Celebrating the Pillar of Peace: Asantehene’s Economic Intervention in Mahama Era

The mark Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has made on the country which transcends his traditional role did not begin today as he has made significant contributions towards the economic growth of Ghana under the leadership of both past and present governments.

As part of today’s celebration of the Pillar of Peace, E ON 3 Group mulls over his swift intervention that saved Ghana from economic turmoil during the administration of former President John Dramani Mahama.

In an elaborative remark, Mr Mahama said his government faced a crisis with the economy in 2013/2014, and an IMF programme was needed to restore debt sustainability and macroeconomic stability to foster a return to high growth and job creation while protecting social spending.

Former President John Dramani Mahama however revealed that, but for the intervention of the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, his government would not have secured the IMF deal.

“We had implemented the single spine salary policy from President Mills’ time and somewhere in 2013, the arrears were kicking in. So we overshot in terms of revenue which became a burden on the budget. Wages and salaries shot up astronomically so we did the Senchi forum and after that, we came out with the Home-Grown Fiscal Consolidation Programme. We tried to implement it but international investors thought that without discipline we could not do that. We tried to convince them but they would not budge.”

The government in that case decided to convene a meeting with the IMF to convince them to buy into the idea of a home-grown fiscal programme; however, the Fund kept postponing it, he revealed.

He then sought His Majesty’s intervention which did the magic in no time.

“One day during a visit to Kumasi, I enquired from Otumfuo whether he could get his friend, the President of the World Bank at the time, James D. Wolfensohn, for him to work on the IMF programme for the government and the Asantehene readily accepted the request.

“Because of that programme, Otumfuo flew to Washington to have talks with Mr Wolfensohn, who together with Otumfuo went and spoke with the IMF Director, Madam Christine Lagarde and within a short period of time, we had the Extended Credit Facility. That was the programme that turned the economy around because under that programme, in 2016, almost for the first time in our history, we did not overspend the budget.”

On April 3, 2015, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a $918 million three-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for Ghana to support the Mahama government’s medium-term economic reform programme.

Mr Mahama made the disclosure when E ON 3 Group visited his office in February 2022 to present him with a piece of Otumfuo commemorative gold coin which recognizes the role Asantehene has played in peacemaking and peacebuilding in the country, particularly in the settlement of the Dagbon Conflict.

Receiving the coin, he stated that the Asantehene more than deserved it.

“Certainly, If anybody was to be celebrated in this country, you couldn’t go past Otumfuo. He has been a part of consolidating our democracy since the time of President Rawlings.”


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