The Department of Economics, Central University (CU), has celebrated 10 years of existence with a call on government to bring inflation down as a means of building a viable economy.
Government is also asked to ensure sustainable growth by adhering to measures that bring value into the economy and drive away false indicators which fight against economic growth.
Dr. Emmanuel Oteng-Kumah, Board Chairman-Standard Chartered Bank, Ghana, opined that: “Monitory factors aren’t passive; they’ve been shown to be a major and potent force in affecting not only real GDP growth but all other things.”
In a lecture on the topic ‘Money and Economic Growth-Aspects and Lessons’, Dr. Oteng-Kumah called on government to give monitory authorities operational and policy independence in order to pursue those inflationary measures; and in doing this, they need to be ambitious in trying to bring inflation down.
He informed that inflation can be checked when central banks stop financing central governments, while it insisting that any issue of currency must be backed by strong convertible foreign currency.
Dr. Oteng-Kumah queried if expenditure should always align with revenue mobilisation by saying: “What we’ve done is to do this imaginary thing by printing money and deceiving somebody. What you have is a banking system producing currency that has no worth. I don’t want us to deceive Ghanaians that they get their money but it doesn’t take them far”.
He added: “I don’t want us to deceive ourselves by saying we can draw development from the financial system. Yes, if we can save more I am all for it; but what is not good is when we don’t want to save more yet we think we can develop through money”.
The Vice-Chancellor of the Central University, Prof Bill Buenar Puplampu, in a short address tasked the department to work on some “very interesting indices that speak to our economic situation, but in collaboration with all aspects of our human existence by telling what the implication of those figures are to our humanity”.
Prof. Puplampu insisted that Ghana does not have a rural services index that shows what sort of services and what type of life is out there in the rural areas, or the economic and human indicators that back them.
The Deputy Minister of Energy, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam – in a presentation on the theme ‘Extractives to Manufacturing—Ghana in Transition to High Growth Economy’ – cautioned that there is a need for Ghana not to overly-depend on oil, which has proven to be a curse to some countries due to its effects on the environment, embezzlement of the proceeds, and over-reliance on the resource.
Dr. Amin Adam said: “This is why I am advocating that oil shouldn’t constitute that much in our growth, because it is not sustainable; this is why we have to diversify more and more; this is why manufacturing should be our major concern; and this can be done by investing in research and technology”.
The Deputy Minister hinted that Ghanaian oil reserves will deplete one day, but “we could make new discoveries and prolong the life-span of the oil through investment and technology”.
Dr. Anthony Amoah, Head of Department of Economics, CU, outlining successes of the department informed that three of its students in previous years had won the overall best student award in the CU – with thousands of their former students in various key positions at financial institutions in Ghana.
Dr. Amoah hinted that some faculty members in collaboration with the African Centre for Applied Economics and Policy Research (ACAEP) have won a joint research grant from Global Greengrants Fund, UK, to undertake a research on deforestation of the forest reserves in Greater Accra Region.
The Department of Economics of the CU was established in 1998 as a Department of Social Studies, purposely to provide supporting services to the School of Business Management and Administration of the CU. The department now offer courses in Economic Theory, Statistics, Mathematics and Econometrics, and undertakes research activities in Economics, Finance, Agriculture, Monitoring and Evaluation, among others.