Domestic dept exchange: Never again!

Domestic dept exchange: Never again!

Proceedings in Parliament on Thursday, February 16, 2023, clearly showed that Government has been able to successfully undertake the Domestic Debt Exchange Program. 

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, as he stated in the 2023 budgetary statement, appeared before Parliament to brief the House on the successful completion of the program. 

Though there were hiccups here and there, as we are all aware, the Government has been able to navigate the program through the difficult challenges it faced. 

One may ask what actually led to the precarious economic situation Ghana found itself in and the reasons are not far-fetched. 

Of course, there were some policies and programs of the Government that were not in tune with the financial situation of the country, but the major factors were two. 

The deadly coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), was a major contributor to the crisis the nation has faced. It led to a level of over-expenditure never witnessed in our history. 

No sooner had COVID-19 taken a sound beaten with the advent of vaccines than Vladimir Putin also invaded Ukraine. The Russian/Ukrainian conflict has had telling effects on almost every economy including Ghana. 

Prices of goods and services have gone up astronomically. Import charges have gone up, workers have been laid off and a host of other issues, as a result of this conflict in Europe. 

In all these, what is a fact is that our economy was not resilient enough to withstand these shocks. Contrary to what the Finance Minister used to tell us, if the economy was that resilient, we would not have been here in the first place. 

There are several neighboring countries which did not get as affected as we did for obvious reasons. Of course not every country prioritised the lives of its citizenry as Ghana did during the dark days of the pandemic. And so the economic shocks would be different per each country.

Let us build a true resilient economy  so that when future shocks emerge, we will be able to better weather the storm. 

There is no justification for Ghana to be on this tangent again.

Our economy must undergo a full overhaul and the current administration must show the way now that the DDEP has been successful. 

Never again must Ghana walk this path.

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