Politics

Records Ofori-Atta has broken as finance minister

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo removed Ken Ofori-Atta from his position as finance minister on Wednesday, February 14, 2024.

According to reports, the former minister would assume additional significant positions in the Akufo-Addo administration, such as special envoy for foreign investment and the capital markets and senior presidential advisor on the economy.

Nevertheless, Ofori-Atta’s time as finance minister might be characterized as remarkable because he led Ghana through two significant international crises, namely the COVID-19 epidemic and the Russia-Ukraine War.

Records Ofori-Atta has broken as finance minister

Several local and international economic events contributed to the numerous economic low points that occurred during Ofori-Atta’s rule, including a record 54.1% inflation rate in December 2022 and a 55% depreciation of the nation’s currency between January and October 2022.

In addition to these financial low points, the following occasions highlighted Ken Ofori-Atta’s tenure as finance minister:

The Fourth Republic’s longest-serving finance minister was:

On January 27, 2017, Ken Ofori-Atta resigned from his position at DataBank to take on the role of Finance Minister for Ghana.

Ofori-Atta was once again appointed finance minister in the second term of the government after serving for the entirety of the first four-year term of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s administration. He was fired on February 14, 2024.

With this, Ofori-Atta becomes the finance minister with the longest tenure Ghana has had in the fourth republic, having held the position for around 7 years.

Until Ofori-Atta, no finance minister in Ghana’s 4th republic has been in office for more than one term (4 years).

The only minister who has taken Ghana out and into an IMF program

Ofori-Atta’s reign as finance minister began with Ghana already implementing an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme started by the John Dramani Mahama government.

In March 2019, Ofori-Atta led Ghana out of the ‘shackles’ of the IMF after the successful completion of the bailout programme, which was marked by a kenkey party at the inner court of the Ministry of Finance on March 22, 2019.

Having vowed that Ghana’s 16th visit to the IMF was going to be its last, and that another visit would never happen under his watch, Ofori-Atta requested for a $3 billion IMF bailout programme on May 17, 2023, after an order by President Akufo-Addo.

This makes Ofori-Atta the only finance minister in Ghana’s history to lead Ghana out of an IMF bailout programme and subsequently into another one.

The finance minister who accumulated the most debts in Ghana’s history

Under Ofori-Atta’s leadership as finance minister, Ghana added about GH¢480 billion to its nearly GH¢600 billion public debts as of March 2023.

The national debt Ofori-Atta inherited as finance minister was about GH¢120 billion.

This means that the Akufo-Addo government has borrowed more money than all of the governments Ghana has had since independence put together.

Here is a list of some of the debts accrued by Ofori-Atta

  1. Paris Club – $2 billion
  2. Chinese government – $1.9 billion
  3. Non-Paris Club members – $3.8 billion
  4. Chapmenten – $2.5 billion
  5. $8.8 billion to the IMF
  6. $14.9 billion to the Eurobond market
  7. $8.8 billion in multilateral debts (the highest in Africa).

The finance minister who has gone for the most Eurobonds in Ghana’s history

In the history of the 4th republic of Ghana, Ghana has gone for 17 Eurobonds, with 4 of these bonds being acquired in 16 years by 4 governments.

Ofori-Atta alone has led Ghana to sign 11 of these Eurobonds with maturity dates beyond the usual 10 years.

The first Eurobond was also celebrated during the Kenkey party in 2019.

Below is a list of Eurobonds Ofori-Atta has signed for Ghana:

  1. Eurobond in May 2018 – 30-year maturity period, bond expires in 20248
  2. Eurobond in 2019 – 31 years maturity period
  3. Eurobond in 2020, matures in 2061 – 41 years maturity period
  4. Eurobond in March 2021, matures in 2041 – 20 years maturity period

The first finance minister to default in the payment of the country’s debt:

Lastly, Ken Ofori-Atta is the only finance minister under whose watch the government of Ghana has defaulted in the payment of its international and domestic debts.

In all the previous 16 visits to the IMF, none of the governments defaulted in the payment of its debts.

On December 5, 2022, the finance ministry announced a Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) to restructure its domestic debts as part of efforts to get the $3 billion IMF bailout.

The government also went into agreement with countries and multi-national organisations to restructure its international debts.

Akosua Boatemaa

I'm Yours Truly, Blogger Akosua Boatemaa. I'm here to feed Your eyes and Ears with Authentic News Updates.

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