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Duffuor Demands Economic Analysis

By Daily Guide

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Kwabena Duffuor has called for the implementation of detailed analysis of factors to help shape the country's economic performance.

According to him, no country can attain higher development levels without making tough economic decisions.

He said although such decisions tend to be unpopular in the beginning, they ultimately yield significant dividends over time.

Dr. Duffuor disclosed this in a speech read on his behalf at the opening of a two-day workshop on African Governance Outlook (AGO) in Accra.

He said sometimes it becomes difficult to make a choice between economically viable and politically unpopular initiatives since developing countries have to invest in effective and efficient management of public resources to provide support to sustainable economic growth.

According to him, there cannot be real growth and prosperity without good governance.

'It is therefore appropriate that AGO, one of the governance dimensions' study focuses on capability or the political will and ability of governments to design and implement public policies for the common public good.

Dr. Duffuor noted that Ghana has consistently performed well over the years at both political and economic fronts, as it has achieved significant growth in real GDP growth – 4.0 percent in 2009 to 13.6 percent in 2011.

The Finance Minister noted that the inadequacies of the conventional approaches to managing public resources have contributed to the emergence of a new approach that places emphasis on good governance and accountability.

Frannie Leautier, Executive Secretary of African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), in an address, noted that the African Governance Outlook provides a framework for analyzing contextual factors that shape financial governance in a country.

This, she said, entails analyzing the underlying factors that determine financial governance performance and trends over time by explaining the reasons for such performance.

Dr. Leautier explained that the AGO framework is based on a two-level approach, which comprises 25 quality indicators of financial governance variables, complemented by quality analysis of public financial management systems.

She noted that African countries achieved significant progress in improving governance practices but considerable challenges remained to anchor good governance and tackle corruption.

Officially opening the workshop, Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, AfDB Resident Representative in Ghana, said AGO's strategic framework is built on the premise that strengthening governance is complex because the challenges are broad, independent and cross cutting.

AGO is a collaborative initiative between the ACBF and the African Development Bank (AfDB) aimed at providing an effective African-based diagnostic tool on financial governance, on a regional scale.

It is being piloted in phases in selected African countries based on accession to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and availability of data sets for the AGO research instrument.

The first pilot phase covered Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Tanzania and Rwanda. The second phase includes Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal and Uganda. Following the pilot phase, AGO will be implemented in full throughout the rest of Africa.

By Stella Danso Addai