BoG is a shining reflection of public institutions – Prof. Aryeetey

The author with Baroness Valerie Amos

The Secretary General of the African Research Universities Alliance and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, has said that the Bank of Ghana has over the years developed an operational mechanism of self-correction – making it better than most public institutions.

The research output of the Bank for both academic and public policy considerations have greatly improved compared to the 1980s’ structural adjustment era of the economy; and this, he explained, has been due to the quality of developed human capacity built over the last thirty years. The Bank’s current leadership and what they are engaged in, Prof. Aryeetey said, “is very pleasing.”

He was speaking at the launch of the most comprehensive book on the Bank, Central Banking in Ghana and the Governors- Institutional Growth and Economic Development – a 553-page book written by the historian and development specialist, Ivor Agyeman-Duah, published by Hawkes Design and Publishing in the United Kingdom with a Ghana edition by Digibooks.

This launch was organised in Accra at the weekend by the London School of Economics Alumni Association and attended by the Bank of Ghana’s leadership.

Professor Aryeetey has written extensively on the Ghanaian economy, and said what the Bank needs after 65 years is to use its operational independence to engage other stakeholders in pertinent and unsolved matters – such as the imbalance of deposits and lending rates. These, he explained, affect not only the manufacturing sector that contributes to the desired growth, but also agriculture, small-scale businesses and individuals.

The book has been described by another Ghanaian economist, Mr. Kwame Pianim, as “felicitous and voluminous, but holds attention and is also far from ordinary in terms of its coverage and content”; and that the author’s “eclectic and amazingly broad professional background is imprinted all over the pages and shapes his narrative”.

The Lady Companion of the Garter of the United Kingdom and currently Master of the University College of Oxford, Baroness Valerie Amos, jointly launched the book with Mr. Agyeman-Duah.

She remarked that the global multilateral system, especially the financial architecture, has changed and continues to change; and that what Africa can do is to be part of the big conversation at the table with a common voice. She does not, she said, believe in the stark negative narrative of globalisation as marginalisation against the African continent so much as what Africa can make out of it.

The first Black British Cabinet Minister, who also served between 2000 and 2003 as Africa Minister, is worried about the current global turn of events since Ghana’s post-HIPC and the new dynamics of financial and energy crisis, coupled with instability in Northen Nigeria, Mali, The Sudan and South Sudan. These are not helpful but rather re-engineering indebtedness again in countries, including Ghana.

The First Deputy Governor-Bank of Ghana, Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari said: “Even though this book can be deemed a mirror that reflects the work of all the Banks’ Governors since its establishment, like a mirror, the reflection on work of any of the Governors may invariably differ depending on the reader’s economic philosophy or ideology. I am certain that the discussion on monetary policy, and many other contents of the book, will provide a good basis for constructive and intellectual public discourse on the author’s views and assertions. Similarly, I trust that the author, being a seasoned scholar and academic, will readily respond to any constructive critique and commentary that may arise from economists, academics and other reviewers of this book.

“That notwithstanding, this book will serve as a useful resource for central bankers, academics and students of economics in and outside Ghana.”

The author on his part said: “The idea for this book did not come from the Bank of Ghana but was accepted by it. It was agreed that it would be independently written, to the extent that not everything would be agreeable by way of interpretation. For a conservative central bank built on traditions of the Bank of England, this was a progressive step”.


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