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Ghana overtakes Nigeria in regional aviation hub as economy grows 8.5% in 2017

Investigations by Business Hilights Ghana Bureau chief during the first quarter of 2018 has shown that Kotoka International Airport, Accra now has the highest operations of international airlines, thus relegating Nigeria’s Lagos and Abuja international airports to second fiddles.

This is as the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) disclosed that the economy jumped provisionally by 8.5 percent in 2017 compared to 3.7 percent recorded in 2016.

The findings by our correspondent showed that within the period under review, many international flights coming to Africa prefer landing in Ghana from where they will rely on local airlines to distribute both arrival and departing traffic to other regional airports including those in Nigeria.

Industry observers say preferring Accra International Airport to Nigeria’s Lagos and Abuja stemmed from the availability of latest aviation infrastructure that are of global standards and seamless administration of the facility by the Ghanaian aviation agencies.

Only recently, the Accra Airport gates were laced with barometric e-Gates to allow for seamless in and out access as obtainable in developed and some developing economies.

Whereas the Accra Airport had long been covered by Close Circuit TV (CCTV) infrastructure, only recently, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) announced that it has attained up to 90 per cent coverage of Lagos and Abuja Airports with CCTV.

According to the acting Ghanaian Government Statistician, Mr. Baah Wadieh, who announced the cheering economic growth rate, he attributed the growth to increased oil and gas production and tailored management of the resources for the growth of the economy.

Within the period, Ghanaian oil production grew by 80.4 percent in 2017.

Besides, GSS averred that the Industry sector recorded the highest growth rate of 16.7 percent, followed by Agriculture 8.4 percent and the Services 4.3 percent sectors.

Services remained the largest sector but its share of GDP decreased from 56.8 percent in 2016 to 56.2 percent in 2017.

The sector’s growth rate also decreased from 5.7 percent in 2016 to 4.3 percent in 2017.

However, two of the subsectors in the services sector recorded double digit growth rates, including Information and Communication 13.2 percent and Health and Social Work 14.4 percent.

The Industry sector, the highest growing sector with a GDP share of 25.5 percent, had its growth rate increasing from -0.5 percent in 2016 to 16.7 percent in 2017.

Of all the industrial activities the Mining and Quarrying subsector recorded the highest growth of 46.7 percent in 2017.

The Agriculture sector expanded from a growth rate of 3.0 percent in 2016 to 8.4 percent in 2017. Its share of GDP, however, declined from 18.7 percent in 2016 to 18.3 percent in 2017. Crops remain the largest activity with a share of 14.2 percent of GDP.

Still in Ghana, the Non-Oil annual GDP growth rate decreased from 5.0 percent in 2016 to 4.9 percent in 2017. The 2017 Non-oil GDP for industry recorded a growth rate of 0.4 percent, compared with 4.9 percent in 2016.

Ghana News Agency also revealed in a statement that growth in the fourth quarter of 2017 reached 8.1 percent compared to 9.7 percent in the third quarter.

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