President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has patted his vice Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia on the back for “his commendable brilliance and high sense of responsibility.”
According to Akufo-Addo, the Bank of Ghana should be proud to have had one of its own as a vice president whose dedication to work “befits a central banker of quality.”
Whilst saluting all the governors, boards of directors, top management, Monetary Policy Committee members, and staff, both past and present, for their dedication and service to the Bank, President indicated that it was auspicious that on the occasion of its 60th birthday, “one of your own should be occupying the high office of Vice President of the Republic, an office whose functions he is discharging with commendable brilliance and high sense of responsibility, as befits a central banker of quality.”
Akufo-Addo also commended the Bank of Ghana for playing a pivotal role in promoting the country’s socio-economic development. According to him, through the Bank’s diligence and commitment, it has attempted to fulfil its mandate to ensure price stability and to create an enabling environment for sustainable growth.
The President, thus, expressed his profound gratitude to all who have contributed in various ways to bring the Bank to where it is today.
“You are a unique institution with a broad mandate. You are not just distinguished technocrats. You are the banker to the government, and the custodian of the nation’s precious asset – money. You are the currency manager, the source and regulator of liquidity, and, above all, the lender of last resort to the banking sector. How you fulfil these multiple roles is what makes you a unique institution,” Akufo-Addo said on Friday, 18th August, 2017, when he delivered a speech at the 60th anniversary celebration of the Bank in Accra.
Whilst acknowledging the challenges that confront the Bank, such as lowering the cost of funds to ensure increased investment, weeding out unlicensed institutions, protecting the integrity of the country’s payment system, protecting the safety of deposits, and broadening and deepening access to banking to many of our rural population, President Akufo-Addo urged the Bank to continue be at the forefront of developing and deepening the financial market in Ghana.
“The need to entrench reputation and credibility in the financial system is crucial. A weak banking system undermines growth, and, on this basis, the current weaknesses in our banking sector need to be addressed forcefully to minimize any adverse financial consequences to unsuspecting savers, and their spill-over effects on the economy,” he said.
Partnership between the Bank and the Government
In order to sustain macroeconomic stability and rapid growth in Ghana, President Akufo-Addo advocated for partnership and co-operation between the central bank and government, as captured in the Bank of Ghana Act, 2002 (Act 612), and as amended by Act 918 of 2016.
“While the President appoints the Governor and his deputies as well as members of the Board of Directors, the Bank is guaranteed its operational independence in order to deliver on its multiple mandate. Full autonomy for the Bank, however, does not mean that the Bank’s monetary policies should be at variance with Government’s overall macroeconomic policies,” he said.
The President continued, “With 60 years of experience behind us, I believe we should have learnt great lessons both from our own history and from the experiences of other countries about how this partnership should work. History has taught us well that monetary policy must complement fiscal policy to create an enabling macroeconomic environment to promote growth and development of the Ghanaian economy.”
President Akufo-Addo further encouraged the Bank of Ghana, “whether it is in the control of the quantity of money, in managing interest rates, in safeguarding the domestic and external value of the cedi, or in ensuring the soundness of the financial system”, to reflect soberly on its experiences, the good times and the hard times, take lessons from the challenging times, and focus on working to promote confidence in the economy, and instil discipline in the oversight responsibilities of the financial sector.
He also urged the Bank, and by extension the Ministry of Finance, to put in place policies that are both internally and externally consistent.
“Under my leadership and watch, I insist that there must be greater fiscal and monetary policy coordination to promote and sustain macroeconomic stability. This is the only way by which we will enable the private sector to flourish and create the needed jobs within the economy,” he added.
Lessons from the recent global financial crisis, the President stressed, indicate that central banks can be relied upon to steer any crisis-ridden economy, when there is collaboration between the fiscal and monetary authorities.
“We, that is the Government and the people of Ghana, have high hopes that the Bank of Ghana, given its expertise and experience, will roll out coherent monetary policies that would create the enabling environment for the rapid transformation of the Ghanaian economy. This is what we expect of the Central Bank,” the President noted.