Dr Maxwell Opoku-Afari, the First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, says Mr Ivor Agyeman-Duah’s book on Central Banking in Ghana will enhance public understanding of the workings of the central bank.
He said the book would help particularly, the much-debated concept of the institutional operational independence and accountability of central banks.
Dr Opoku-Afari was speaking at the launch of Mr Agyeman-Duah’s book on “Central Banking in Ghana: Institutional Growth and Economic Development.”
The 553-page book of 23 Chapters recounts the life and challenges of the 14 Governors, who have directed policies over the past 65 years.
The book published by Hawkes Design and Publishing in Britain with the Ghana edition by Digibooks Limited is filled with iconic photographs with each telling their own stories of former Heads of State and their Ministers of Finance and their Governors long departed since 1957 when the Bank was established.
He said the Bank accepted to be part of this book launch because primarily it focused on the Central banking in Ghana, the key roles played by successive Governors towards the achievement of the Bank’s objectives and long-term sustainability, and ultimately the economic development of Ghana.
Dr Opoku-Afari commend the author, who had written extensively and contributed to several publications.
He said the Bank was indeed supportive of the book’s publication due to its contribution to the literature on Central Banking in Ghana, with emphasis on monetary policy, and regulatory and supervisory operations of the Bank.
” We do acknowledge that books and articles written on the Bank of Ghana hardly touch on the individual governors who have led the institution and the philosophies that underpinned their economic and monetary policy decisions,” he said.
The First Deputy Governor said the book would go a long way to fill the gap in the body of knowledge on the economic thinking of the various governors that have transitioned through the Bank.
“This notwithstanding, this book will serve as a useful resource for central bankers, academics and students of economics,” he added.
Mr Agyeman-Duah, who is a London School of Economics Ghana Alumni said even though the idea for the book did not come from the Bank, it accepted and sponsored it.
He said it was agreed for the book to be written independently to the extent that not everything would be agreeable by way of interpretation.
The Author said for a conservative Central Bank built on the traditions of the Bank of England, this was a progressive step.
He said the Bank totally opened its doors to him and even supported him with a research grant, which meant he could afford the services of a visual anthropologist, who worked on photography and currency images.
Mr Agyeman-Duah said there were discoveries as much as from the Bank’s own records, conversations and observations of routine mechanisms as were its security storages.
He said his research took him to the British Museum in London when he was working on the Chapter relating to currencies and to the Bank of England itself where the First English Governor of the Bank of Ghana had trained, who was later replaced after Nkrumah appointed a German Economist and Professor as a second Governor.
The author said Dr Addison’s approval of an independent history of the Bank made things easier for the cooperation of former Governors and their families, those who shared their papers and family memories out of which new perspectives emerged.
Dr Hippolyte Fofack, Chief Economist, Afreximbank in Cairo, said the Central Bank independence in Ghana or in most African countries was further complicated by IMF interference.
He said the Bank’s provision of advisory services for other African regulators needed to be commended.
He said the capacity building in the arcane world of Central Banking was often seen as a service that could only be provided by either European or American Bankers, better yet the IMF.
“This widely praised and timely piece of work by Agyeman-Duah has the power to correct that,” he added.