Published: May 2, 2019
Ghana’s minister of finance Ken Ofori-Atta has been praised widely by the international financial community for his steady stewardship of the economy, which is helping drive demand for the country’s Eurobonds and lowering its borrowing costs. Ofori-Atta tells Phil Thornton where he sees Ghana and Africa heading.
Earlier this year Ken Ofori-Atta successfully engineered Ghana’s exit from a US$185mn four-year loan from the International Monetary Fund. The former investment banker who took over as finance minister in January 2017 describes that moment as the country’s “emancipation”.
Ofori-Atta is quick to quote the fund’s deputy managing director Tao Zhang saying the authorities had achieved macroeconomic gains with rising growth, single digit inflation, fiscal consolidation, and a banking sector clean-up.
This was echoed by the IMF’s April economic forecasts that pencilled in 8.8% GDP growth for 2019, the fastest of any country. But asked how he achieved that, he turns typically modest: “It’s just luck!”
Pressed on this, he turns more serious. “We are proud of what we have achieved in the last two years. If you look at what we inherited, it does defy reasonableness.