.2 Problem Statement
The gradual transformation of Ghana has had a lot of positive feedback from other nations, but will this transformation termed economic growth survive the long-term or would it collapse somewhere in the future?
What are the main strengths and weaknesses of the private sector?
Will the private sector support sustainable development?
Has Ghanas initiative to increase private sector participation been successful?
What measures has Ghana taken liberalize its economy to encourage private sector participation?
Recent discovery of crude oil (black gold) in Ghana has brought higher hopes to accelerating the countries development goals into reality. This is what the recent ex-president of Ghana, President John Kufuor had to say in an African programme with the BBCs Focus “We’re going to really zoom, accelerate, and if everything works, which I pray will happen positively, you come back in five years, and you’ll see that Ghana truly is the African tiger, in economic terms for development.” Will this oil discovery further attract new entrants into the financial sector and in the affirmative will this promote a competitive private sector environment?
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this thesis is to show the role of the private sector in contributing to business competitiveness and economic growth. The research limits its focus on the inflow of private non-financial and financial institutions in the Ghanaian economy as a result of the introduction of Financial Sector Adjustment Programme (FINSAP) in Ghana. The economy over the years has witnessed an increase in private sector participation, which has significantly promoted business competitiveness and contributed to a vibrant economy at large.
Table 2: SMART Objective of the Study
Strategic Operation Tactical
Specific Evaluate the role of the private sector (Privately owned financial institution) contributing to business competitiveness and economic growth. Present a platform for private sector participation in economic development. Provide a primary evaluation for developers and investors who aspire to do business in Ghana.
Measurable To fall within the framework of the private sector and factors leading to business competitiveness and economic growth. Increase real GDP. Impact of the private sector on economic growth. Note government policies that would prevent adverse effects on critical sectors of the economy.
Attainable To recommend effective and sustainable business development strategy and policies that will enhance more participation in the private sector. Increase economic growth and improve effective and efficient business plans.
Embark on comprehensive business competitiveness and productive performance within the various business sectors.
Realistic The research will look extensively into government development goals as well as the private sectors role in development. Access to economic reports surveys from IMF. Ghana Government reports on development projects. The IMF monitors on a yearly basis the economic situation in Ghana.
Time-Limited To complete the thesis within two months. This thesis expects to propose recommendation based on the information available at the time of writing. The recommendations and proposals are expected to be considered and if applicable implemented by other developing countries as well.
Specifically, the thesis critically focuses on the following:
- The role of the private sector (privately owned financial institutions) contributing to economic growth in Ghana.
- To investigate the driving forces of Ghanas emerging markets.
- The role of the government promoting the private sector.
- The challenges and constraints facing the private sector.
- To evaluate the strategies being employed by Ghana in the private sector and its impact on the economy.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The study will be beneficial in many respects:
- To help identify the success and bottlenecks of the significant economic contributions from private sector with regards to its contribution to economic growth business competiveness.
- It also reviews the strengths of the financial sector to support expansion of the private sector development and more importantly availability of credit facilities to promote businesses.
- It will help investors to get a fair idea of business establishment opportunities.
- To help formulate strategies to help implement better policies and promotions for the private sector development.
This study uses secondary data and literature to evaluate the topic. It also uses SWOT analysis to examine the strategic position of Ghana in improving its economic and business areas.
The research will employ the use of CAMEL approach as the overall framework to evaluate the financial strength and stability of the Banking Industry in Ghana, where;
C Capital adequacy, A Asset quality, M Management capability,
E Quality and level of earnings, L Adequacy of liquidity
1.6 Organisation of the study
The paper is divided into five chapters. Chapter one presents the introduction, problem statement, objectives of the study, significance of the study, methodology and the organisation of the study. Chapter two gives an overview of the Ghanaian financial sector as well as reasons that led to the financial sector reforms. Chapter three gives an overview of the Ghanaian private sector. Chapter four uses CAMEL approach to analyse 4 major privately owned financial institutions. The final chapter looks at the overall findings, conclusions and recommendations.
