In a highly anticipated demonstration, Minority Members of Parliament (MPs) took to the streets on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, to kick off the #OccupyBankofGhana campaign. The protest serves as a resounding call for the resignation of the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr. Ernest Addison, and his two deputies. These demands stem from allegations of their failure to fulfill their mandated responsibilities, which have reportedly resulted in significant financial losses for the nation.
The Minority Leader, Cassiel Ato Forson, left no room for ambiguity as he laid out the reasons for insisting on the departure of Dr. Addison and his deputies. He pointedly criticized what he termed the “illegal and excessive printing of money,” citing an alarming figure of GHS 80 billion. This printing spree, as detailed in the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policy, allegedly caused the depletion of Ghana’s external reserves to the tune of $6.3 billion. The consequences were stark, with the Ghanaian Cedi plummeting from GHS 6 to over GHS 15 against the US dollar, while inflation soared to an astonishing 54.1% in 2022.
Forson emphasized that this unprecedented economic downturn, coupled with soaring inflation, has left the formerly rich teetering on the brink of becoming a middle-class entity, while the impoverished segments of society have spiraled further into poverty. He further noted that the IMF Staff Report corroborates these allegations, revealing that the Bank of Ghana had, in 2022 alone, illegally and excessively printed over GHS 45 billion, representing a staggering 7.2% of the nation’s GDP. The previous year, in 2021, saw another printing spree, with GHS 35 billion allegedly churned out. These actions, Forson argued, were unprecedented in the history of Ghana.
The demonstration garnered support not only from the Minority MPs but also from various political parties, including the People’s National Convention (PNC), All People’s Party (APC), and several Civil Society Organizations. The protest also saw a diverse array of participants, including head porters and members of the general public, all united in their call for accountability and change within the leadership of the central bank.
As the #OccupyBankofGhana protest unfolds, it remains a significant moment in Ghana’s political landscape, highlighting the concerns and frustrations of many who feel the economic consequences of alleged mismanagement need urgent attention and resolution. The demands for the resignation of key central bank officials serve as a stark reminder of the ongoing debate over fiscal responsibility and economic stewardship in the nation.