President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called out the global financial system for being rigged against Africa and for the benefit of the richest and most powerful nations on earth.
Speaking to the UN General Assembly, Akufo-Addo called for the system to be fixed to be fair to all, especially Africans.
“The financial markets have been set up and operate on rules designed for the benefit of rich and powerful nations, and, during times of crisis, the façade of international co-operation, under which they purport to operate, disappears…these are the savage lessons that we have had to take in, as the world emerged from the grip of the coronavirus to energy and food price hikes, and a worldwide rise in the cost of living. The necessity for reform of the system is compelling,” he said.
Stressing that “our world is currently not in a good place”, he recalled an observation by the World Bank which has described the global economy as “enduring its steepest slowdown since 1970.”
With the world confronted by a devastating global economic pandemic, pushing Africa into its worst recession for half a century, President Akufo-Addo stated that a slump in productivity and revenues, increased pressures on spending and spiralling public debts confronted the continent without relent.
“As we grappled with these economic challenges, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine burst upon us, aggravating an already difficult situation. It is not just the dismay that we feel at seeing such deliberate devastation of cities and towns in Europe in the year 2022, we are feeling this war directly in our lives in Africa. Every bullet, every bomb, every shell that hits a target in Ukraine, hits our pockets and our economies in Africa,” he said.
“[Inflation] it hit a 40-year-high in the US and UK in recent months. There is record inflation in the euro zone. Several African countries have inflation rates surging three to four times higher than what they were just two years ago,” he continued.
In Ghana, the President indicated that “we are experiencing the highest inflation for 21 years. The high costs of food are hurting the poor, especially the urban poor, the most.”
“It has become clear, if ever there was any doubt, that the international financial structure is skewed significantly against developing and emerging economies like Ghana. The avenues that are opened to powerful nations to enable them take measures that would ease pressures on their economies are closed to small nations.
“Credit rating agencies have been quick to downgrade economies in Africa, making it harder to service our debts. The tag of Africa as an investment risk is little more than, in substance, a self-fulfilling prophecy created by the prejudice of the international money market, which denies us access to cheaper borrowing, pushing us deeper into debts.” he added.