Business News of 2014-05-08

All set for first National Economic Forum next week

Government has set Tuesday May 13, 2014 for the first ever National Economic Forum aimed at achieving consensus on policies, strategies and measures to accelerate Ghana's transition from a lower middle income nation to an upper middle income economy.

Scheduled to take place in Akosombo, the non-partisan forum is themed "Changing the Narrative: Building a National Consensus for Economic and Social Transformation".

The four-day event is also expected to draw out ideas for a "sustainable path of development that guarantees improvements in the quality of life for all Ghanaians", according to a government release on Wednesday.

The release signed by Minister for Information and Media Relations, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, stated that participants and major contributors at the forum will include former finance ministers, former Governors of the Bank of Ghana, eminent economists, political parties and parliamentarians and business leaders.

Also expected to take part in the national event are economic policy makers, as well as representatives of traders associations, development and social partners, civil society organisations, members of academia and senior citizens.

The forum, according to government, will also aim to institutionalise a regular consultative machinery that promotes economic dialogue between the public sector and social partners in order to develop common national positions on critical economic policy issues.

Coming on the back of a proposal by Vice President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur at the inauguration of a rice mill in the Volta Region last month, the national event is also in response to the current challenges facing the economy.

The Vice President heads government's Economic Management Team.

The President, John Mahama, subsequently confirmed support for the Vice President's proposal on his Facebook wall when he said "the passion involved in the present bipartisan debate [on the country's economy] leads to inefficiency”.

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”- a description the Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, disagrees with.

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