Ex-President, John Mahama, has called on the government to organise a stakeholder forum to save the economy.
According to the President, such a forum would not chip off the dignity of the managers of the economy but would rather add to their integrity
In a Twitter post Thursday, Mahama said: “the recent free fall of the cedi against all major foreign currencies, may be exposing a deeper malaise in the ‘fundamentals of the economy’.”
With emphasis on the fundamentals of the economy, the ex-President referenced the jabs Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia landed on him when the latter was in opposition.
Dr. Bawumia, considered an economic colossus, addressed a series of economic fora where he criticised the handling of the economy.
In one of those lectures Bawumia said “…you can do all the propaganda you want, but if the fundamentals [of the economy] are weak, the exchange rate would expose you.”
The now-Vice President’s words have since been thrown back at him following the drastic plummet of the cedi against major trading currencies, hitting a record low.
To turn the economy around, John Mahama is proposing a stakeholder forum like he organised in 2014 when he was faced with challenges.
“It was a broad consultative process and even though it was boycotted by the opposition NPP, it achieved its objective of producing the famous Senchi Report which contributed to the Homegrown Fiscal Consolidation Programme,” Mahama wrote.
Read his full post below
There is a much-hackneyed saying, “two heads are better than one”.
There are times when a leader or a party must admit that they do not have all the answers to the challenges facing the economy or a particular sector. At such times, it does not take away from your dignity, but adds to your credibility, when you create a consultative process that forges a consensus and allows a nation to move forward.
I faced one such decision point as President in 2014. The 3-day Senchi Economic Forum was held in May 2014.
It was a broad consultative process and even though it was boycotted by the opposition NPP, it achieved its objective of producing the famous Senchi Report which contributed to the Homegrown Fiscal Consolidation Programme.
This Homegrown Fiscal Programme led eventually to the ECF with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and resulted in one of the most stable periods in Ghana’s economic history in 2016, with the cedi being one of the best performing African currencies.
This administration is probably at such a decision point. The recent free fall of the cedi against all major foreign currencies, may be exposing a deeper malaise in the “fundamentals of the economy”.
It may serve Akufo-Addo/Bawumia and their economic team well to own up to their shortcomings and call a Senchi type stakeholder forum on the economy.