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Ghana’s President Removes Finance Minister In Reshuffle

The cabinet reshuffle affected 13 ministers of state. Former information minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah will move to the housing ministry, and be replaced by his deputy Fatimatu Abubakar.


(File Photo) Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo

 

 

Ghana’s president removed his finance minister in a sweeping reshuffle on Wednesday ahead of December elections where an economic crisis looks set to take centre stage.

Ken Ofori-Atta will be replaced by lawmaker Mohammed Amin Adam, according to a presidency statement.

The long-serving finance minister, in office since 2017, has faced criticism for his handling of Ghana’s most severe economic crisis in decades.

Inflation rates exceeded 50 percent in 2022, and the stable West African country accepted a $3 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout after the Ghanaian cedi lost half of its value.

The IMF said inflation was down to 23 percent in December last year and “headed in the right direction” even if it remained high.

Observers think the replacement of the finance minister is partly designed to help vice president Mahamudu Bawumia, who is running for president, distance himself from the crisis.

“It was long overdue and that is what we have all been clamouring for. Things were just not working and the hardship was so obvious that Ghanaians could not take it anymore,” economist William Ansong told AFP.

He said President Nana Akufo-Addo’s move would inject fresh perspective and expertise to help navigate the complex economic challenges facing the gold-and-oil rich nation.

Amin Adam previously served as the deputy minister for energy, overseeing the pivotal petroleum sector.

His tenure in various ministerial roles, including deputy minister for the Northern Region in 2005, underscores his extensive experience and understanding of Ghana’s socio-economic landscape.

He is renowned as a heavyweight in the extractive sector and has been instrumental in shaping policies to harness Ghana’s abundant natural resources.

As the founder of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy, he has played a pivotal role in advocating for sustainable energy practices and fostering dialogue on crucial economic issues.

The cabinet reshuffle affected 13 ministers of state. Former information minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah will move to the housing ministry, and be replaced by his deputy Fatimatu Abubakar.

Ambrose Dery, who held the interior minister portfolio, has been re-assigned to the office of the president.