Surprise cabinet reshuffle in Ghana | Africa | DW | 17.07.2014
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Africa

Surprise cabinet reshuffle in Ghana

Ghanaians are getting used to a new set of ministers appointed by President Mahama in his first reshuffle. Ghana is currently in a deep economic crisis which many people attribute to ministerial incompetence.

Since the beginning of the year, Ghanaians have had to contend with severe hardships on a daily basis. Prices of commodities change frequently as a result of a massive fall of the Ghanaian currency, the cedi, against major trading currencies such as the euro, US dollar and pound sterling.

However, measures taken by the government to improve this daunting situation have rather exacerbated the plight of Ghanaians. Public transport fares, fuel and utilities have all been increasing steadily - much to the dismay of ordinary people.

In the midst of all the blame being heaped on the government by the population, President John Dramini Mahama issued a statement from Flagstaff House, the seat of government, on 16 July, 2014. The statement reassigned several ministers to different positions, whilst two of them, the interior minister and the minister of agriculture have been shown the exit.

Two customers in a shop in Accra

Prices of consumer goods in Ghana fluctuate frequently

There is now a new face at the top of the ministry of trade and industry. It belongs to Ekow Spio-Garbrah, a thoroughbred economist and a former Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Telecommunication Organisation in Africa.

Defense minister Mark Owen Woyongo has been reassigned to the interior ministry.

A number of key ministers were retained. The finance and economic planning minister, the foreign and regional integration minister as well as the energy minister are still at their posts.

'Old wine in new bottles'

No additional information was given for the realignment. It is the first shake-up since Mahama took office after winning a disputed election in December 2012. There have been mixed reactions from the general public. Whilst some see the changes as a panacea for the country's ills, others think the reshuffle is just "old wine in new bottles."

"It is the same old stuff that they are pushing around, they are not bringing any new ideas." Accra resident Ethel Coleman told DW.

But another man, Mark Coffie, welcomes the reshuffle as a sign that things will get better. "I think it is in good order," he said.

Flagstaff House in Accra

The announcement of the reshuffle was made at Flagstaff House

The ministry of information has been merged with the ministry of communication, a move that should go down well with many Ghanaians who had regarded the two as duplicates.

Better days ahead?

Addressing parliament on Wednesday, Finance Minister Seth Terkper, who has retained his post, said middle term prospects were bright. "The last time I addressed this house, I highlighted key measures to improve the situation. The measures are far reaching and transformational," he said.

For the time being, Ghanaians are keenly waiting to see if the reshuffle will bring about a noticeable change to the economy - and to their daily bills.

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