Professor Godfred Bokpin, an Economics lecturer at the University of Ghana, has urged governments to acknowledge and learn from errors that arise from the management of the economy because it is only through errors that improvements can be made.
The UG don said that both the present and previous administrations have repeatedly shifted blame to the other, an indication that rather than acknowledging its errors in terms of poor management and careless borrowing, governments shift blame.
His reaction follows President Akufo-Addo’s assertion that Covid-19 and the Russian-Ukrainian war are the causes of the Ghanaian economic woes and not poor economic management or the government’s reckless borrowing during. Akufo-Addo made the claims during his State of the Nation’s Address on Tuesday, March 8, 2023
Speaking in an interview with Peace FM’s midday news on March 9, 2023, Professor Bokpin explained that the government owning up to mistakes would only demonstrate their awareness of their shortcomings and willingness to grow.
“He (Akufo-Addo) wanted to run away from it, it is like there’s pressure on them, so if you look at his strategy, he was like, let me try and run away from it because if I admit the pressure will be too much.
“But as a country, if we admit it, we can forgive each other. What I’m saying is that let’s admit our mistakes, borrowing is not bad,” he said.
Professor Bokpin added “There are also differences because the impact of Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war differs from country to country. So, if you isolate Covid-19 and isolate Russian-Ukraine war impact, you will realise the government’s contributions to the economic mess.
“And that is where I have a problem, because 66 years of independence… and especially if you trace from 1992, you will realise that our politicians have not been bold enough to admit our failures.
“If you don’t admit it, it is going to be very difficult to do better, all that we do is that we blame it on other people, other parties and external forces etc and we cannot continue like that.
Professor Bokpin continued by saying that in addition to taking into account the effects of the Russian-Ukrainian War, the administration has also borrowed carelessly, which has added to the financial disaster of the country.
“And when you look at our borrowing trend…the ones that the IMF and the World Bank advised us against the domestic debt restructuring and now doing external restructuring, external bilateral etc.
“That shows that we’ve been a bit reckless with our borrowing, and that is what it means … for the IMF to confirm that your debt is unsustainable what it means is that at the time of borrowing, there was no due diligence,” he added.