At the top of the list of Ghana’s new central bank governor is the fight against inflation.
Consumer inflation in the West African country dropped to 18.5 percent in February from a January high of 19 percent. But the drop is still above the government’s set target of 15.7 percent inflation.
Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku, a member of the ruling National Democratic Congress’ economic management team was named Governor of Ghana’s Central Bank last week by the country’s president John Mahama.
While vowing to fight inflation, Issahaku is also looking to decrease the cost of borrowing, make savings more feasible for Ghanaians as well increase their disposable incomes.
He has pledged full commitment to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme aimed at stabilising the country’s economy.
“My focus is to work assiduously to achieve our core responsibility of ensuring price stability,” Issahaku said.
Ghana, a net exporter of gold, cocoa and recently oil saw its gross domestic product growth fall from around 14 percent in 2011 to 4.1 percent last year, partly because of a global slump in commodity prices.
Many in the business community had complained that inflation is stifling growth as lending rate stands at 26 percent.
Issahaku said he wants to sanitize the financial sector, especially micro finance firms, and enhance the regulator’s transparency and capacity.
To boost growth, he would consider options to provide incentives to banks to offer credit to strategic sectors at reasonable rates.
The governor has worked with the World Bank and the African Development Bank and holds a PhD in International Affairs and Development from Clark Atlanta University.