Ghana's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) are prepared by the member countries through a participatory process involving domestic stakeholders as well as external development partners, including the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Updated every three years with annual progress reports, PRSPs describe the country's macroeconomic, structural and social policies and programs over a three year or longer horizon to promote broad-based growth and reduce poverty, as well as associated external financing needs and major sources of financing. Interim PRSPs (I-PRSPs) summarize the current knowledge and analysis of a country's poverty situation, describe the existing poverty reduction strategy, and lay out the process for producing a fully developed PRSP in a participatory fashion. The country documents, along with the accompanying IMF/World Bank Joint Staff Assessments (JSAs), are being made available on the World Bank and IMF websites by agreement with the member country as a service to users of the World Bank and IMF websites.
With this 2005 version of Ghana’s Poverty Reduction Strategy papers, the nation is called upon to define anew the programmes of National Development that it wishes to pursue in support of its current social and political aspirations. The turn-around in Ghana’s economic fortunes which has come about with the new century, offers the opportunity to achieve faster the existing goals of development policy, or to enlarge them or to do both. But the march of history and ideas also moves us to consider whether entirely new goals have come within our grasp, or that our priorities should be substantially re-ordered.
With the attainment of relative macroeconomic stability and modest economic growth under GPRS I, the overarching goal of Ghana’s current socio-economic development agenda is to attain middle income status (with a per capita income of at least US$1000) by the year 2015 within a decentralized democratic environment. This is to be complemented by the adoption of an overall social protection policy, aimed at empowering the vulnerable and excluded, especially women to contribute to and share in the benefits of growth of the economy, thus ensuring sustained poverty reduction.
However, there are two broad sets of constraints to achieving accelerated wealth creation and poverty reduction. These are the vulnerability of the economy due to the persistent reliance on the export earnings from a few primary commodities and the social structure which comprises a high proportion of children and youth with the attendant high dependency ratio, low level of literacy and skills, especially among women and the rural population.