You are here: HomeNews2014 05 12Article 309021

General News of Monday, 12 May 2014


Nduom hopeful of National Economic Forum outcome

The 2012 presidential candidate of the Progressive People's Party, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, has expressed the hope that good will come out of the Economic Forum.

The government has set tomorrow for the first-ever National Economic Forum aimed at achieving consensus on policies, strategies and measures to Ghana's transition from a lower middle income nation to an upper middle income economy.

Scheduled to take place at Akosombo, the non-partisan forum is on the theme "Changing the Narrative: Building a National Consensus for Economic and Social Transformation".

The four-day event is also expected to draw ideas for a "sustainable path that guarantees improvements in the quality of life for all Ghanaians," according to a release on Wednesday.

Despite many attempts to curtail a ballooning public wage, a depreciating cedi and a record high inflation, Ghana's economy continues to slump in performance.

According to Dr. Nduom, there is nothing wrong with a government [seeking] for new ideas to respond to the challenges facing dire economy.

He however said the initiative by government was not the first economic forum to be organised in the country since 1992, and recalled attending the first forum organised under the presidency of J.J. Rawlings.

He said under President J.A Kufuor, he, Dr. Nduom organised the National Economic Dialogue on two occasions, did a review session and reported on what was achieved at the forum.

In the view of Dr. Nduom, the initiative must be a continuous, broad-based national exercise organised under the auspices of the National Development Planning Commission with the government implementing ideas from the forum to shape and guide the formulation of national policies.

Asked whether he would be attending the forum, he declared, “I will give them the benefit of my experience if they invite me.”

Participants and major contributors at the forum will include former finance ministers, former governors of the Bank of Ghana, eminent economists, political parties, parliamentarians and business leaders.

Also expected to take part in the national event are economic policy makers, as well as representatives of traders associations, development and social partners, civil society organisations, members of academia and senior citizens.

The forum also aims at institutionalising a regular consultative machinery that promotes economic dialogue between the public sector and social partners in order to develop common national positions on critical economic policy issues.

Heritage Fund

On whether the government must use the Heritage Fund to cushion the ailing economy, Dr. Nduom emphatically stated, “It is a no-go area; I do not know what difficulty we are in to warrant the use of the fund".

He said, “the government keeps talking about an economy growing fast, so if this is the situation, why the need to use the Heritage Fund meant for use by our future generations.”

Rather, he stressed the need for hard work, finding good and innovative ideas to run the economy, stopping corruption and eliminating waste and reckless spending as some of the critical things the nation must do to turn round the economy.

He also emphasised the need for the government to rather concentrate on embarking on practical projects and consider all the ideas in the past in order to yield efficient results.

In his view, the Heritage Fund was purposely established for use by the future generation, saying that “it did not come for nothing; it is for our future generations to have an inheritance; it is like a pension fund and must not be touched”.