Accra Business School graduates 261 grandaunts comprising of MBA, MSC, Level 6 and 7 extended diplomas.
The event attracted notable figures from academia and the media, with Mr. Bernard Avle, General Manager for Citi TV and Citi FM, gracing the occasion as the guest speaker.
In his speech on the topic “Alternatives to IMF Conditionalities for Economic Development in Ghana,” Mr. Avle shed light on Ghana’s frequent visits to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and proposed strategies to break the cycle of reliance on the IMF, particularly aiming to surpass the country’s 17th visit. He emphasized the need to analyze Ghana’s history with the IMF and explore the underlying reasons for the recurring visits.
“Over the past 65 years, Ghana has encountered significant economic challenges that necessitated seeking financial support from the IMF. Despite previous efforts, including visits in 2003, 2009, and 2015, the country has yet to achieve a dynamic and resilient post-colonial economy that benefits all citizens”. Mr. Avle highlighted the objective similarities between the latest IMF program and previous ones, emphasizing the necessity to address the fundamental issues that lead to the cycle of visits.
The guest speaker pointed out that Ghana is not alone in its reliance on the IMF, as other countries such as Zambia, Ethiopia, Chad, and Egypt have also sought debt relief through the G20 common framework.
The IMF currently has lending agreements with 21 sub-Saharan African nations, with many programs attributed to rising interest rates and countries’ difficulties in raising finance through dollar bond sales.
Mr. Avle argued that the country’s frequent visits to the IMF are not solely due to a lack of fiscal discipline but are rooted in underlying ideological, cultural, philosophical, and historical factors.
He contended that IMF programs often prioritize external interests over improving living standards for the population. Additionally, he criticized the IMF’s focus on debt servicing without adequately addressing how the debts originated.
To break the cycle, Mr. Avle proposed four solutions. Firstly, he emphasized the importance of promoting self-sufficiency in agriculture, urging Ghanaians to “eat what you grow and grow what you eat.” Enhancing productivity in the agricultural sector and reducing dependence on imported food would contribute to economic sovereignty. Secondly, he stressed the need for energy sovereignty, highlighting Ghana’s increasing reliance on fossil fuels despite its abundant hydroelectric power resources. He cited Costa Rica’s success in utilizing renewable energy to reduce currency pressure and create jobs.
Thirdly, Mr. Avle advocated for value-added manufacturing as a means to break the cycle of visits to the IMF. He drew inspiration from Vietnam, which transformed itself into a global manufacturing industry player through an export-oriented approach. He questioned why Ghana, strategically positioned in the middle of the world, couldn’t achieve similar results.
Finally, the guest speaker emphasized the importance of high-quality education and ethical leadership in achieving Ghana’s development goals. He commended Accra Business School for its philosophy of training business leaders who can contribute to sustainable economic growth, job creation, increased incomes, and poverty reduction.
The graduation ceremony showcased the achievements of Accra Business School’s graduates and highlighted the importance of ethical leadership in shaping Ghana’s future. The event served as a reminder that investment in quality education and the development of globally competitive business leaders are crucial for the country’s progress.