for businesses to plan.
Validating earlier projections by the governmentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s economic planners, the governor of the bank, Mr Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, said the economy would this year see a further reduction in inflation and interest rates and a general price stability that would help businesses to plan, grow and create more jobs.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This year will be much better than the year gone by and we are very confident about this,Ã¢â‚¬Â Mr Amissah-Arthur said when he paid a courtesy call on the management of the Graphic Communications Group Ltd (GCGL) in Accra Tuesday.
President J.E.A Mills, as well as the Finance and Economic Planning Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffuor had earlier affirmed the governmentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s success in stabilizing the economy within its first year and targeted this year as one for growth.
The Governor, who was accompanied by the Head of monetary Policy Analysis and Financial Stability, Dr Benjamin Amoah, and the Deputy Head of Banking Supervision, Mr Franklin Belnye, said although Ghana suffered the secondary effects of the global economic crisis, the country had managed to put its house in order, stabilized prices and improved on the balance of payment position.
He said the bank was working seriously towards ensuring price stability by lowering inflation which would eventually secure the value of the cedi and reduce any form of financial hardships in the systems.
The Governor and his team took advantage of the visit to answer a number of questions, ranging from re-denomination, the printing of notes, interest rate, inflation, the licensing of new banks, exchange rate policies of the Central bank to how the bank was coping in the absence of a board.
On the aftermath of the re-denomination, Mr Amissah-Arthur said the exercise was relevant today as it has been at the time, it was carried out, adding, that circulation of the currency was also quite smooth.
He said, however, that the bank was still discussing a strategy to encourage increased use of coins, as many customers refused to accepted them at the banking halls, with banks also hesitant to keep them in their vaults.
In the matter in which a former board member of the bank, Mr Sam Okudzeto, had placed an injunction on the President from constituting a new board, the Governor said it was a serious issue that needed a speedy resolution.
Mr Amissah-Arthur said in spite of the difficult dilemma of the bank. It had formed a panel of eminent bankers who advised management to move in certain directions.
So far, he said, that advisory framework, whose advice would later be presented to a substantive board, had been welcomed by the constituents of the bank, including the development partners such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
For his part, Mr Ibrahim Awal, the Managing Director of the GCGL, called on the bank to partner the countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s leading media house to embark on extensive financial literacy to help people to take informed financial decisions.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Financial literacy is low in the country and the Graphic Group will be grateful if the bank can offer partnership and provide materials and expertise to build the capacity of our reporters to help inform the public better,Ã¢â‚¬Â Mr Awal stated.
He added that reporters of the GCGL newspapers needed to break down jargons for the ordinary Ghanaian to understand and improve general financial literacy in the country.
Mr Awal said the GCGL had carved itself as a credible partner for advertisers to grow brands and promote businesses, adding that apart from huge taxes it pays to the government, the company also generated employment, such as the 3,000 vendors it had currently engaged.
The General Manager in charge of Newspapers of the GCGL, Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, and the Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Ransford Tetteh, together called on the central bank to improve its information dissemination in order to help the public understand its work better.