General News of Thursday, 29 January 2015
The first progress report on the Senchi Consensus has been presented to President John Dramani Mahama.
The report contained the set of recommendations that emerged from the National Economic Forum of May 2014 at Senchi in the Eastern Region.
The President organised the Forum at the height of the economic crisis in 2014 when the cedi was depreciating rapidly and the economy was facing several challenges.
Presenting the report to the President, the Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, described the progress of implementation as “mixed but encouraging.”
He said as host of the Implementation Advisory Group (IAG) of the Senchi Consensus, NDPC deployed all necessary resources to monitor implementation of the recommendations.
According to Dr. Thompson, the reversal by the Bank of Ghana in June of the measures it imposed in February 2014 to save the cedi began the process of stabilisation and appreciation of the cedi against major currencies in the second half of 2014. The reversal was one of the recommendations from Senchi.
The Director General cited the midterm review of the government’s budget by Finance Minister Seth Terkper as another factor that helped stabilise the cedi, followed by the $1 billion from the Euro bond, the $1.6 billion from the COCOBOD syndicated loan, and the government’s decision to open negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.
He said challenges of implementation included the fact that many of the recommendations were not part of the original work plans of implementing agencies and so had not been budgeted for. Other factors were late release of budgetary allocations to facilitate the work of implementing agencies.
Receiving the report, the President thanked the Commission for its hard work and said government would provide the necessary support to ensure the full implementation of the Senchi Consensus.
He disclosed that the massive investments being made by government in the energy sector were in response to one of the key recommendations of the Senchi Consensus, which was to improve electricity supply for industry and households.