27th May 2024

The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has challenged global leaders, especially those in charge of finance and economic management, to act fast to “save humanity”, in the wake of the global crisis triggered by the novel coronavirus that has plagued the world.

“We have to solve the liquidity crisis, we have to solve the fresh capital crisis, we have to solve the health crisis. And we have to work fast,” Mr Ofori-Atta stated in his introductory speech at the 2020 Spring Meetings held yesterday.

The Finance Minister chaired the Development Committee Meeting of the Spring Meetings. He was one of the three speakers, sharing the platform with World Bank Group President David Malpass and Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director and Chairman of the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Extraordinary times

“These are extraordinary times which require extraordinary measures. Let me thank the IMF and the World Bank under the leadership of Kristalina and David with their incredible energy, proactiveness and creativity for tackling the Corona Virus Pandemic,” he stated.

The Finance Minister had chaired the G24 meetings on Tuesday, after co-chairing Africa Finance Ministers’ Meetings in the past few months.

According to him, “the outcry is the same: the need for liquidity, fiscal space, fresh capital, debt relief, the need for stronger health systems, the need to work with the rating agencies and private creditors.”

“There are three fundamental buckets that need to be addressed: to recognize that this economic crisis will last much longer and have a greater impact on the development world, secondly that we must quickly address the issues of economic revival and global supply chains and our health care systems. And this will require additional funds. And thirdly, we must design a new global financial architecture in order to rebuild global growth and institute a new global public good,” he explained.

Humanity at stake

Mr Ofori-Atta noted that all of these need to be soberly considered because a large part of humanity is at stake.

“Where are the Monets who created the EU? Where are the Luther Kings who fought for civil rights?  Where are the Ghandis who brought Empire to a standstill?  Where are the Eleanor Roosevelts who led in the creation of world bodies post WW2? Where are the Nkrumahs who began the movement for political emancipation, and where are the leaders who built the Bretton Woods architecture?

“I submit that they are here in spirit today, and are on this call but forlorn and melancholic, wondering how many of us will step up to be counted, and encouraging us with Ibsen’s words; ‘the strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone’,” he stated.

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