Ghana’s new chief banker: Ernest Addison

By Sam Edem
Dr. Addison
Dr. Addison

Following the historic electoral victory over the then incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration led by President John Dramani Mahama by the leading opposition New Patriotic Party’s candidate – Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last December and a subsequent transition of power in January 2017, there have been series of changes in the leadership of public boards, agencies and even some district executives.

About every government bench in the country have been shaken but many had hoped that the man who occupied one of the most important offices in the economy would be an exception to this wave of change.

But after barely one year in office, Dr. Abdul Issahaku, the governor of Bank of Ghana announced his resignation from the position on personal grounds. With the vacuum created, President Akufo-Addo yesterday named another astute economist as the new chief of the nation’s central bank: his name, Ernest Addison.

As often the case with most of his predecessor or people who occupy similar offices in other countries, Dr. Addison holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Economics from the University of Ghana (1986), a Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) in Economics from Cambridge University (1989) – UK and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Economics from McGill University – South Africa (1993). Already enriched with a broad cross-cultural experience that stems from the opportunity to have one’s education across various countries, Mr. Addison served as Chief economist at the West African Monetary Institute between 2000 – 2003, Director of Research at Bank of Ghana (2003 – 2011) and moved on to become Lead Regional Economist for the African Development Bank (AfDB) from 2011 till his appointment as the Ghana’s top banker.

With an obviously towering resume, the new BoG governor is in for an extraordinary experience at the central bank: one which perhaps will begin with an increasing pressure by the nation’s public on the President Akufo Addo led administration to stabilize the cedi which as at today (31st March 2017) sells at 4.38 per dollar (GCB rate), lower interest rates to provide more access to capitals for Ghana’s businesses and last but not the least, drive inflation down to the barest minimum – a task which although will not be accomplished solely by the new governor but certainly will have him share greatly in the responsibility to make it happen.