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26.03.2008 Editorial

Good Times Are Here

By Daily Guide
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Only the cynical would refuse to acknowledge the positive economic trends unfolding in the country these past few years.

The changes are so glaring that one does not have to be an economist to discern them.

Besides the rather difficult economic indicators of progress, there are others which even the non-initiates to the complex world of macro-economics can see and conclude that things are indeed changing for the better in today's Ghana.

Prudent economic policies put in place by the Kufuor administration even though were condemned as not translating into more money in the pockets of Ghanaians by cynics, are beginning to gently churn out dividends, and these are showing.

The docking of new businesses in the country has been phenomenal.

Today there are more banks in the country than we have ever had in our economic history.

Such an economic development does not take place from the blues. It is precipitated by such actions like the adoption of right policies and the like.

The arrival of new banks has added to the healthy competition in the banking industry, thanks to the prevalence of an unrivalled political stability.

Today the banking industry is awash with new products previously unheard of in the country, the result of competition.

The country's apex bank, Bank of Ghana which is responsible for licensing such business ventures would not have given them the nod to commence business if they did not think that there was enough room for them to operate here.

The Afro-Arabian Bank and another one which would come on stream soon are welcome onboard the Ghanaian economic train.

As they join us, we ask that they play the ball according to the rules as laid down by the regulator of the banking industry.

This way both parties would reap the benefits of good practice.
We would particularly entreat the newcomers to support government economic policies so that the country's dream of industrializing would be realized in the not too distant future.

Agriculture which for long has remained the country's economic mainstay must be given new treats by the banks so that commercial agriculture would replace peasant farming.

As an important bank in the Arab world, Afro Arabian bank becomes the 24th universal banking institution in the country, and we expect them to transfer their rich experience to the Ghanaian nationals who would join them.

The shareholding profile of the Sahel Bank which includes Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Eritrea, Libya, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sudan, Togo and the Gambia would certainly add to the prestige of Ghana.

This coming at a time when Ghana is about to join the league of oil-producing countries must be relished and supported by all Ghanaians.

The bank's support for the private sector which has been identified as the engine of growth must be a priority. It is worth noting that credit to this sector in the first month of the current year increased from 1.2 percent to GH¢3,336.9 million, following an increase of 14.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007.

We welcome the bank and the Bank of Baroda which arrives soon and wish them progress. In some countries the opposite of what we are witnessing is the order, as businesses are winding up, signs of bad times.

Ours is a story of a bright light at the end of the tunnel, and we are compelled to say with glee that really the good times are here, hurray!

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