AFRICA/GHANA - The Minister of Finance fired in view of the most challenging electoral campaign in the country's history

Thursday, 15 February 2024 economy   bishops  

Accra (Agenzia Fides) - After Senegal (see Fides, 12/2/2024) now also Ghana (the two most stable countries in West Africa) has entered into crisis, albeit with a severity that is currently less worrying than the first. The President of Ghana replaced Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta in a cabinet reshuffle yesterday, February 14. President Nana Akufo-Addo's office said Ofori-Atta would be replaced by Mohammed Amin Adam, previously deputy energy minister responsible for the oil sector. In recent days, the president has criticized the former finance minister for his inability to manage the country's worst economic crisis in a generation. Ken Ofori-Atta is a former banker who worked for some of America's largest investment banks. He oversaw Ghana's debt restructuring efforts. The country found itself defaulting on most of its external debt in December 2022, when inflation exceeded 50%, causing the local currency to collapse. In recent months, Mr. Ofori-Atta's resignation has been called for by members of the opposition and even the ruling party, during street protests and parliamentary appeals. With his dismissal, the electoral campaign for the December presidential vote, in which Vice-President Mahamadu Bawumia is a candidate, has effectively begun. Ken Ofori-Atta appears to be the scapegoat as the vice president attempts to distance himself from the handling of the severe economic crisis. The December election therefore appears crucial for the future of Ghana. “Let us ensure that Ghana once again becomes a true star of Africa,” unsurprisingly write the Ghanaian bishops in their Lenten message in reference to the elections. The message advises Ghanaians not to be seduced by the sirens of electoral fraud and to avoid the spread of fake news and messages inciting hatred and violence, especially through social media. "In the digital age - say the bishops - everyone can be a journalist, we urge Ghanaians to use social media, the Internet, mobile phones, etc. in a positive way. These tools should not be used to spread hate speech and violence, but to promote peace, truth and justice for a better Ghana". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 15/2/2024)