John Agyekum Kufuor has revealed the most difficult decision he had to make as President of Ghana.
Kufuor served as President of Ghana from 2001 to 2009 and has been a pillar in Ghana’s political history.
Speaking in an interview with Kweku Sekyi Addo on Asaase Radio on September 6, 2020, he said he had to make certain financial decisions to save the country from collapsing.
This he says was because he took over a very bad economy from Jerry John Rawlings of the NDC.
“When we took over, our economy was overladen with indebtedness, we couldn’t even get crude oil for Tema Oil Refinery so I was asking myself how I was going to survive this. One of our opponents even said he was waiting to see if this government will last for three months. We had fallen into a trap and we then decided to do some fast work and that was difficult. We tried to talk with donor partners to see if they would trust we had come in with a different ideology unlike the previous regime but no one listened to us”
He continued, “IMF told us the previous regime had misreported to them the state of the economy and Ghana was fine $36m, even neighbouring countries decided not to give us crude oil because the previous government owed and we tried very hard to find the solution, we had to go on the HIPC Initiative and we had to accept the conditionality of IMF and that was a difficult decision we took”.
In 2002, Ghana received debt relief amounting to US$275.2 million. The HIPC Initiative aims at reducing the net present value (NPV) of external debt to a maximum of 150 per cent of exports or, for small open economies, to 250 per cent of government revenue at the time of the HIPC completion point.
Kufuor speaking on the show also said he never expected the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to lose the 2008 elections.
He said the party had worked enough and was expected to be retained but democracy is not rationality and several things happened at the tail end of his reign.