Last week, following the successful issuance of a record high volume of Eurobonds, of US$3 billion by Ghana on the international capital markets, an obviously – and deservedly – elated Ministry of Finance published an official statement on its website, crowing about its achievement.
We have no problem with this – after all it is a monumental feat in terms of both volume and pricing and the fact that it was nearly seven times oversubscribed evidences just how good, Ghana’s economy has become in the eyes of the international financial community even if those sentiments are not as enthusiastically shared by the average Ghanaian. Indeed, Ghanaians who are not much knowledgeable about economics should be guided by this feat; it shows that the Ghanaian economy is now on a better footing than it was a few years go and sooner or later this will inevitably reflect in the micro-economies of most individual households.
However we take exception to the unnecessary politicking contained in the statement which points to the fact that Ghana is about to successfully exit the International Monetary Fund’s Extended Credit Facility, despite its being derailed at some point by the fiscal imprudence of the Mahama administration (which the statement presents as the “NDC government”) in 2016, its last year in power.
This part of the statement seeks to distinguish between the performance of the NDC and that of the NPP. We believe it is unbecoming of the MoF which is an institution of state, which therefore represents Ghana rather than any partisan political institution and which indeed has been run at various times by both political parties.
To be sure we agree with the statement as being factual; in 2016, NDC allowed political considerations to over-ride economic ones in the run up to the general elections. The fact that the NPP has been just as guilty of this in election years when in power is no excuse.
However, we believe that this perspective should be kept among Ghanaians on the basis that as the old adage goes: “do not wash your dirty linen in public.”
Foreigners are not allowed to vote in Ghana’s general elections and so there is nothing to be gained in trying to convince the international community that an NPP government is competent in running the economy but an NDC government is not, even if this is true(and we are not saying it is). Such assertions are better restricted to statements meant for the local electorate.
The incumbent government would do well to recognize that while their own interests are well served only when they are in power, the Ghanaian populace has to make the best of out the tenures of both major political powers whenever they are in power.
The contentious statement by the MoF effectively tries to convince the international financial community that Ghana is a bad investment prospect whenever the NDC is in power. Since the NDC inevitably will be in power at some time in the future this amounts to discouraging the international investment community from partnering Ghana during eras when the NPP is not in power. Since Ghana is heavily dependent on that community at all times, this amounts to sacrificing the potential well being of the Ghanaian economy, and by extension its populace during such periods.
Both major political parties should not put their own political fortunes above the economic fortunes of the people they claim they seek to serve. Which means they should desist from telling the international community not to partner Ghana when they are not in power.