Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen

Former Trades’ Minister and 2024 Independent Presidential Aspirant and Leader for the Movement of Change, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen has taken a swipe at the finance minister, asserting Ken Ofori-Atta cannot take credit for the marginal improvements in the economy.

The economy, after a torrid 2022 saw inflation hit an over 30-year high of 54.1% and the rapid decline of the Ghana cedi against international currencies.

Ghana’s economy has however seen some relief recently, with inflation and interest rates declining, while the Ghana cedi has gained stability in the forex market.

Alan Kyerematen, who ascribes the stability in the economy to the ongoing International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme says the finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, cannot take credit since he was opposed to an IMF programme even when all indicators pointed to a collapsing economy.

In February 2022, the finance minister told the nation at an E-levy town hall “I can say we are not going to the IMF. Whatever we do, we are not. The consequences are dire, we are a proud nation, we have the resources, we have the capacity. We are not people of short-sight, but we have to move on.”

Mr. Ofori-Atta has consistently maintained that Ghana’s economy is on a rebound and turned the corner.

During the 2024 budget presentation on November 15, he said “we turned the corner when the 1 percent projected growth came to 3 percent in the first two quarters of this year. We turned the corner when the currency, which had been under severe pressure over the past two years, depreciated by a modest 6.4 percent in the past nine months compared to 53.3 percent during the same period in 2022.”

Alan Kyerematen told participants at the National Economic Summit, last Friday that the Finance Minister should not be taking credit for the improvement of the economy.

“The Minister of Finance has no right to be taking credit for the marginal improvements that we are seeing in the economy. Because it is clear that he was against Ghana going to the IMF.”

“I can say with pride that I was one of the few senior leaders in government that made a decision that we had gotten to a point where we had no choice. That’s what leadership is about,” the former Cabinet Minister touted.

Alan Kyerematen is also cautioning against assumptions the country is out of the woods as he emphasises the need to address the structural vulnerabilities of the economy in bringing a lasting solution to the cyclical economic challenges the country faces.

“Let us remember that we are not out of the woods yet. What the IMF intervention is doing for Ghana and will do for Ghana is to bring us to ground zero as now we are under the water. It’s a three-year program and unless we have a government that has a vision of transformation to succeed the IMF program, we will go back underwater”, he cautioned.

“The only reason why we are where we are is because the structural vulnerabilities of our economies lend themselves to your inability to absorb any shocks that come your way. And you cannot determine the type of shocks that would be okay, particularly in the external environment. So all you need is to build a strong, resilient economy that can withstand any shock domestic or external,” he urged.

Source: Ghana/ Kojo