Home » Economist Slams Ofori-Atta’s New Role: ‘He Led Us Into Crisis’

Economist Slams Ofori-Atta’s New Role: ‘He Led Us Into Crisis’

Former finance minister faces criticism for his new role as a special envoy for international finance and private sector investments

by Victor Adetimilehin

The former finance minister of Ghana, Ken Ofori-Atta, has been appointed as a senior presidential advisor and special envoy for international finance and private sector investments. But not everyone is happy with this decision.

A controversial appointment

Ofori-Atta, who served as the finance minister from 2017 to 2021, is credited with stabilizing the economy and implementing fiscal reforms. However, he also faced criticism for increasing the public debt, failing to secure external financing, and overseeing a banking sector crisis that led to the collapse of several local banks.

One of his vocal critics is Kwame Pianim, a renowned economist and a leading figure in the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP). In an interview with Joy News, Pianim questioned how Ofori-Atta could be a special envoy for international finance when he was the one who led the country into an economic crisis.

“Ken Ofori-Atta going is good for the optics. But the person who led us into the financial and economic crisis that we are in, we haven’t been here before… there has never been a time where Ghana has not been able to pay its bills and we are not going to start paying them until 2025 and this is the same guy who gets us kicked out of the Eurobond market, how can he be an envoy?” Pianim asked.

Pianim also doubted Ofori-Atta’s ability to advise the president on economic matters, saying that the country does not have an economy now. He suggested that the president should reduce the number of appointees at the presidency and focus on delivering on his promises to the people.

A strategic move or a political reward?

The appointment of Ofori-Atta as a senior presidential advisor and special envoy has raised some eyebrows, as some see it as a way of rewarding him for his loyalty and service to the president and the party. Ofori-Atta is a cousin of President Nana Akufo-Addo and a founding member of the NPP. He was also the campaign manager for Akufo-Addo in the 2016 and 2020 elections.

Others, however, view the appointment as a strategic move to leverage Ofori-Atta’s experience and connections in the international financial arena. Ofori-Atta is a former investment banker and co-founder of Databank, a leading financial services firm in Ghana. He also served as the chairman of the African Development Bank’s board of governors and the joint development committee of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

According to a statement from the presidency, Ofori-Atta’s role as a special envoy will involve “engaging with international financial partners and the private sector on matters relating to the mobilization of resources and investments to support Ghana’s transformation agenda and Africa’s economic recovery efforts.”

A challenging task ahead

Ofori-Atta’s new role comes at a time when Ghana, like many other African countries, is facing a daunting economic situation due to the impact of the global pandemic. The country’s GDP growth rate plummeted from 6.5% in 2019 to 0.9% in 2020, the lowest in 37 years. The fiscal deficit widened from 4.8% of GDP in 2019 to 11.7% of GDP in 2020, while the public debt rose from 62.4% of GDP in 2019 to 76.1% of GDP in 2020.

To address these challenges, the government has announced a 100 billion cedi ($17.3 billion) Ghana CARES program, which aims to revitalize the economy and accelerate growth in the next three years. The program focuses on supporting key sectors such as agriculture, industry, services, infrastructure, and digitalization.

However, the success of the program depends largely on the availability of adequate financing, both domestic and external. This is where Ofori-Atta’s role as a special envoy could be crucial, as he will have to convince potential investors and donors to support Ghana’s recovery and transformation agenda.

Despite the economic difficulties, Ghana still has a lot of potential and opportunities to bounce back and achieve its vision of becoming a prosperous and inclusive nation. With a stable democracy, a vibrant private sector, a youthful population, and abundant natural resources, the country has the ingredients to overcome its challenges and realize its aspirations. What it needs is a clear strategy, a strong leadership, and a committed partnership with the international community and the private sector. Ofori-Atta’s new role could be a catalyst for such a partnership, if he can leverage his skills and networks to mobilize the necessary resources and investments for Ghana’s economic revival.

Source: Modern Ghana 

You may also like

Leave a Comment

white logo with motto small

The Ghana Sentinel is an embodiment of Ghana’s spirit, providing unerring insight into our politics, society, and business.

Editors' Picks

Latest Stories

© 2024 The Ghana Sentinel. All Rights Reserved.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com