Part II: Fact-checking Dr Bawumia at Gov’t Town Hall Meeting

Part II: Fact-checking Dr Bawumia at Gov’t Town Hall Meeting

Part II: Fact-checking Dr Bawumia at Gov’t Town Hall Meeting

Claims: Four claims about Ghana’s economic performance

Source: Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia

Verdict: Two True and two mixture

Mixture: The claim is a mix of accurate and inaccurate assertions, or the primary claim is misleading or incomplete.

Researched by Rabiu Alhassan

Ghana’s Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on February 11 addressed a town hall meeting and results fair in Kumasi in the Ashanti region to defend the track record of the current administration.

The 1-hour 30-minute address was streamed live via the Ministry of Information verified Facebook account and saw the Vice President make several claims about the government’s fulfilment of promises made to Ghanaians leading to the 2016 elections.

Here is part two of our fact-check report verifying four more claims made by Dr Bawumia during his address at the maiden government town hall meeting.

Claim: Policy rate falls from 25.5% to 16% (2017-2019)

Verdict: True

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said:

“The Bank’s Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) has been cut by a cumulative 950bps between 2017 and January 2019 from 25.5% to 16%.”

Fact-check

Data available on the Bank of Ghana website does confirm the downward revision of the Central bank’s Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) from 25.50% to 16% from 23 January 2017 to 28 January 2019.

The policy rate is a signalling rate which is supposed to serve as a reference cap for all other rates in the economy.

On the Policy Rate Trends page of the BoG website, one can get an overview of the historical trends in the key policy rate of the Bank of Ghana.

So, this claim is rated true.

Claim: Growth rate figures between 2017-2019

Verdict: True

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said:

“Growth for 2017 was 8.1%, 6.8% in 2018 and a projected 7.0% in 2019, significantly exceeding the average sub-Saharan African (SSA) growth and amongst some of the fastest-growing economies in the world for the last three years.”

Fact-check

Ghana recorded an annual growth rate of 8.1%, 6.3%, 7.0% in 2017, 2018 and 2019, according to data from the International Monetary Fund, African Development Bank, Ghana Statistical Service and World Bank.

In 2019, Ghana was projected to grow by 8.8% by the IMF which would have made the West African country the fastest-growing economy in the world.

Meanwhile, the IMF Sub-Saharan African: regional economic outlook report showed growth in sub-Saharan Africa was projected to remain at 3.2 percent in 2019 and rise to 3.6 percent in 2020.

In 2018, average growth for sub-Saharan Africa was about 3 percent, up from 2.8 percent in 2017.

The claim is rated true.

Claim: Agric sector growth from 2.9% in 2016 to 6.8% by 2018

Verdict: Mixture

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said:

“The recent growth performance has been driven mainly by industry and agriculture sectors, the latter particularly reflecting the effect of policy interventions in the sector, most notably the planting for food and jobs. This has resulted in an increase in Agric sector growth from 2.9% in 2016 to 6.8% by 2018 and a projected 6.4% in 2019.”

Fact-check

According to the Ghana Statistical Service, the agricultural sector grew by 2.9% in 2016, 6.1% in 2017 and 4.8% in 2018.

Data captured in the GSS Rebased 2013-2018 Annual Gross Domestic Product report showed Agric sector growth in 2018 was 4.8% and not 6.8% as suggested by the Vice President.

Ghana’s 2020 Budget Statement and Economic Policy read by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta also projects Agricultural sector growth for 2019 to be 6.9 percent and not 6.4%.

Hence the claim is rated mixture because the content is a mix of accurate and inaccurate assertions.

Claim: Industry and services sectors growth rate

Verdict: Mixture

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said:

“Industry growth has increased from 4.3% in 2016 to 15.7% in 2017, 10.6% in 2018 and a projected 8.8% in 2019. Growth in the service sector has almost doubled from 2.8% in 2016 to a projected 5.4% in 2019”

Fact-check

According to the Ghana Statistical service Rebased 2013-2018 Annual Gross Domestic Product report, industry grew by 4.3, 15.7 and 10.6 between 2016-2018.

Meanwhile the services sector grew by 2.8, 3.3 and 2.7 within the same period.

So, it is curious to know why Dr Mahamudu Bawumia decided to compare 2016, 2017 and 2018 industry growth figures but fails to do same for the service sector.

Without any justification, it is misleading or incomplete to compare the 2016 service sector growth figure to the 5.4% projected growth rate for the sector as mentioned in the 2019 mid-year budget.

So, we rate the claim mixture because the content is a mix of accurate and inaccurate assertions and the primary claim is misleading or incomplete.