Monday, 17 February

Class EBS Diaries: The exchequer’s post-partisan economic intervention

Feature Article
Finance Minister

Class 91.3 FM Executive Breakfast Show Diaries are a series of retrospective articles about the radio programme, authored by columnist Vincent Letsa Kobla Djokoto, a regular panellist. The Class 91.3 FM EBS is hosted by Benjamin Akakpo and produced by Robert Israel.

One of the reasons I’d never miss an opportunity to tune into the Class 91.3FM Executive Breakfast Show is simply because of the music; it’s rare that you find a social advocacy platform that is able to blend in-depth analysis with a fine taste of melody. Besides, there’s nothing better than an enthusing selection of songs to kick-start the week. But that’s not the focus of my column today; the focus is about a last-minute attempt by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to rescue the cedi before a crucial election in December, 2020.

Ken’s post-partisan economic intervention.

I am sure you’ve already heard about the FX development committee inaugurated by the Ministry of Finance, last week, to investigate the drastic fall of the cedi. My views are straightforward: it’s quite uncommon for a government to readily accept that its policies, aimed at strengthening the value of the cedi, haven’t worked. But the newly-formed FX development committee is arguably an admission, on the part of government, that it has not been able to come to grips with the management of the economy. To quote a witty economist and the second gentleman of the Republic, Dr Bawumia, Vice-President of Ghana “If the fundamentals are weak, the exchange rate will expose you”.

So, it’s undoubtedly a pragmatic step to get all hands-on deck and engage professionals across a broad spectrum with a view to saving the cedi. I also think it was a shrewd and impressive move by the exchequer, Ken Ofori-Atta, to emphasize the bipartisanship of the committee. Why? It isn’t just about sharing, proportionally, the blame between the previous administration and the current one for our economic woes. Instead, it is about forging ahead with a common resolution for the economy, regardless of which political party administers the Republic.

Nonetheless, it may never be the case that Ghana’s two biggest political parties, the NDC and NPP, may share the same views about the direction of the economy. After all, they’re guided by different philosophies. One thing they both certainly agree on, for sure, is that we need to strengthen our domestic economy and become much more self-reliant as a Republic. And this can only happen if our local industries are able to produce efficiently for our local consumption at affordable prices. 

Source: Vincent Djokoto