Veep releases Senchi Report

Vice President Dr Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has presented the final report of the Senchi Economic Forum held in May this year to President John Mahama.

The Vice President, who is also head of the Government’s Economic Policy Management Team presented the report to the President at a short ceremony at the Flagstaff House.

The report, according to the Vice President is expected to restore the country’s economic stability and stimulate growth.

He said the report is "a culmination of the work that was done both in Senchi and after Senchi".

After the three day national economic forum,  ‘The Senchi Consensus’, a 21-point communiqué was issued with recommendations , including the need to “foster a state whose day-to-day management is supported by a professionally competent civil service working in an environment devoid of political victimization and intimidation and where support for the Government is not interpreted as political affiliation.”

Also, the consensus highlighted the importance of government to strengthen the public accounts and finance committees of Parliament to play their oversight responsibilities more effectively, among others.

After the consensus government promised to issue a full report on the forum but delayed in the release.

Opposition parties criticised the government for its delay in the release of the report. The Vice President on Wednesday presented the report to the president.

According to Gifty Andoh Appiah, Flagstaff House Correspondent, the highlights of the report include the Bank of Ghana (BoG) fiscal policy reviews and the mid-year budget review, all of which have already been implemented so far.

She said a key point of the report was the need for an implementation committee to ensure participatory oversight of recommendations reached at the forum, which is also already in place.

The Vice President said the report will address economic challenges of “domestic origin”, however, the country would have to adjust to challenges brought about by external factors, explaining “we [Ghana] can’t change the prices of our commodities.”

He said macro-economic balance will be restored while the nation’s deficit will be kept at 8.8% as projected by the Finance Minister, Seth Terkper.

Mr Amissah-Arthur disclosed that Advisory Committee began its work on July 18 and the committee members have been given copies of the implementation matrix for the report.

The committee is required to refine the implementation matrix “to make sure that they are able to better it and have the oversight that is required.”

The President said delays in the report was to ensure its accuracy and promised to implement recommendations in the report.