The Secretary General of the African Research Universities Alliance, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, has said the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has over the years developed an operational mechanism of self-correction making it better than most public institutions.
Prof. Aryeetey, who is also a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana,said 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, which he explained, had been due to the quality of improved human capacity built over the last 30 years.
The current leadership of the bank 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 historian and development specialist, Ivor Agyeman-Duah which was published by the Hawkes Design and Publishing in the United Kingdom with a Ghana edition by Digibooks.
This launch was organised in Accra by the London School of Economics Alumni Association and attended by the leadership of the BoG.
Prof. Aryeetey who has written extensively on the Ghanaian economy said what the bank needed after 65 years, was 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 affected not just the manufacturing sector which contributed to the desired growth but also agriculture and small-scale businesses and individuals.
Book holds attention
The book has been described by another Ghanaian economist, Kwame Pianim as “felicitous” and voluminous “but holds attention and is also far from ordinary in terms of its coverage and content” .
He said the author’s “eclectic and amazingly broad professional background is imprinted all over the pages and shapes his narrative.”
Global multilateral system
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 continues to change and that what Africa could do was to be part of the big conversation at the table and with a common voice. She does not believe in the stark negative narrative of globalisation as marginalisation against the African continent so much as what Africa could make out of it.
The first black British Cabinet Minister who also served between 2000-2003 as Africa Minister was worried about the 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, Sudan and South Sudan. These, she noted, have not been helpful but rather re-engineering indebtedness in countries including Ghana.
The First Deputy Governor of the BoG, Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari said, “This book could be deemed as a mirror that reflects the work of all governors of the bank since its establishment, but like the mirror, the reflection on the 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,” he said.
He added: “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.
“This notwithstanding, this book will serve as a useful resource for central bankers, academics and students of economics in and outside Ghana.”
Independently written book
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 to be independently written to the extent that not everything would be agreeable by way of interpretation. For a conservative central bank built on the traditions of the Bank of England, this was a progressive step.”