Business News of 2014-04-11

Prez Mahama confirms national economic forum in June

President John Mahama has confirmed plans by his administration to organise a non-partisan national economic forum in an effort to reach a consensus on how to improve Ghana’s troubled economy.

A post on his Facebook page revealed that the decision was arrived at after discussions with the Economic Management Team – which is headed by the Vice President -- where it was concluded that “our country will benefit from a National Forum on the Economy. So we have agreed to organize the first one in June.”

The Daily Graphic on Thursday April 10, 2014 reported that Vice President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur had proposed at the inauguration of a rice mill in the Volta Region on Wednesday that exigencies of the times demand a stakeholder forum to brainstorm ideas on improving the economy.

According to the report the Vice President indicated that Ghanaians needed to reach consensus on how to move the economy forward, provided all the stakeholders came together to guarantee the continued growth of the economy.

The President seems to utterly agree with this position when he wrote on his Facebook wall that “economic difficulties can be better tackled through brainstorming, by gathering all the stakeholders (political parties, civil society, private sector, labour and government) around the same table”.

“The passion involved in the present bipartisan debate leads to inefficiency”, the President stated further. He said his duty as a President “is to aim social peace and to find a national consensus for the main issue”.

Despite many attempts to curtail a ballooning public wage, a depreciating cedi and record high inflation, Ghana’s economy continues to slump in performance. These coupled with a rising debt stock has caused some experts to describe Ghana’s economic situation as a “crisis”.

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, an economic luminary and a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, at recent lecture underscored need for a quick action to salvage the situation since anything short of that would see Ghana heading to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bail out.

Although the Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, does not agree that Ghana's economy is in "crisis", he does not disprove the imminence of an IMF bailout.