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Ghana’s development bank needs professional, not political appointments

By David Whitehouse
Posted on Friday, 28 May 2021 18:18

Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo may face a hung parliament.
Ghana's constitution gives its presidents sweeping powers over appointments. John MacDougall/AP

Ghana’s planned development bank won’t reach its full potential unless it can break with the culture of institutional appointments being used as a form of political patronage.

In May, the finance ministry agreed to a loan of €170m from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to finance a new national bank – the Development Bank of Ghana (DBG). The new institution, to be set up in July, is also backed by the World Bank and the German development bank KfW.

The new bank will aim to tackle the dearth of long-term financing for industry and agriculture. Ghana’s finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, says only 15% of bank loans are for five years or longer, stifling investment in long-term projects.