Department of Economics and K. B Amissah-Arthur Foundation Hold Economic Forum

The Department of Economics in collaboration with the K. B Amissah-Arthur Foundation has held an Economic Forum on the topic: “Making Sense of Economics” as part of activities marking the first anniversary of the passing of Mr. Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, a former Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana.  The forum attracted distinguished personalities including politicians, academics, economists, civil society and members of the public.

Prof. Samuel Agyei-Mensah, Provost, College of Humanities in his welcome address noted that the late Vice President had a long standing relationship with the University and was instrumental in the construction of the Economic Department conference facility. He reiterated the need for economic policies to be geared towards transforming the lives of the ordinary citizen in the country.

Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General and Head of UN Office in West Africa UNOWA and the Sahel and Chairman of the forum in his remarks described the late Amissah-Arthur as a man of integrity who stood tall in his quest to improve the economic situation of the country. Dr. Chambas urged all Ghanaians to reflect on the legacy of Mr. Amissah-Arthur and provide sound economic policies to develop the country. He noted that the late Vice-President had the University of Ghana at heart and was always ready to help in any way he could towards the development of the University. He further charged all alumni to emulate the gestures of the late Vice President in making the University of Ghana a centre of excellence.

Delivering the keynote address, Prof. Charles Soludo, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, stated that although Ghana has good economic professionals, these professionals have been troubled with the same issues over decades. This situation he bemoaned if not addressed was going to put the economy of Ghana in distress due to rapid population growth in the near future. Recommending solutions to some of Ghana’s economic woes, Prof. Charles Soludo called for innovation and the application of technology, skills oriented education, improvement of health care delivery, a proactive central bank and strong institutions.

The former Governor also noted that the study and application of economic theory should not be devoid of humanity and values of the country. According to him, in transforming the economic fortunes of the country, the economist must understand the public and political literature of that country and be able to deal with competing interest. Prof. Soludo also charged researchers to move away from adaptive research and focus on solution-driven research that will influence productivity and policy.

Earlier, Mr. Kwasi Nyan Amissah-Arthur, son of the late Vice President in introducing the economic forum explained that the K.B. Amissah-Arthur Foundation was set up to sustain the legacy of his late father who was an astute economist, providing home-grown solutions to Ghana’s economy. He revealed that plans were far advanced in setting up a Research Chair in Economics at the University and an annual award scheme for PhD studies at the Economics Department. Mr. Amissah-Arthur noted that the initiatives was to attract and retain top talent of professorial rank to help find solutions to the economic problems of the country and offer deserving students at the Economics Department the opportunity to obtain knowledge on modern ways of dealing with emerging economic challenges.

Present at the forum was H.E John Dramani Mahama, former President of the Republic, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, a former Minister of Education, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, and Mrs. Mercy Haizel-Ashia, Registrar.