Ghana Becomes First ECOWAS Country to Establish a Fiscal Council

Ghana has blazed the trail by becoming the first country within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to establish a fiscal council.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo established the council by an Executive Instrument in December 2018 and, in early January this year, appointed former governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Paul Acquah as the chairman of the council.

The council is expected to develop and recommend policies for the prudent and sustainable management of public debt. It is also to ensure that fiscal balance is maintained at a sustainable level and fiscal risks managed more prudently.

In line with the requirements of the ECOWAS convergence criteria for a common currency, the Fiscal Council is also expected to ensure compliance with the following fiscal targets:

  • a budget deficit of not more than 5% of GDP (as provided by law)
  • a positive primary balance (as provided by law) and
  • a debt to GDP ratio of not more than 65% of GDP

In addition, the president has also established the Financial Stability Council which makes Ghana the second country in Sub Saharan Africa, after Mauritius, to have such a council. It is expected to enhance stability in the financial system.

Dr. Acquah is assisted on the council by Prof. Augustine Fosu, Prof. Robert Osei, Prof. Eugenia Amporfu, Dr. Nii Noi Ashong, Dr. Nii Kwaku Sowa and Mr. Ali Nakyea. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Ghana, Master’s degree in Economics from Yale University and his Ph.D in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Economics.