Akufo-Addo addresses nation on Sunday on the economy

The president’s speech on the economy is scheduled to be televised on GTV and other leading news networks at 8pm on 23 October and will also be live-streamed on social media

President Nana Akufo-Addo will on Sunday (30 October 2022) address the nation on the state of the economy in the lead-up to next month’s presentation of the Budget.

The address is scheduled to be televised on GTV and other leading news networks at 8pm and will also be live-streamed on social media.

Last week traders in the capital, Accra, closed their shops and businesses in a three-day protest against the soaring cost of living.

The usual daily gridlock was largely absent from Accra’s Central Business District and from the biggest vehicle spare parts vending area, Abossey Okai, with only street food vendors in front of the shuttered shops.

The Ghana Union of Traders’ Associations (GUTA) said the move sent a signal to the government that union members were frustrated about what they described as poor economic management. The traders said they were voicing their displeasure with the national financial climate.

The IMF has begun talks with Ghana over a deal and last month IMF officials said they expected to reach an agreement before the end of the year.

Pressure from Parliament

The Majority Caucus in Parliament issued a statement on Wednesday (26 October 2022) following a surprise announcement on Tuesday by some of its members, calling for the removal of Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta and the minister of state for finance, Charles Adu Boahen.

Wednesday’s press statement by the Majority Caucus, signed by Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the MP for Suame, Majority Leader and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, confirmed a much-anticipated but quick meeting between President Akufo-Addo and his party’s MPs about the surprise announcement the previous day.

At that meeting, MPs of the governing New Patriotic Party pledged to back the president.

According to the statement, the president has requested that the matter be delayed and “acted upon” after “the conclusion of the round of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund” as well as the next presentation of the Budget statement and economic policy. This will be followed by the passage of the Appropriation Bill, which is also a few weeks away.

The Majority Caucus, in its press statement, said that after internal discussions among the rank and file on Wednesday, it had “agreed to accede to the president’s appeal”.

In the meantime, analysts have questioned the timing of Tuesday’s announcement, coming at a time of fears over the uncertain state of Ghana’s economic health should the finance ministers step aside, especially at this watershed moment.

The two men are leading negotiations on Ghana’s 17th return to the IMF. They are also in the middle of a yet-to-be-finalised debt restructuring programme.

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