PARLIAMENT’S ROLE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION
Dr. Albert Kan-Dapaah
Feb 2016
In the late eighties and early nineties Ghana embarked on an agitation for Good Governance. We demanded: Human Rights, Media Freedom, Law and Order, Personal Liberties and Parliamentary Democracy. These were the governance challenges at the time. Today, we have achieved virtually all of these demands. Democracy is well planted in our dear country. Consequently, there has been a paradigm shift in our governance challenges, which includes ensuring financial accountability in the public sector. In broad terms, this paper discusses the role of Parliament as the key accountability institution in the fight against Corruption. It also examines the relevance of the Public Financial Management (PFM) system in the fight against corruption, and reveals that key accountability mechanisms are not allowed to operate in the budget cycle; and the specific oversight roles of parliament have not been performed effectively. The paper concludes with some solutions to the anomalies. ...
EMPOWERING GHANA’S ANTI-CORRUPTION INSTITUTIONS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION
Justice Emile Francis Short
Feb 2016
Purging Ghanaian society of the canker of corruption is one of the most herculean developmental challenges confronting the nation. Since the attainment of political independence in 1957, several anti-corruption policies and measures have been instituted to grapple with the problem. Among the measures is the creation of constitutional and statutory bodies with specific mandate of combating corruption. Contending that the performance of anti-corruption institutions must be critically assessed against the key governance principles of probity and accountability, this paper offers an incisive and scholarly critique of the mandate, functions, powers and performance of three anti-corruption institutions in contemporary Ghana. The paper concludes with a number of recommendations for strengthening the anti-corruption effort in Ghana and enhancing the effectiveness of the key constitutional bodies at the helm of that drive. ...
Righting the Ills of Budget Preparation, Implementation and Oversight in Ghana
Dr. J.K. Kwakye and Dr. Nkechi Owoo
Nov 2014
Perennial budget overruns and their adverse effects on the economy have attracted widespread concerns. Motivated by these concerns, this paper assesses institutional processes, arrangements and the legal framework for budget preparation, implementation and oversight in addition to carrying out a survey of relevant budget implementers and overseers. The paper finds that budget preparation is largely in conformity with international standards, with the exception of not being informed by any “fiscal rules.” Also, ab initio, budget allocations often fall short of expenditure requests by line ministries, which is a recipe for spending overruns. The big problem, however, lies at the implementation and monitoring stages where there are severe deficiencies, including laxities in managing control systems and weak parliamentary oversight. The paper makes far-reaching recommendations for entrenching budget discipline in Ghana. ...
GHANA’S DEBT PROFILE AND SUSTAINABILITY
Dr. J. K. Kwakye
Aug 2014
Relying on both external loans and domestic borrowing to support its development saw Ghana's debt rise over the years, reaching over 100% of GDP in 2000. When the IMF and World Bank introduced the Heavily-Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative in 1999, Ghana was judged to be a HIPC with unsustainable debt. The country benefited from debt relief under the initiative in 2004 when it met the full policy conditions. Subsequently, in 2006, the country also benefitted from the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI), which offered total relief from debts owed to the IMF, the International Development Association (IDA) of the World, and the African Development Bank (AfDB). The HIPC and MDRI reliefs resulted in a sharp decline of Ghana's debt to about 26% of GDP, which was regarded as a sustainable level. ...
FINANCIAL INTERMEDIATION AND THE COST OF CREDIT IN GHANA
Dr. J. K. Kwakye
Aug 2014
The Ghanaian financial sector has been growing rapidly. It is, however, not clear how “financial intermediation” and “financial deepening” have been evolving. Further, the cost of credit has been persistently high, which stifles investment and economic growth. The reasons have not been fully investigated and documented. The paper seeks answers to these questions by applying a combination of analytical and survey investigative methods. The paper finds that financial intermediation and financial deepening are low and depict Ghana’s financial sector as still “shallow.” The paper also finds that, from the point of view of surveyed banks—which is also reflective of widely-perceived views—the persistent high cost of credit is primarily the result of competitive government borrowing, high cost of bank funds and high lending risks. The paper proposes interventions to address these deficiencies in the financial sector. ...
