Ghana’s economy has in the words of president-elect Nana Akufo-Addo ‘taken a nose-dive’ over the past few years. The country’s economy, once one of the world’s fastest growing, has taken a significant hit because of the fall in commodity prices, increasing debt stock among others.
The state of the economy became a major campaign issue for voters ahead of the elections and the NPP won the elections on the back of promises to turn the economy around.
This makes the person who would replace Seth Emmanuel Terkper as Finance Minister, perhaps the most important in this new administration. A couple of names have been circulating in media circles about who that could be.
Here are the top five people in the offing to become the next Minister of Finance.
1. Ken Ofori-Atta
He has been mentioned as the leading candidate to get the job of managing the country’s purse especially after he was appointed the member responsible for finance on the transitional team by the president-elect. Although he has no experience in public office, the 57 years old is the co-founder of Databank, one of Ghana’s biggest asset managers. He had his university education at two Ivy League schools after completing Achimota School. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Columbia University and a Master’s degree from Yale University. He is estimated to be worth 260 million dollars.
2. Anthony Akoto Osei
Well known as the minority spokesperson for Economic Affairs in Parliament, Akoto Osei has also been mentioned for the top job. With his wealth of experience in public office (as a Member of Parliament for ), deputy minister of finance, and a doctorate degree in economics from Howard University, this is perhaps Osei’s the most qualified among the potential names.
3. Yaw Osafo Marfo
Osafo Marfo is a former Finance Minister himself under the John Kufuor administration and has been appointed by the president-elect as the leader of the transition team. He is an engineer and retired banker and has previously consulted for the World Bank and the African Development Bank. He is 74 years old and recently received a barrage of criticism after an audio recording of him making what has been described by many as ethnocentric comments surfaced.
4. Kwaku Agyeman Kwarteng
Kwarteng is the Member of Parliament for the Obuasi West Constituency and was a major voice for the minority on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Finance. He is 47 years old and has a master’s degree in Economic Management Policy from the University of Ghana. If Kwarteng misses out on the top job, he is very likely to become the deputy minister.
5. Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah
The New Juaben South Member of Parliament has a strong economics academic background. He obtained his mater’s and doctorate’s degree in Economics from the University of Tennessee. Assibey-Yeboah is relatively very young at 42 years old and just like Kwarteng, may be in the offing for the position of one of the deputy ministers of finance.