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The World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, Mr. Pierre Laporte says it is key that government is transparent with the general public on the current economic situation the country finds itself in.
Government recently expressed its unhappiness with credit rating agencies, especially after Moody’s downgraded Ghana’s long-term foreign currency sovereign rating to Caa1 from B3.
According to Moody’s, it downgraded Ghana’s long-term issuer and senior unsecured debt ratings following the woes Ghana is facing in fixing its liquidity and debt challenges.
It also, among other things, faulted ineffective revenue generation as a cause, since that has not been able to afford the government the opportunity to be flexible with its expenditure.
Concerns such as the ones raised by Moody’s, the current depreciation of the Cedi against major trading currencies, ongoing resistance to plans to pass the E-Levy in Parliament, among others, has led many to express concern about the state of the country’s economy.
This was highlighted in the 65th Independence Day Lecture delivered by former Minister of Finance, Prof. Kwesi Botchwey, who noted among other things, that if the current crisis is not resolved with transparency and with input from other players like the opposition, it will turn into a catastrophe soon.
Commenting on the lecture and the subject of Ghana’s economic issues, the World Bank Country Director noted that the country faces a tough road to restoring macro-economic sustainability.
“Is it a really serious situation ? Well, the numbers speak for themselves. The situation is very serious. At the World Bank, we’ve not hidden the fact when we’ve held discussions with government officials and even the head of state that, Ghana faces a very tough road ahead to restore macro sustainability.”
“Yes, COVID-19 has not helped. But even before COVID-19, there were signs that the situation was getting a little bit challenging. So the key thing is to be transparent with the people. Yes, the figures speak for themselves, but not everybody is as educated as we are. Not everyone understands what the numbers mean, so it is important to talk about it like we are doing. More important is for us to find solutions for the problem,” he added.
Stop the arrogance; be honest with Ghanaians on economic woes – Kwesi Botchwey to gov’t
Prof. Kwesi Botchwey says Ghana’s current economic challenges could be overcome if the government is honest with Ghanaians.
“Our current travails can be overcome provided we level with the people. The solution to a problem begins with recognising that there is one. It must start with the recognition that, it is a crisis and level with the people. We must wind down the hubris, the arrogance, and the show of impunity that the people see.”
He made this submission while speaking at the 65th Independence Day Lecture held at the Economics Department of the University of Ghana, Legon, on Monday, March 7, 2022.
The lecture was on the theme: “On the state of the nation’s economy and politics, 65 years after independence, the path to sustainable development and democratic consolidation.”