President Akufo-Addo says it has become clear, if ever there was any doubt, that the international financial structure is skewed significantly against developing and emerging economies like Ghana.
Delivering an address at the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, he indicated that the avenues that are opened to powerful nations to enable them to take measures that would ease pressures on their economies are closed to small nations.
He further lamented how rating agencies rate African countries, a situation that makes it difficult for them to service their debts.
“To make matters worse, credit rating agencies have been quick to downgrade economies in Africa, making it harder to service our debts. The tag of Africa as an investment risk is little more than, in substance, a self-fulfilling prophecy created by the prejudice of the international money market, which denies us access to cheaper borrowing, pushing us deeper into debts”
He said “The financial markets have been set up and operate on rules designed for the benefit of rich and powerful nations, and, during times of crisis, the façade of international co-operation, under which they purport to operate, disappears. These are the savage lessons that we have had to take in, as the world emerged from the grip of the coronavirus to energy and food price hikes, and a worldwide rise in the cost of living. The necessity for reform of the system is compelling.”
He further noted that “Mr President, I am a modest student of history, and I would say it is doubtful that any generation of inhabitants of this earth has ever witnessed such a perfect storm of global economic chaos, a war with global consequences, and an unwillingness or inability to find a consensus to deal with the catastrophe.
It is under such circumstances that we have gathered under the theme: “A Watershed Moment: Transformative Solutions to Interlocking Challenges.”
To him, “The problems we face are, indeed, many, and vary in level of importance, depending on where you are in the global order of things. Just last year, the focus was on energy transition. This year, it is about energy security, as Europe goes back to burning coal to replace Russian gas.
Nevertheless, we do not have the luxury of being able to pick and choose which big problem to solve. None of them can wait; the economic turbulence requires urgent and immediate solution; the turmoil and insecurity in many parts of the world require urgent attention; and so does the need to tackle the problems posed by climate change.
A watershed moment, indeed, it is, and history will judge us harshly if we do not seize the opportunity to make the changes that will enable us deal with the many problems we face.”