New Economic Think-Tank Launched

DuffuorThe Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), a new think-tank devoted to the provision of economic policy advice, has been inaugurated in Accra.

IFS, a non-profit and non-partisan organisation, a brainchild of Dr Kwabena Duffuor, former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, was established in March last year.

Speaking at the launch, Dr. Duffuor said in spite of the country’s abundant natural resources, the economy had woefully underperformed over the years.

He explained that the country’s fiscal and macroeconomic management have generally not done well because “our economic management decision-making and choices have, more often than not, been shaped by political expediencies and not by sound economic policies.”

Dr. Duffuor attributed the country’s economic woes to corruption and external influences, lack of integrity, lack of economic policies and economic interests, and frequent and sometimes arbitrary change of government.

He said it was to help reshape and improve upon the fiscal and macroeconomic management and meaningfully transform the economy that the IFS was established, saying individuals who had served the country and accumulated experience could not sit down unconcerned while the economy went through economic challenges.

Dr. Duffuor said the mission of IFS is to contribute to fiscal management and macroeconomic transformation of the country, pointing out that “growth and development occur where there is sustained sound management of the economy”.

Professor Newman K. Kusi, Executive Director of IFS, said the think-tank would among others, contribute to economic policy-making, promote better understanding of macro-fiscal management in Ghana, and create a platform for open discourse and debate on public policy, and fiscal issues.

He said IFS would conduct high-quality and independent research in macroeconomic and fiscal policy management to promote better understanding of the Ghanaian economy in general and government finance in particular for the benefit of government, the business community, and civil society.

Professor Newman said IFS would periodically issue policy statement and come out with publication on national economic issues, adding that the organisation was conducting macroeconomic assessment of the Ghanaian economy since 1957.

Dr. K.B Asante, a member of the IFS Executive Council, said the establishment of IFS was critical to put government economic policies in check, noting that the country needed sound fiscal policies to address the challenges the economy was going through.

The Chairman of the Executive Council of IFS, Mr Alex Ashiagbor, who presided over the programme, lauded Dr Duffuor for establishing the organisation, saying it would go a long way in transforming the economy.

By Kingsley Asare

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