Safeguard democratic traditions, institutions – Dr Amoako to nation

The country must safeguard its democratic traditions and institutions in order to progress, the President of the Africa Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET), Dr Kingsley Yeboah Amoako, has said.

That will be a perfect complement to the solutions it is implementing to address the economic problems, he added.

Dr Amoako said another election was on the horizon and the next government would lead the country into the second quarter of the 21st Century but the “next 25 years are absolutely crucial and critical to Ghana’s ability to secure its future”.

“As we know, Ghana just signed another agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

But the stakes are higher.

Political polarisation is worst. Civic disengagement is higher.

Ghana must not only solve its economic problems to enable transformation; it must also safeguard its democratic traditions and institutions,” Dr Amoako stressed this when delivering the keynote address at the second K.B. Amissah-Arthur Economic Forum in Accra last Friday.


The event, which was on the theme: “Economic Policy Making in Ghana: Lessons Learnt and the Way Forward”, was held to honour the memory of the late former Vice-President, Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur.

It was attended by a number of personalities, including former President John Mahama and his 2020 running mate, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang.

Also present were the wife of the late Vice-President, Matilda Amissah-Arthur, and their children; a former Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper; a former Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, Moses Asaga; the Omanhene of Essikado Traditional Area, Nana Kobina Nketsia V; former Governors of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Henry Kofi Wampah and Dr Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku; the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Fifi Kwetey; a leading member of the party, Goosie Tanoh, and the Chairman of the Christian Council of Ghana, Rt Rev. Dr Hilliard Dela Dogbe.

There were also three former Vice-Chancellors of the University of Ghana — Professors Akilakpa Sawyerr, Ivan Addae-Mensah and Ernest Aryeetey, among a section of students, mostly from the Department of Economics of the University of Ghana, which organised the forum in collaboration with the family of the late Vice-President. 


Dr Amoako, a former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, said one of his most vivid memories of the late Vice-President was when they worked together at Senchi, almost 10 years ago when the country was facing economic challenges.

“Together with Paa Kwesi and other political and development elite in Senchi, we spent three days on substantive discussions about what the future of our country should be.

We came out of Senchi with a consensus, but only among a privileged few, without enough buy-in from all political parties.

So the conversations and the agreements we made ended up as a footnote in history rather than a long-term strategy,” he said, adding that “the situation we face today may be even worse”.

Dr Amoako said between 2000 and 2020, the country experienced 13 years of rapid growth, including six years of very rapid growth.

However, he added, growth alone was not enough to sustain long-term development and that there was the need for countries to transform their economies.

“Despite that strong growth rate, Ghana’s economy has suffered from falling productivity in the manufacturing sector and high vulnerability to global markets and commodity price shocks.

Its development has been marred by debt and energy crises, large trade and fiscal imbalances and a lack of consistent long-term planning,” he said.

He said what was needed was another consensus which would be a true national consensus with broader stakeholder input and buy-in, especially among the youth, women and civic associations.

Dr Amoako cited the Compact for Ghana’s Political and Economic Transformation, which was being spearheaded  to build a true national consensus that was urgently needed.

“The Ghana Compact aims to frame the future we want for Ghana by 2050.

It is a platform for setting a shared vision for our nation that will tackle our greatest challenges.

It is intended to put Ghana on a more secure path forward by bringing a better balance to our democratic process and more voices into our policy discussions,” he said.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, who chaired the forum, said as a nation, the country had made significant strides in its economic development although some challenges continued to persist.

“It is through critical analysis, open dialogue and collaboration that we can chart a path towards sustainable growth and inclusive prosperity,” she said.

Earlier, the Head of the Economics Department of the university, Prof. William Baah-Boateng, said his outfit was proud and happy to collaborate with the family of the former Vice-President to organise the forum in his memory.

During a panel session, a Senior Lecturer at the Economics Department, Dr Emmanuel A. Cudjoe, said the history of economics was important, particularly “because you do not want to move forward without recognising where it all began”.

The Director of Research at the Bank of Ghana, Dr Philip Abradu-Otoo, who was also on the panel, said, among other things, the central bank had a communications department that picked up issues that went on in the media, and that those were taken into consideration to inform policy.

Another Senior Lecturer at the Economics Department, Dr Agyapomaa Gyeke-Dako, said there was the need to develop the agriculture sector very well to enable it to feed the manufacturing sector through value addition.

The Managing Director of Petra Trust Company Limited, Kofi D. Fynn, said with the country being a political economy, there was no way one could be a private sector participant without engaging with the government.  

Two students who distinguished themselves at the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) levels – Deborah Annang and Josephine Baako-Amponsah, were presented with the Ghana cedi equivalents of $2,000 and $4,000 by the family of the late Vice-President. 

SOURCE: GraphicOnline

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