Improving Fiscal Management in Ghana: The Role of Fiscal Policy Rules
Dr. Charles Amo-Yartey
Aug 2014
This paper discusses the role of fiscal policy rules in promoting fiscal discipline and transparency in Ghana. It investigates whether the adoption of fiscal policy rules and independent fiscal policy councils can help improve fiscal performance in Ghana based on international evidence. The econometric analysis draws on a large dataset of about 160 countries to examine the impact of fiscal rules on fiscal performance, measured by the debt to GDP ratio and using the conditional logit regression approach. The results show that fiscal rules, particularly budget balance and debt rules are strongly associated with a higher probability of reducing the public debt to GDP ratio. The paper then calibrates an illustrative simple fiscal rule for Ghana based on the Debt Sustainability Framework with a debt to GDP target of 50 percent of GDP by 2020. Achieving this target requires average fiscal deficit of about 4 percent of GDP. The paper argues that fiscal rules do not operate in isolation and require supporting institutions and reforms to deliver the anticipated outcome ...
STRENGTHENING GHANA’S ELECTORAL SYSTEM: A PRECONDITION FOR STABILITY AND DEVELOPMENT
Prof. Mike Oquaye
Dec 2013
The democratization process in Africa is inextricably interwoven with elections. We elect representatives to govern us because we cannot all rule at the same time. Political party engagement stems from the aggregation of political ideas through political parties so that a meaningful political competition can take place. Hence, to rig an election is to unlawfully appropriate the will of the people. A study of conflict in African States reveals two main causative factors ethnicity and elections. Indeed, the latter often propels the former. The regional elections in Western Nigeria in 1964, for example, triggered political conflict, then ethnic violence and degenerated into the Biafran war. Despite the various political and ethnic issues underscoring conflict in Liberia, electoral rigging catapulted the nation into the civil war carnage. Elections have plunged Cote d'Ivoire, Togo, Benin, Kenya, Zimbabwe etc into war. Africa can only stabilize and deepen democracy through an electoral system which will put results beyond dispute. ...
KEY ISSUES IN THE CHOICE OF AN APPROPRIATE MONETARY POLICY FRAMEWORK FOR GHANA
Dr. J. K. Kwakye
Jul 2012
The paper reviews the frameworks used for monetary policy and inflation management in Ghana. The paper finds that inflation has generally been high and this is partly due to the fact that its management has been challenged by a supply-constrained economy, fiscal dominance, and an underdeveloped financial sector, among other factors. The paper argues that while monetary aggregates and the exchange rate remain important determinants of inflation, the strict forms of monetary targeting and exchange rate targeting do not appear to be viable options for monetary policy currently. The paper concludes that despite the teething problems of the inflation-targeting (IT) framework that has been in place since 2007, its effectiveness can be enhanced by overcoming the initial challenges. Important requirements for effective IT include: fiscal discipline, sufficient flexibility in the exchange rate, improved financial inter-mediation, increased transparency of the process, improvement in the forecasting framework, and an institutional commitment to and accountability for achieving inflation targets. ...
GHANA’S MIDDLE-INCOME REALITY CHECK PART I: THE ECONOMIC DIMENSION
Dr. J. K. Kwakye
Jul 2012
After rebasing in 2010, Ghana’s per capita GDP rose to Middle-Income Country (MIC) level as defined by the World Bank. The per capita income measure is, however, seen to be too narrow as it does not even include key economic indicators let alone important social and development indicators. As the first of a two-part paper, this paper assesses Ghana’s Middle-Income status in comparison with Malaysia and South Africa based on economic indicators and paper finds that on macroeconomic performance, Ghana lags behind. The paper concludes that Ghana may need to undertake major policy interventions to improve its economic performance to a level commensurate with its new MIC status. ...