Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, a flagbearer hopeful of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has emphasized the imperative for Ghana to reevaluate its economic strategies.
He cautioned against overreliance on debt financing and advocated for sustainable, homegrown policies to foster economic development.
Dr. Akoto attributed the current hardships experienced by Ghanaians to the country’s extensive dependence on external and internal borrowing.
He highlighted the resultant burden of compounded debt that continues to impact citizens adversely. He stressed that the time had come for a significant policy shift.
In an interview with Starr FM on October 12, 2023, the former Minister of Food and Agriculture underscored that Ghana’s wealth of natural resources necessitates bold and resolute leadership. He stressed the need for policies, particularly in agriculture, that prioritize diversification and independence.
Dr. Akoto pointed out that reliance on debt, both locally and internationally, for financing critical sectors like infrastructure, health, and education, had proved to be unsustainable. He contended that this approach had failed repeatedly and urged a change in strategy.
Expressing concern over Ghana’s inflation rate, which decreased from 40.1 percent in August 2023 to 38.1 percent in September 2023, Dr. Akoto said that even a 38 percent inflation rate was burdensome. He asserted that the current debt burden hinders economic autonomy and allows external agencies to wield significant influence.
Dr. Akoto, a Cambridge-trained Economist, advocated for a renewed focus on agriculture as a means to break free from economic constraints. He believes that investing in agriculture holds great potential for job creation, particularly for the youth.
In referencing his government’s flagship program, Planting for Food and Jobs (PfJ), Dr. Akoto underscored the positive impact that targeted agricultural policies can have on employment and economic growth. He committed to restructuring Ghana’s economy by prioritizing agriculture and supporting all facets of the industry.
As a two-term Member of Parliament and a former UN systems professional, Dr. Akoto’s vision for Ghana centres on a well-developed agricultural sector as a potent antidote to youth unemployment.*