News Column

The International Growth Centre (IGC) Africa Growth Forum Underway in Accra

June 18, 2014

A meeting of about one hundred researchers across the globe and senior African policy makers to discuss some of the major economic policy issues and challenges to sustainable economic growth on the African continent ended in Accra, yesterday.

The two-day meeting, dubbed the Africa Growth Forum (AGF) 2014, was organized by the International Growth Centre (ICG) of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in partnership with the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and Ghana'sMinistry of Finance.

AGF is an annual ICG regional event that provides a platform to promote regional dialogue inspired by ideas generated by ICG research in African countries.

Delivering the keynote address at the opening of the forum on Monday, Dr Henry Kofi Akpenamawu Wampah, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, said Ghana was currently experiencing the pains of transitioning from a low-income classification to a middle-income.

Dr Wampah said because of its middle-income status, Ghana could no longer borrow on concessional terms and had to resort to commercial debt facilities to finance government budget deficits.

He said the country had increased its use of international capital markets to raise development finance because after graduating to the middle-income bracket four years ago, Ghana's maximum tenor of loans from the World Bank was reduced from 40 years to 25 years, while grants from foreign donors were not keeping up with their pledges,.

He said pressure on the foreign exchange market had also negatively affected the international prices of gold and cocoa which cost Ghana an estimated loss of US$ 1.3 billion in 2013.

Dr Wampah said one of the key quandaries in contemporary times was how to sustain relatively brisk economic growth --in Ghana's case averaging 7.3 per cent annually from 2003-13 and translating it into jobs for an ever-demanding population--and how to manage the transition from low-income to middle-income status, a process fraught with both challenges and opportunities.

He said another dilemma confronting governments within the region was how to meet the demands of their people without dislocating tight fiscal budget

He, therefore, called for evidence-based policy guidance for governments in Africa.

In his remarks, Prof. Jonathan Leape, Executive Director of ICG said the ICG was in a unique position to contribute to the country-specific knowledge necessary for effective growth policies.

Prof Leape said ICG was also building a global knowledge base, generating new ideas to support sustainable growth around the world.

The mission of the IGC is to promote sustainable growth in developing countries by bringing researchers and policy makers together to generate demand-led policy advice based on frontier research.

Through this interaction, the IGC seeks to improve the ability of developing countries to formulate their own policies to accelerate and sustain economic growth.

In other words, ICG seeks to help societies in less economically-developed countries find their own solutions to key growth challenges.

Through the provision of the very best academic research, ICG encourages good policy which, in turn, means stronger and sustainable growth.

The focus stems from the realization that without a functioning state to implement policies to enable individuals and firms to become more productive, a large fraction of humanity will be consigned to poverty.

Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)

For more stories on investments and markets, please see HispanicBusiness' Finance Channel

Source: AllAfrica

Story Tools Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters