1 August 2012

Ghana: Amissah-Arthur Is New Veep

Photo: Paulo Filgueiras/UN
President John Dramani Mahama addresses the UN General Assembly. (file photo)

Parliament adjourned yesterday without receiving the nomination to fill the Vice-Presidential slot.

Chronicle checks at the seat of Government drew blank, but Facebook walls and some radio stations were awash with the information that Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, has got the nod to partner President John Dramani Mahama.

Joy FM broke the news as exclusive, but the information was all over on Facebook long before the radio station started broadcasting the news. Mr. Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah Arthur, an Economist, was appointed by the late President John Evans Atta Mills as Governor of the Central Bank on October 1, 2009, to replace Dr. Paul Acquah, who served eight years as Governor in the Kufuor regime.

Mr. Amissah-Arthur holds a Masters Degree in Economics, and was once a lecturer in Economics at the University of Ghana, Legon. He also taught at the Anambra State College of Education, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria.

He was appointed Deputy Secretary for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) military junta, and continued in the same capacity when the PNDC changed into the National Democratic Congress (NDC) during the first term of the Rawlings Presidency.

According to City FM, the nominated Vice-President was among the team of technocrats who managed Ghana's Structural Adjustment Programme that helped in reviving the collapsing Ghanaian economy during the military regime. Prior to his appointment as Governor of Ghana's Central Bank, Mr. Amissah-Arthur was a private consultant.

The choice of the Bank of Ghana Governor might have wrong-footed many pundits who had Dr. Kwesi Botchwey, Finance Minister during the PNDC era, ahead of the chasing pack.

A native of Cape Coast, the choice of Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur satisfies the crave for a native of the Central Region to partner the new President.

Dr. Botchwey was the favourite of the old guards of the ruling NDC. The ability of President John Mahama to dribble past the old foxes in the party is being hailed by the youth wing as evidence that the new President could be his own man.

The name of the new nominee would be communicated to Parliament for the constitutional vetting.

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