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Finance Ministry Engages Academia on Economic Strategies

Finance Ministry Engages Academia on Economic Strategies

Accra, 2nd July 2024 - In a landmark move to foster collaboration between policymakers and academia, the Finance Ministry in collaboration with the University of Ghana, convened a Quarterly Economic Roundtable at the University of Ghana.

The event, aimed at addressing the country's economic challenges, and bridging the gap between policy makers and academia brought together top government officials, economists, and industry experts.

Hon. Abena Osei-Asare, Minister of State, and Member of Parliament for Atiwa East, set the tone for the discussions, emphasizing the importance of partnership in guiding Ghana's economic path.

"We genuinely believe in the power of this partnership to guide our economic path," she stated, adding that the best policy positions emerge when government, academia, and industry work together.


The inaugural roundtable focused on critical areas including fiscal operations, debt dynamics, and monetary policy coordination. She urged participants to deliberate with a strategic focus on actionable recommendations to drive economic development in both the short and long term.

Hon Osei-Asare reiterated the government's commitment to fostering ongoing dialogue with academia and industry. "This platform has to play its significant role as the economy continues its upward swing," she stated, underlining the importance of sustained collaboration.

Dr Nii Kwaku Sowa, Country Director for the International Growth Centre (IGC-Ghana), in a keynote address highlighted the persistent challenges facing Ghana's economy.

"The past couple of years have seen a boost in macro indices, but some warming trends are headed in undesirable directions," he noted. Dr. Sowa pointed out issues such as ballooning budget deficits, a huge debt overhang, and persistent double-digit inflation.

Addressing the complex nature of macroeconomic management, Dr. Sowa cautioned against oversimplified solutions. "Macroeconomic management presents one of the most odious tasks for the policymaker," he stated, emphasizing the need for nuanced approaches that consider both academic theories and practical realities.

Prof. William Baah-Boateng, Head of the Department of Economics at the University of Ghana, focused on fiscal operations. He advocated for prudent expenditure management, saying, "We need to take a very good look at the expenditure side of the budget."


Prof. Baah-Boateng suggested reducing the weight of government on the economy and reevaluating the role of politics in economic decisions.

On the topic of debt dynamics, Prof. Peter Quartey, Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), provided insights into Ghana's borrowing patterns. He highlighted the shift from multilateral debts to commercial market borrowing at higher interest rates.

"We want to break from the vicious cycle of debt accumulation and then negotiation, forgiveness, and then we go back again to debt accumulation," Prof. Quartey emphasized.

The roundtable also addressed monetary policy dynamics, with Professor Agyapomaa Gyeke-Dako of the University of Ghana Business School discussing the challenges faced by Ghana's Central Bank.

She raised critical questions about the effectiveness of current monetary policy approaches and the trade-offs involved in managing inflation and supporting economic growth.

The discussions revealed a consensus on the need for a more collaborative approach to economic management. Participants agreed that addressing Ghana's economic challenges requires a combination of fiscal discipline, innovative debt management strategies, and carefully calibrated monetary policies.

The Finance Ministry's initiative to engage academia in economic policy discussions marks a significant step towards more inclusive and informed decision-making. As Ghana navigates its economic challenges, the insights and recommendations from this roundtable are expected to play a crucial role in shaping future policies and strategies for sustainable economic growth. END