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Former Finance Minister Gets New Role as Presidential Advisor

Ken Ofori-Atta to advise Akufo-Addo on economic matters and international investments

by Victor Adetimilehin

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has appointed his former finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, as a senior presidential advisor on the economy, according to sources close to the presidency.

Ofori-Atta, who served as the finance minister from 2017 to 2023, was one of the four ministers who lost their positions in a cabinet reshuffle announced on Wednesday.

The reshuffle, the first major one since Akufo-Addo took office for a second term in 2018, was seen as a response to the growing public discontent over the state of the economy, which has been hit by high inflation, currency depreciation, and rising debt.

Ofori-Atta, who is a cousin of the president, was instrumental in negotiating an IMF support programme to rescue the ailing economy in 2017. He also oversaw the implementation of several fiscal reforms and revenue mobilization measures.

However, he faced criticism from some members of his own party and the opposition for his handling of the energy sector, the banking sector crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new role with a new challenge

As a senior presidential advisor on the economy, Ofori-Atta will offer his expertise and guidance to the president on economic matters, as well as serve as a special envoy for international investments and capital markets.

This means he will be part of the team that will manage the economy, which is expected to recover gradually from the impact of the pandemic and the global financial turmoil.

According to Elton Brobbey, a presidential correspondent for JoyNews, Ofori-Atta’s new role will also involve attracting foreign investors and mobilizing resources for the government’s flagship projects, such as the One District One Factory initiative and the Ghana CARES programme.

A mixed reaction from the public

The appointment of Ofori-Atta as a presidential advisor has elicited mixed reactions from the public and the media.

Some have welcomed the move, saying that Ofori-Atta is a competent and experienced economist who can help the president steer the economy in the right direction.

Others have questioned the rationale behind the move, saying that Ofori-Atta should have been held accountable for his performance as a finance minister and that his new role will create confusion and conflict with the current finance minister, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam.

Some have also expressed concern about the potential influence of Ofori-Atta on the president’s decisions, given their family ties and political affiliation.

A test of leadership and governance

The appointment of Ofori-Atta as a presidential advisor is seen as a test of Akufo-Addo’s leadership and governance, as he faces the challenge of reviving the economy and restoring public confidence.

Analysts say that the president will have to balance the interests and expectations of his party, his cabinet, and the people, as well as deal with the external pressures and uncertainties.

They also say that the president will have to ensure that his advisors and ministers work together as a team and avoid any duplication or contradiction of roles and responsibilities.

The president has said that he is committed to delivering on his promises and fulfilling his vision of building a prosperous and inclusive Ghana.

He has also urged the public to support his government and its policies, saying that he is working for the common good of the nation.

Source: Modern Ghana 

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