Ghana Loses $1.3 Billion Due to Decline in Cocoa and Gold Prices

Ghana Loses $1.3 Billion Due to Decline in Cocoa and Gold Prices

From The Chronicle via AllAfrica

Ghana, which is the world’s second largest producer of cocoa and gold, lost a whopping sum of $1.3 billion in export revenues, as a result of the decline in prices of the two commodities on the international market last year.

However, during the same period, the West African country spent a total of $1.5 billion on the importation of consumables.

As of 2013, the import bill of the country continued to rise to $17 billion, while the country’s debt to GDP ratio currently stands at 52 per cent. President John Dramani Mahama disclosed in his State of the Nation’s Address in Accra.

A breakdown of products imported included rice, sugar, wheat, tomato products, frozen fish, poultry and vegetable cooking oil. He explained that institutions such as the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Ghana Gas Company, Volta River Authority (VRA), the Ghana Airport Company and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) will be able to finance their investments through the fund without burdening the public debt stock.

Revamping of local industries

President John Mahama reiterated the need to add value to raw materials to increase exports and reduce the importation of cocoa products and gold among others.

“We must add value to our cocoa by increasing domestic processing; we must refine our gold before export. We must pursue Nkrumah’s dream of an integrated bauxite and aluminum industry and halt the export of raw bauxite. We must revamp Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), Bulk Oil Storage and Transport company (BOST), Volta Aluminum Company (VALCO), Tema Shipyard and Dry Dock and the many other strategic industries that serve as extra pillars for our economy,” he said.

Written by Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh | Read more at AllAfrica