7 August 2012

Ghana: Welcoming the New Vice-President


The process to get the full complement of this nation's Presidential Team was completed in Parliament House yesterday, when the Public Appointments Committee vetted Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur to take charge of the role formerly played by Mr. John Dramani Mahama.

Ghanaians are waking up this morning with the knowledge that the Constitutional process to fill in the huge space created by the sudden death of Prof. John Evans Atta Mills has been completed, and that there is a new man at the office of the Vice-President.

Already, some Ghanaians, including very knowledgeable people, are hailing the performance of the Vice-President at his vetting as impressive. The Chronicle wishes he would translate the talk at the Speaker's Conference Room yesterday into action as the nation's Number Two Officer.

We know too well that talking through a problem is not the same as fixing it. That is why we caution those reveling in the performance of Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, on the account of his performance in his encounter with the Parliamentary Appointment Committee (PAC), to wait until he begins to perform as Vice-President.

After all, we have a fair idea of what the new Vice-President could do. At the Bank of Ghana, where he was Governor, Paa Kwesi helped to shape the economy. While there may be no doubt that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has grown significantly, the relationship between the local currency, the cedi and major foreign currencies like the dollar, the pound and even the CFA, has been a source of major concern to financial analysts and the citizenry at large.

The rapid fall in value of the cedi has caused a major dislocation in the economy. Businesses are struggling to keep pace with their production levels. For the ordinary man on the street, the continued fall in the value of the cedi has caused a major dislocation in the way of life of many Ghanaians.

Yesterday, The Chronicle published the concerns of the Ghana Nurses and Midwives Trainees Association, an affiliate of the Ghana Registered Nurses Association, which has kicked against the hike in academic and residential user fees. The huge rise, we learn, is a result of the fallen cedi, which has increased cost of living considerably.

In a country, where the cost of goods and services are rising through the roof, it belies belief that the Vice-President argued before the PAC that Bank of Ghana's handling of the cedi has been above board.

As Vice-President, Mr. Amissah-Arthur will be the head of the Government's Economic Team. We hope and pray that he would be an influence on the economic direction of the country, and that his role would reflect his professional competence, and not his political orientation.

Last night, the Vice-President was sworn in. It was a momentous occasion. Both sides of the House were unanimous in approving the nomination of the Vice-President. The Chronicle congratulates the new Vice-President and wishes him well in his new appointment.

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