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General News of Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Source: radioxyzonline

IMF, WB no more dictating to us – Kwesi Botchwey

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Ghana’s longest-serving finance Minister, Dr. Kwesi Botchwey, has told XYZ News that the Bretton Woods Institutions no more dictate to, nor impose conditions on African countries, in connection with financial assistance.

The World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have been known in the past to tie conditions to loans and grants they give third world countries, particularly African countries.

However, Dr. Botchwey, who served as finance minister for close to 15 years under the Rawlings era, told XYZ News in an exclusive interview on Tuesday that: “I think that the old debate about the Bank and the Fund dictating to us and killing us and so on is gone”.

In his view: “…What we must remember about the Bretton Woods institutions is at least over the past decade or so, there has been recognition that policies that are imposed on countries just don’t work because typically, they are not sustained, so we moved out of that paradigm into one that recognises the primacy of national ownership”.

According to him, “the burden is on us to exhaust the space that we have; the burden is on us to demonstrate that national ownership” adding that: “…If we don’t do it, off course they will legislate for you; that’s the challenge”.

“Too many African countries simply don’t put themselves in the driver’s seat,” he bemoaned.

Dr. Botchwey, who now chairs the Ghana National Gas Company said: “The new dispensation says you are in the driver’s seat now; if you don’t drive, somebody will push you, ok, so the matter is in our own hands”.

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