Despite its much-touted “Ghana beyond Aid” promises, the Akufo Addo administration has gone cup-in-hand to plead for from the European Investment Bank to set up a so-called Development Bank Ghana (DBG).
That was the highlight of President Akufo Addo’s latest 9-day official trip to Europe where he held a held a meeting with the President of the European Investment Bank, Dr. Werner Hoyer in Belgium today, Wednesday May 19, 2021.
Meanwhile, between 2017 and 2019, the same Akufo Addo administration had questionably blown over GHC 21 billion (approximately US$ 3.5 billion) on a contentious “banking sector clean-up” and to set up the Consolidated Bank Ghana (CBG) which was a brand new state bank set up to absorb the distressed banks.
Critics are shocked at the sheer inconsistency between the government’s posture in pumping such a staggering amount in liquidating banks, some of which insist were not broke, but were simply being victimised, and going begging for a paltry €170 million to set up another brand new bank.
The “Ghana Beyond Aid” visionary is abroad clasping his bowl from Berlin to Paris. Still the Whiteman’s burden?” Slams Dr. Charles Wereko Brobbey, a leading member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
DBG is an integral feature of the GH¢100 billion ‘Obaatampa’ plan of the Akufo Addo administration to revitalise the Ghanaians economy. The government had since its first year in office (in January 2017), promised not to unnecessarily yoke the country with foreign aid for some of its key development project.
However, the Akufo Addo government turned out to be the most debt-hungry administration in the Fourth Republic. It has borrowed more than all previous governments combined, shooting Ghana’s public debt to almost GHC 300 billion or debt-to-GDP ratio of 78%.
The Bretton Woods institutions; the IMF and the World Bank and other international rating agencies have raised red flags that the government has driven the country to dangerous debt unsustainability levels.
Speaking at the signing ceremony for the facility from the EU, President Akufo-Addo noted that “the Development Bank Ghana is going to play a very important part in the rapid economic transformation of Ghana, following the onset of COVID-19.”
According to him, “…we want to restructure the economy and move it from being a mere producer and exporter of raw materials to one that places much greater emphasis on value addition activities. We see this Bank (DBG) as one that will play a pivotal role in this.”
However, critics think is all business as usual and a repeat of one of the grandiose promises that never materialised by the government.