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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mills’ Pal to Head Bank of Ghana

Prez Mills

Prez Mills

After completing most of his appointments, Cabinet, District Chief Executives, Chairmen and Board of Directors, Ambassadors and High Commissioners, President John Evans Arthur Mills is now focusing on the strategic post of the Governor of the Bank of Ghana.

President Mills has already appointed two deputy governors of the Bank in the persons of Dr Kofi Wampah, formerly of the West Africa Monetary Institute (WAMI) and Madam Millison Narh, and will in the next few days appoint a new Governor of the Bank of Ghana to replace current Governor of the Bank. Dr Paul Acquah, who is expected to finish his term having been in charge of the central bank during the two terms of President John Agyekum Kufuor.

The search has been going on quietly behind the scenes but credible information available to The Independent say, several candidates, including one Dr Ansu of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), who is based in the United States, have so far been interviewed, sources say that, unless the unexpected happens. President Mills will appoint his protégé and one time campaign aide, Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur to head Ghana’s Central Bank. Mr Amissah-Arthur is a product of the university of Ghana and one time Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning during the Rawlings regime.

Amissah Arthur, who is an old boy of Mfantsipim School in Cape Coast, holds a Masters Degree in Economics and was one of the key architects of the economic policieis of the Rawlings regime and was an able lieutenant to Dr Kwesi Botchwey, Ghana’s longest serving Finance Minister under Rawlings.

Since he lost his position in a cabinet reshuffle in the Rawlings regime, he has kept a low profile but he is known to be one of the people close to President Mills. His appointment, sources within the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) say, is bound to annoy the Rawlings camp. It may be recalled that, in 2000, President Rawlings showed his antipathy towards Mr Arthur-Amissah when he asked him to disembark from the Presidential Jet in Tamale.

Amissah Arthur as an aide to Professor Mills had accompanied the Vice President at the time to Tamale for a joint durbar at which President Rawlings was supposed to introduce and endorse Veep Mills as his heir apparent. The incident was not well received even in NDC circles.

The years, it believed, have not healed whatever rift that caused then President Rawlings to throw his former Deputy Minister out of the plane But with Professor Mills now fully in charge of the country, sources say, the appointment of Amissah Arthur will come to pass. As Governor of the Bank of Ghana, he will have the arduous task to ensure stabilization of the cedi against the dollar and other major currencies and inject greater fiscal discipline into the economy.

With two deputies who have risen from the ranks to their current positions, sources at the Central Bank say, the new Governor, when appointed, will have a greater part of his burden shouldered by these two able deputies. In recent times very knowledgeable gentlemen have occupied the seat of the Governor of the Bank of Ghana including Dr. G.K. Agamah, Dr Kwabena Duffuor and currently, Dr Paul Acquah, who is on his way out in view of the closeness to his retirement age.

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