President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday August 25 paid a working visit to the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) and the central bank, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) in Accra.
The visit, according to Akufo-Addo, was to afford him the opportunity to ascertain how the GSE and the BoG have been impacted by the ravages of the Coronavirus pandemic and to find out how best he can suppor especially the GSE.
The president told the workers of the GSE that “All of us are aware that a robust and strong stock exchange is usually a very good mirror and reflection of a strong market economy. So whatever can be done to strengthen the exchange is inevitably tied up to what we can do to strengthen the economy.”
He added “we have in the last four or five months gone through some very harrowing times not just here in Ghana but the entire world.
“It has had a major impact on the economies of virtually all the nations in the world. The stock exchange is one of the critical instruments for growing a country’s economy and thereby growing the possibility of the people becoming more prosperous. I think it is important that those of us who have to make decisions affecting the economy have a clear idea of what is going on here.
“That is the main reason I came here to find out the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on your activities, where you are in terms of growing the exchange and what obviously government on kits part can do to assist the process of getting Ghana a really stock exchange.”
The Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) told the president that his visit makes it the first time a sitting president has familiarized himself with the operations at the GSE.
He said, “This is the first time we have a sitting president coming to the floor to witness what goes on here, so you are welcome. GSE will be 30 years this year. As am exchange we made some modest achievements, we have created trade markets, we have only 40 companies listed on the main market.”
He added “All operations are electronic, we have won two afterwards in the last decade as the most innovative stock exchange in Africa, an ward normally given by African Investor.”
For his part, the Governor of the BoG Dr Ernest Addison said “Your Excellency, the Bank of Ghana, over the last three and half years, has played a critical role in the government’s transformation agenda. Through reforms that were effectively coordinated with the fiscal authorities, macroeconomic stability was re-established following the significant imbalances at the end of 2016. Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ghanaian economic was once again classified among the fastest growing economies in the world, under your leadership. Growth averaged  percent; inflation was reduced significantly and maintained in single digits and well within the Banks target range, and exchange rate stability was well anchored. In fact, the economy had all the ingredients for broad-based inclusive growth.
“And these efforts were rewarded with Ghana’s first ratings upgrade, in 10 years, by Fitch global ratings agency from B- to a B with a positive outlook. Your Excellency, your support to the Bank during the reforms in the banking sector cannot be over emphasized.
“Your clear leadership and understanding of the role of the financial sector in the government’s transformation agenda, gave the leadership of the Bank the confidence and courage to embark on the comprehensive banking sector reforms over the last three years, which saw an increase in the minimum capital requirements, clean-up of the financial sector by the revocation of licenses of weak and insolvent institutions, and a revamp of the regulatory framework to stabilise and strengthen the sector.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana