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Ghana Needs to Stop Borrowing, Says Presidential Hopeful

by Victor Adetimilehin

A presidential aspirant from Ghana’s ruling party has called for an end to the country’s dependence on foreign debt to finance its development. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, a former agriculture minister and a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), said that Ghana should use its own resources instead of seeking bailouts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“Ghana has gone to the IMF 17 times since independence. If you divide 66 years by 17, you’ll get an average of four years. So, in other words, every four years we go to the IMF because we’ve been financing our development with debts, that’s what we’ve done. We haven’t been financing our development with our own resources,” Dr. Akoto said in an interview on Starr FM on Thursday.

He added that as president, he would initiate a process of restructuring the economy by allocating public resources to benefit agriculture, which he said has shown incredible potential under his leadership. “Farmers in the six years that I have worked with them have proven that indeed they can deliver,” he said.

Dr. Akoto is one of the many hopefuls who have expressed interest in succeeding President Nana Akufo-Addo, who is serving his second and final term. The NPP is expected to hold its primaries next year to elect its flagbearer for the 2024 general elections.

Ghana is one of the many African countries that have been struggling with high debt levels amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the World Bank, Ghana’s public debt rose from 62% of GDP in 2019 to 76% in 2020, making it one of the most indebted countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The IMF has warned that Ghana faces a high risk of debt distress and needs to implement fiscal consolidation measures to restore debt sustainability.

However, Dr. Akoto said that the NPP government has performed well in its first term and deserves praise rather than criticism. He said that Ghana was the star of Africa before the pandemic hit and disrupted its economic growth. He also accused the media of being unfair to the NPP and not highlighting its achievements.

He expressed confidence that the NPP will break the eight-year cycle of power alternation between itself and the main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC). He said that he has the vision and experience to lead Ghana to prosperity and development.

“I’m confident the NPP will break the eight. In our first term of government, Ghana was the star of Africa,” Dr. Akoto stated.

Source Ghana Web

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