2.0 Overview of the Ghanaian economy
This chapter provides an overview of the Ghanaian economy and the Ghanaian Financial System. The chapter also looks at reasons that led to the introduction of the financial sector reforms, a SWOT analysis of financial sector adjustment program (FINSAP I & II).
Ghana is one of the developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa that introduced structural and economic reforms to address its extensive macroeconomic shortcomings, reduce poverty and to liberalize the financial sector. The broad money/GDP ratio fell significantly to 12.5% in 1983 as compared to 29% in 1976, whiles currency/M2 ratio also decreased from 35% in 1970 to 50% in 1983. Bank deposits decreased from 19.5% of GDP in 1977 to 7.4% of GDP in 1984 because there was lack of confidence in the banking industry (Brownbridge, M., & Gockel, A. F. 1997).
During the 1980s the Ghanaian economy was hit by the most devastating economic crisis (www.bog.gov.gh). This gave rise to numerous extensive economic drawbacks in the Ghanaian economy. Leechor Chad reveals in an article published by the World Bank the following economic crisis that plagued the Ghanaian economy between the years 1982 to 1983:
- The countrys power systems, communication, postal and railway services ceased to function properly and the whole country was in a state of chaos.
- Tax collection had declined to about 5% to GDP, investment dropped drastically beyond the level required to maintain capital stock.
- Real income per capita which was continuously diminishing for a decade was a third below the level reached in the early 70s as at 1983.
- Foreign exchange reserves deteriorated considerably.
The Ghanaian economy was heavily controlled by the government in terms of setting unrealistic interest rates and sectoral credit ceilings; banks were forced to focus on lending to priority sectors (agriculture, export and manufacturing) regardless of the borrowers performance in terms of profitability and their capability to payback the loan. The economy was regulated to foreign investments and the strong existence of strict capital flow regulations (The Corporate Guardian, July-September 2006). Governments heavy intervention in the financial system set the stage for economic shortcomings a few such as lack of competition, high incidence of inefficiency, hardship and the escalating rate of non-performing loans (Leith, C. J., & Sderling, L. 2000).
Since the late 1980s, the government of Ghana continued to implement financial sector reforms as an integral part of its ongoing Economic Recovery Program (ERP) (Brownbridge, M., & Gockel, A. F. 1997). Ghanas enthusiasm to initiate the ERP with close collaboration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during the year 1983-85 was to liberalise the financial sector and establish an open market-based economy by eliminating price ceilings, reducing the influx of foreign imports, diversifying viable sectors of the economy and stabilizing fiscal deficit. Ghana in 1984 launched the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) with the primary aim of reducing its involvement in the economy and allowing the free interaction of demand and supply (The Corporate Guardian, July-September 2006). However, during the period 1983-88 the performance of the banking industry deteriorated with high levels of non-performing assets (NPAs) and inefficient deposit mobilization which made most public banks insolvent (Leith, C. J., & Sderling, L. 2000). The government launched the first phase of the Financial Sector Adjustment Program (FINSAP) in 1988. This was to fully deregulate as well as liberalize the financial sector and improve resource allocation within the various sectors of the economy (www.oecd.org).
Since 1983, Ghana has attached great importance to its divestiture initiative program. About 200 stated-owned enterprises (SOEs) were being considered for diversification under governments ongoing privatization initiative. At the end of the last two years, government still owned 35 enterprises valued at more than 60% of GDP in 2003 (IMF Survey, 2005). Governments expenditure during 1986-1991 increased and this called for policy reforms to enable government to meet its high spending. Government depended on the tax system to support its high level of spending. The Parliament of Ghana in 1993 increased tax on petroleum. However, the tax system could not supplement its GDP share to match the expenditure. Consequently this brought about deficit financing. Government resorted to other forms of financing its expenditure such as extensive borrowing from the Central Bank (issuing new notes), public and foreign borrowing, and privatization of sate-owned enterprises (Leith, C. J., & Sderling, L. 2000).
Over the years, Ghana has witnessed a massive transformation in its economy as a result of continuous implementation of financial sector reforms to deregulate the economy and stimulate savings, investment and growth. The Central Bank is constantly implementing policies adopted under FINSAP to ensure the entrants of privately owned financial institutions, free interest rates, stabilize the cedi against foreign currencies, encourage the flow of foreign investment and allow easier access to credits (www.bog.gov.gh).
The Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) was set up in 1989 as a private company limited under the Company code. The Stock Exchange act of 1971 (Act 384) allowed it to function as an authorized Stock Exchange. The Securities Industry Law PNDCL 333 (1993) as amended bestowed regulatory rights to the Security Regulatory Commission (SRC) with its main function to register, protect, assist and supervise all stakeholders in the securities market. In April 1994 the Ghana Stock Exchanges status became a public company limited (www.gse.co.gh). At the end of 2003, listed companies equity increased to 26 as compared to 22 in 2002 (www.gipc.org.gh). The performance of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) has improved tremendously. All-share Index increased by 91.3% in 2005 as compared to 154.7% in 2003 (ISSER 2005).
Flow of foreign investment increased from $110.0 million in 2003 to $139.3 million in 2004. In 2004 the cedi depreciated by only 2.2% against the US dollar, 10.7% against the Euro and 12.1% against the pound sterling. There was quite an improvement in the value of the cedi as compared to the previous year (2003) when the cedi depreciated by 22.5% against the Euro and 13.0% against the pound sterling. Average inflation fell from 26.7% in 2003 to 12.6% as at December 2004 (ISSER 2005).
Ghana is the second largest producer and exporter of cocoa; the agriculture sector accounts for about 50% of GDP and is considered the backbone of economic development (www.ghanaweb.com). Real GDP growth in 2004 was 5.8% (www.gipc.gh). The tremendous performance of the Agricultural sector has supported Ghanas remarkable rate of economic growth over the years. The Agricultural sector contributes significantly to GDP growth. In 1990 GDP increased by only 3.3%, this was due to the negative 2% growth rate in the Agricultural sector that year. The year 1991 witnessed a GDP growth rate for the Agricultural sector by 5.8% which consequently increased the whole Ghanaian economy GDP by 5.3% in that year. The sector has also contributed immensely to the countrys foreign exchange earnings; 38.5% in 1999, 35.4% in 2000, 33.9% in 2001, 35.5% in 2002. (www.fao.org/es/esa). Other main exports are gold, timber, bauxite, manganese ore and diamond (BOG Quarterly Economic Bulletin, April June 2005).
The performance of the agriculture sector over the years has immensely improved with growth rate of 7.5% in 2004 as compared to 6.1% in 2003. The production of cocoa for export contributed 46.7% during the year 2004, a significant portion of over all growth (ISSER 2005). The crops and livestock contribution increased from 2.3% in 2003 to 5.4% in 2004, the largest contribution to the agricultural sectors GDP. The forestry and logging sub-sectors increased by 6.1% in 2003, but dropped with a growth rate of 5.8% in 2004. (www.gipc.org.gh).The elimination of maximum lending rates and minimum time deposit rates succeeded to some extent in the liberalization of interest rates in 1987. Direct controls in the form of credit ceilings were also abolished. During the 1990s banks were at liberty to price deposits and loans and to distribute loans accordingly; however the Bank of Ghanas high reserve requirement limited the funds available for allocation (Brownbridge M. & Gockel A. F 1997). These high reserve requirements prevented banks from developing their loan portfolios and consequently, most banks preferred to invest in attractive and somewhat risk-free government securities (strategis.ic.gc.ca)
Interest rate dropped steadily owing to the Monetary Policy Committee (set up by the Bank of Ghana in 2004) decreasing prime rate from 21.5% in 2003 to 18.5% in 2004. Consequently, the commercial banks base rate has decreased from 29% to 25.4%. Interest rate for 91-Treasury bill fell from 18.71% early part of the year to 17.08% at the end of 2004. Interest rates for the 182-Day Treasury bill dropped from 19.78% during the early part of the year to 17.85% at the end of 2004. Inter-Bank interest rate also fell from 17.12% in January to 16.23% at the close of the year 2004 (www.gipc.org.gh)
The Banks spread (21.3%) is still too high as compared to the other African countries (see table 3*). The banking industry has been structured in a way that banks are able to adjust their interest rates according to policy rates. Banks maintain a high spread to ensure that their profits are not significantly influenced by their interest margins (BOG financial stability report 2004). However, according to the BOG financial stability report 2006 the emergence of new banks will lead to an efficient financial sector which is expected to reduce the pressure on lending spread due to the fact that banks will continuously try to gain market share by competing for customers.
