The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, has won the prestigious Finance Minister for Africa award for 2011 after beating six other African finance ministers shortlisted for the award.

The authoritative London-based magazine, The Banker, published by the Financial Times Group since 1926, conferred the award on Dr Duffuor for leading a team that initiated prudent fiscal policies anchored on checking waste in public spending, ensuring quality of expenditure and enhancing domestic revenue mobilisation through improvement in tax policies.

In its January 2011 edition, the publication considered that in less than two years at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, the minister “has been leading an arduous campaign to weed out wasteful public spending and enhance revenue”,

It stated, “His vision for the medium term has been to accelerate growth of the Ghanaian economy without compromising macroeconomic stability.”

It added that Dr Duffuor had also implemented fiscal and financial policies that promoted fiscal sustainability and support for the domestic financial system.

Dr Duffuor told the Daily Graphic that he was happy when he received the news, as it went to show that the nation’s efforts at turning the economy around within a short period had received international recognition and approval.

But he would not like to take the credit but rather dedicated the award to the people of Ghana and the President, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, who, he said, did not only appoint him but also gave him the necessary support and personal commitment to ensure that the economy became sustainably stable.

The African finance ministers who raced with Dr Duffuor were those from South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda.

“The distance we have travelled in these few months is remarkable. The benefits of the government’s commitment to its economic programmes are clearly visible and the decline in the overall budget deficit this year (2010) is appropriate,” the Finance Minister told The Banker.

The Independence, a local newspaper, crowned Dr Duffuor Man of the Year in 1997. Around the same period, he was also crowned the Marketing Man of the Year by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana (CIMG).

Just last year, Dr Duffuor also received the International Distinguished Merit Award from the Gambia-based West African Institute of Insurance (WAII).

Dr Duffuor holds a PhD from the University of Syracuse, New York. His dissertation was titled:

“The impact of the post 1971 exchange rate system on developing countries, with special reference to Ghana”.

The Finance Minister also holds two masters degrees – an MBA in Finance and Banking and a Master of Arts in Economics.

Source: Daily Graphic