Ghana needs a National Development Agenda – Dr Atuahene

Dr. Richmond Akwasi Atuahene, a Banking Consultant, says Ghana needs to work on a National Development Agenda to champion its socio-economic development as part of the building back strategy, He said the Agenda should be different from the current ad- hoc political ones that had only party followers and activists becoming richer and wealthier and making the rest of the populace poorer and poorer since independence in1957. Dr Atuahene was speaking at the 12th edition of the Ghana Economic Forum’s (GEF) on the theme: ‘Building Back Better: IMF Support, Strategies to Build a Sustainable Economy, and Dynamic Business Environment.’ The forum is set against a backdrop of the toughest macroeconomic period in over a decade; the US$3billion Extended Credit Facility (ECF) from the International Monetary Fund (IMF); and ensuing actions such as the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP). He said the all-inclusive National Strategic Development agenda would clearly define the vision, mission, and the objectives the country set for itself. He said the National Development Agenda would be about building an inclusive enabling environment that supported achievement of the country’s socio-economic development for the betterment of all Ghanaians irrespective of their social status by leveraging different strengths and experiences of all Ghanaians but not only party political activists. Dr Atuahene said over the long-term, there should be priority policies to ensure and sustain macroeconomic stability, focus on comprehensive agricultural development with all value-chain systems and make conscious effort to develop export diversification like the La Cote D’Ivoire. It should also focus on improving international remittances, resource mobilization and the private sector as the engine of growth to provide Debt to GDP ratio at 60 per cent and ensuring price and exchange rate stability. He said the 1992 Constitution needed a comprehensive review after 30 years of party democracy to address the many shortfalls, inadequacies and unending indemnity clauses and the current judiciary practices and procedures needed to address the lapses, including pro-long delays in the judiciary systems to make them relevant in the 21st century. Ms Abena Amoah, the Managing Director of Ghana Stock Exchange, said Banks collective profit was up by 50 per cent compared to last year, adding that many of the Banks were recovering from the crisis. She said the Banks were currently shifting away from investing in businesses that created jobs and produced goods and services to trying to purchase treasury bills and a lot of the money they were making came from the high interest rates. Dr. Godwin Acquaye, the Chief Executive Officer of Business and Financial Times, said they had embarked on a collective journey towards fortifying Ghana’s economic landscape, guided by the invaluable support of the International Monetary Fund. He said the Fund’s partnership had been instrumental in navigating the challenges that confronted the country, and together, ‘we stand committed to forging a path towards a stronger, more resilient economy.’ He said the theme encapsulated their shared determination to rise above adversity, to not merely rebuild, but to do so with a vision for a more sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous future. The forum serves as the crucible for ideas, strategies, and collaborations that will shape the trajectory of the nation’s economic resurgence. ‘In the pursuit of this vision, we recognize the need for multifaceted strategies. We must diversify our economic base, investing in emerging industries while fortifying traditional sectors,’ he added. Dr Acquaye said, ‘we must foster an environment where innovation thrives, and where the spirit of entrepreneurship is nurtured.’ The CEO said infrastructure development stood as a cornerstone of progress and ‘as we embark on this journey, we are committed to building not just physical structures, but also the bridges that connect communities, the energy systems that power our industries, and the digital highways that drive innovation.’ He said transparency, accountability, and good governance were non-negotiable pillars for the country’s economic future. He said the country must never lose sight of the fact that true progress was inclusive, and it hinged on the empowerment of every citizen, ensuring that they had access to quality education, healthcare, and the tools to participate meaningfully in the economy.

Source: Ghana News Agency