Table 3: Selected Commercial Bank Interest Rates, 2000 and 2004
Deposit Rate Lending Rate Spread
2000 2004 2000 2004 2000 2004
Gabon 5.0 5.0 22.0 18.0 17.0 13.0
Ghana 16.8 7.5 47.0 28.8 30.2 21.3*
Kenya 8.1 2.4 22.3 12.5 14.2 10.1
Mauritius 9.6 8.2 20.8 21.0 11.2 12.8
Mozambique 9.7 9.9 19.0 19.2 9.3 9.3
Nigeria 11.7 13.7 21.3 19.2 9.6 5.5
Tanzania 7.4 4.2 21.6 13.9 14.2 9.7
Uganda 9.8 7.7 22.9 20.6 13.1 12.9
Zambia 20.2 11.5 38.8 30.7 18.6 19.2
Source : International Financial Statistics, IMF
Fiscal and Monetary Policy
The financial policies implemented by monetary authorities in Ghana before the implementation of FINSAP were direct government controls on all sectors of the economy. Government excessive control in the economy by setting price and interest ceilings coupled with weak macroeconomic problems lead to a high level of inflation (Ziorklui, S. Q. 2001).
Ghanas fiscal policy primarily aims at decreasing domestic debt, ensuring economic stability, cutting down on the increasing level of interest payments to achieve the required real interest rates. Consequently, the Bank of Ghana has adopted numerous strategies to address fiscal deficit and governments borrowing (www.gipc.org). Budget deficit was 0.55% of GDP during the second quarter of the year 2005 as compared to 1.18% of GDP during the last quarter of 2004. This showed significant decrease in the overall budget balance (Bank of Ghana Quarterly economic bulletin, April-June 2005).
The Bank of Ghana in 2004 set up the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to mainly focus on formulating effective monetary policies, making available statistical data and providing necessary support in terms of advise for monetary policy formulation (www.bog.gov.gh). The MPC seeks to control inflation, stabilize price and exchange market, manage external debt and develop the capital market (www.gipc.org.gh).
2.1 The Ghanaian Financial System in Brief
Ghanas banking sector has evolved over the years. There are 23 major banks (refer to table 7) operating in the banking sector in Ghana as at 2006. The Ghanaian banking sector is made up of 19 universal banks, 2 Development Banks, 2 Commercial banks including Apex Bank and 121 Rural Banks (www.bog.gov.gh). The introduction of universal banking in Ghana is overwhelmingly changing the way banks function in the economy. Unfortunately, not all banks operating in Ghana are eligible to be universal banks. To be eligible for banks to operate as universal banks they are expected to have at least 70 billion as shareholders capital (www.agighana.org). According to the Bank of Ghana universal banking substitutes the famous three-pillar banking model, namely development, merchant and commercial.
