TAMING INVESTOR SENTIMENT IN AN ELECTORAL CYCLE: GHANA WILL STAY THE COURSE.

I have seen several people share a Bloomberg story comparing uptake of local currency-denominated bonds by Ghana and Rwanda.

Discounting the needlessly sensational headline, the story itself largely focuses on investor ‘sentiments,’ especially on fears of potential fiscal slippage leading into an election year in Ghana, not on an underlying, existing macrofiscal realities.

I fail to comprehend the ‘excitement’ over this story, except to speculate that the reaction is more to the sensational headline which itself is repudiated by the body of the story.

There is nothing wrong with investor sentiments yoyo-ing with the electoral cycles, especially for African countries, and even more so with Ghana, a country just coming out of an IMF Programme the inception of which was precipitated by a disastrous management of the economy by the NDC/Mahama government.

Indeed, in the course of the ECF, at the end of 2016, the NDC/Mahama government missed all the significant quantitative measures of the programme, a situation salvaged only by the NPP/Nana government since 2017.

As we have constantly repeated, we are building all the systems required to ensure IRREVERSIBILITY so we do not go back to the cycle that investors so fear. It is early days yet, and there is no reason to misunderstand investor fears/jitters heading into an election year.

This is bound to continue until investors are comfortable that they have tasted the “sweetness of pudding” after eating it. As we like to say in Ga, “k3 onuufu eko bo da l3, oshei titiomootoi gbeyei,” to wit, “if you have ever been bitten by a snake, you will take to your heels at the sight of a worm.” Or, if you wish, “once bitten, twice shy.”

The yoyo-ing investor sentiment is to be expected: it is the responsibility of the fiscal authorities to sit tight, ensure there are no significant macrofiscal slippages, and bell the jitters-cat for a long time to come by ensuring irreversibility.

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