The managing editor of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt, has identified the causes of Ghana’s problems and why the government chose a Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) and an IMF bailout to revive the economy.
The DDEP, in Mr. Pratt’s opinion, is not the answer to Ghana’s issues.
He claimed that the country has a more significant issue that, when addressed, will serve to improve the situation of the populace.
He questioned why Ghana, the sixth-largest gold producer in the world, only received 2% of the profits from the gold industry, while 98.6% went to other nations.
“What are we saying to the mining firms that take our gold but only contribute 2% of it to the Ghanaian economy? Compared to the money owned by bondholders. Ghana is currently the sixth-largest gold producer in the world, but barely 2% of the gold we sell returns to the Ghanaian economy. What do we plan to do about that? Ninety-eight (98) percent of the gold mined in this nation is not reinvested in the Ghanaian economy “he stated.
He added that one thing harming the economy is the dollarization of products and services in the nation.
“Do you know that America is indebted more than Ghana? How come America is more indebted to Ghana but the American economy is not in that distress we are in?”, he asked.
“Very simple reason; America’s debt is in dollars which is their own currency. They are in debt, but it is in dollars. So, if America wants to defray its debt, it won’t worry about going to the IMF and World Bank to do what we are doing. All they do is print more dollars. “Of course, when they print more dollars, it comes with repercussions like high inflation and so forth, but they don’t have to go through this to be able to pay their loans,” he explained.
He further explained why Ghana is in distress albeit America owes more than the country is indebted.
“Why is Ghana suffering? We are indebted but it’s not up to how much America owes. But our debt is in dollars; our debt is not in cedis but in dollars. So, how can we clear our debt? We have to work and produce products that we can sell in dollars to pay our debt. This is our headache. The structure of the global economy does not favor us. As we speak, the US Dollar is the preferred currency for international trade. That is part of the reason why we are suffering. It is partly responsible for our headaches. That is the problem!”
To him, Ghana will progress only when the nation does things differently.
“How do we change the world economic order? How do we insulate the national economy from foreign influence and foreign domination? How do we make sure that Ghanaians own their own natural resources and exploit these natural resources in their own interest? That is all; there is no magic.”
He made these submissions on Peace FM’s “Kokrokoo” discussion programme Tuesday morning.