With the world economy, including Ghana’s, dealing with the aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges being posed by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, stakeholders in Ghana including the government, the Bank of Ghana, businesses as well as the media are being charged to actively and effectively play their roles to build confidence and facilitate a sustained recovery of the economy.
According to a recent African Development Bank report, despite Ghana’s impressive record of two decades of steady growth, its economic prospects could be dented by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine-Russia crisis.
After recording a positive pandemic period growth of 0.4% and a stronger than expected economic expansion of 5.4% in 2021, the hopes of managers of the economy of a further rebound in 2022 were dashed by the Russia-Ukraine war which pushed oil prices to record highs (currently hovering around $120) and has impacted key commodity prices, pushing global and local inflation to record highs.
Speaking on the current situation and the way forward at a recently held financial literacy training workshop for journalists, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana in a speech read on his behalf by the Director of Research at the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Philip Abradu-Otoo advocated bold action and called for a responsive monetary and fiscal policy regime.
“Going forward, both fiscal and monetary policies should remain vigilant and ready to take additional policy measures as well as structural reform is necessary to improve confidence about the economy to sustain the economic recovery. These include but are not limited to, government’s expenditure-control together with new revenue mobilization measures that would support the fiscal consolidation path and help lift financing constraints, bold policies to improve the business operating environment to attract private capital, In addition, political and macroeconomic stability will contribute immensely to regaining investor confidence.”
The Governor also charged Financial and Business Journalists to disseminate key economic information in a way that engenders confidence in economic actors while positively influencing the economic narrative of the country.
“The press must Inform, Persuade and Influence society. In so doing, the press will have to use all available data at their disposal, to drive analytical discourse and exude confidence. Journalists must go beyond the data provided them and do more interrogation of the data to understand better, the data generating facts. All these work in concert to engender economic confidence and this is where we ought to be moving towards.”
“The media’s role in influencing the economic narrative is even more crucial during periods of heightened uncertainty,” he added.
The residential training workshop for selected Financial and Business Journalists was on the theme “Sustaining the Recovery”: The Role of The Journalist in Building confidence.
The Journalists were taken through courses such as,
- Monetary Policy Practice in Ghana;
- Understanding Inflation dynamics in Ghana;
- Understanding Balance of Payments;
- Foreign Exchange Market/ Currency Volatilities, Causes and Effects;
- Regulating Fintechs and payment platforms and education on credit;
- Interpreting Data Pack; and
- Engagement on practical financial reporting exercises.