Professor Ernest Aryeetey, a former Vice Chancellor, University of Ghana, says Ghana must think beyond the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the quest to stabilise and transform the economy.
He noted that Ghana had always known how to recover from economic hardship with the support of the IMF but had refused to follow reguired reforms due to political expediency.
Prof. Aryeetey said this at the 26th GJA Awards in Accra on the theme: “Walking the path towards Ghana’s Economic Recovery – The Role of the Media”.
He said after economic recovery, there must be stabilisation and transformation, which required broad participation and the need to change agriculture, boost trade, stimulate investment and industrialise not to get back to the same situation.
“Today, we are where we are because we failed to develop the right type of politics that will support economic transformation… (We need to) think about the political economy. How we (can) use our institutions to develop the right type of policies,” Prof. Aryeetey said, adding that the country needed to welcome more analysis and debates on the economy.
Prof. Aryeetey asked the media to create space for discussions on the economy towards finding solutions to the challenges, saying without that, it would only be the ideas of a small political group, friends and families.
“Let’s encourage debates on the economy. Let’s create a Ghana where ideas flourish and stop tagging people who share their thoughts on the economy..,” Prof. Aryeetey, who chaired the awards event said.
Madam Florence Oboshie Sai-Coffie, Special Advisor to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Media and Strategic Communications, said the Government was doing its best to bring the economy back on track and tasked the media to amplify voices that could help find solutions to the economic challenges.
She said the media would be prioritised in the search for the solution and said Government was happy journalists were responding positively to the call for all hands to be on deck for economic recovery.
Mr Yaw Boadu Ayeboafo, Chairman, National Media Commission, asked the media to sustain national interest in discussions on the economy and not partisan ones.
The United States Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia E. Palmer, commended the media for its role in sustaining Ghana’s democracy and socio-economic development and stressed on the importance of free press and safety of journalists.
She said the Embassy would continue to support the capacity building of journalists and commended GJA for the establishment of Journalists Support Fund.
Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister for Information, in a speech read on his behalf, said the Government attached great importance to the work of journalists and commended them for the interest in helping bring the economy back to life.
He said the government remained committed to the safety of journalists and asked corporate Ghana to support the GJA Journalists Support Fund.
Mr Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, GJA President, said journalists had a great role to play to bring the economy back to life and said series of symposiums and lectures would be organised to help find solutions to challenges facing the country.
He said the Association had engaged some institutions towards the building of capacity of journalists and called for support of all.
The GJA President also called for support for the Association’s Support Fund towards the welfare of journalists.
Since 1957 Ghana has entered 17 bailout arrangements with the IMF to restore the health of government finances, having existed the last one in April 2019.
The country is currently with the IMF seeking support to restructure the economy and bring it back on track.
Ms Portia Gabor of TV3 won the P. A. V. Ansah Journalist of the Year.
In all, 26 individual journalists, including Mr Albert Oppong – Ansah of the Ghana News Agency, and six media houses were awarded.