Table 4: List of Major Banks in Ghana – 2006
INITIALS BANK DATE OF ESTABLISHMENT NATURE OF BUSINESS
ABL Amalgamated Bank 2000 Universal Bank
ADB Agricultural Development Bank 1965 Development Bank
BBG Barclays Bank Ghana 1918 Universal Bank
CAL CAL Merchant Bank 1991 Universal Bank
EBG Ecobank Ghana Limited 1990 Universal Bank
FAMBL First Atlantic Bank 1995 Universal Bank
FBL Fidelity Bank Limited 2006 Universal Bank
GCB Ghana Commercial Bank 1952 Universal Bank
GTB Guaranty Trust Bank 2006 Universal Bank
HFC HFC Bank Limited 2002 Universal Bank
ICB International Commercial Bank 1996 Universal Bank
INTER Intercontinental Bank Plc 2006 Universal Bank
MAB Metropolitan & Allied Bank 1995 Commercial Bank
MBG Merchant Bank Ghana Limited 1972 Universal Bank
NIB National Investment Bank 1963 Development Bank
PBL Prudential Bank Limited 1997 Commercial Bank
SBL Stabic Bank Ghana Limited 2000 Universal Bank
SCB Standard Chartered Bank 1896 Universal Bank
SG-SSB SG-SSB Bank Limited 1976 Universal Bank
TTB The Trust Bank 1994 Universal Bank
UBA United Bank for Africa 2005 Universal Bank
UNI Unibank Ghana Limited 1999 Universal Bank
Zenith Zenith Bank 2005 Universal Bank
Until 1957 the West African Currency Board (WACB) acted as the only board under the
Colonial regime conferred with the authority to exchange sterling to Gold Coast pound. Government of the then Gold Coast declared its intention to issue its own currency after independence. Politicians and economists were of the strong opinion that with the establishment of a Central Bank, Ghanas independence will have a significant meaning in political history. In view of this, preparations started which ended up in the establishment of the Bank of Ghana on the 4th of March 1957 under the Bank of Ghana Ordinance (No.34) of 1957 passed by the British Parliament. The whole idea for the establishment of a Central Bank was to meet the financial needs of vast indigenous sectors of the economy as well as the new independent Ghana government.
After the establishment of Bank of Ghana (replaced WACB) as the central bank, the 1957 ordinance empowered the bank to primarily assume the following role in Ghana when it first begun formal operations on 1st August 1957 (www.bog.gov.gh):
- Printing out and redeeming bank notes and coins.
- Lender of last resort for banks in Ghana.
- Using fiscal and monetary policies to regulate money supply and maintaining monetary stability.
- Advise the government and be the main source to finance to the government of Ghana.
- Supervise and regulate all banks in Ghana.
The legal and regulatory frameworks in which financial intermediaries operate in Ghana are as follows (www.bog.gov.gh):
- Bank of Ghana Act 2002, Act 612
- Banking Act, 2004 (Act 673)
- Financial Institutions (Non-Bank) Law 1993, PNDC Law 328
- Companies Code Act 179, 1963
- Bank of Ghana Notices /Directives / Circulars / Regulations
Non-Banking Financial Sector
Ghana has achieved significant success in the economy particularly in the non-banking sector as a result of initiating the structural adjustment program, liberalizing the economy and by passing the Banking law in 1989 and the Non-bank financial law in 1993. These initiatives embarked by the government of Ghana have paved way for new entrants in the private sector and also transformed the existing financial institutions to diversify into the financial system. Consequently, there has been a rapid growth of Non-Bank Financial Institutes (NBFIs) with the prime aim of providing financial services to potential target groups outside the banking system (Ziorklui, S. Q. 2001).
According to the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre the financial system in Ghana includes the following licensed non-Bank Financial Institutions:
- Insurance companies
- Stock exchange
- Building Society
- Mortgage Finance Co.
- Venture Capital Funding Financing
- Trust Company
- Credit unions
- Discount houses
- Financial houses
- Leasing companies
- Savings and loans associations
2.2 Objectives of Financial Sector Adjustment Program (FINSAP)
According to Ziorklui S. Q. (2001), FINSAP was introduced and implemented in two phases. He further outlines the main objectives in both phases of the implementation. The first phase was implemented in 1988 with its main objectives as follows;
- Embark on restructuring to address financially distressed banks.
- Mobilize savings and strive to improve efficiency in the allocation of credit.
- Establish an effective regulatory and supervision system to monitor and improve the banking sector.
- Improve and strengthen the money and capital markets.
- To establish a non- performing assets recovery trust. The second phase of FINSAP was implemented in 1990 with the following objectives;
- Promote foreign investment and increase private participation in the banking sector in Ghana.
- Continue the implementation of policies adopted under the first phase of the financial sector adjustment program (FINSAP 1) to restructure the financial sector.
- Better manage the collection of non-performing loans by Non-Performing Assets Recovery Trust (NPART).
- Promote and develop non-Bank financial Institutions (NBFIs) to be more effective and efficient in savings mobilization.
2.3 SWOT Analysis Financial Sector Adjustment Program (FINSAP)
This section seeks to determine whether the main objectives under the implementation of the financial sector reforms (FINSAP) are attainab
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