Dr. Kwabena Duffuor is the immediate past Minister for Finance and Economic Planning and Africa’s Finance Minster of the Year 2011(The Banker, a Financial Times Publication).Before his appointment to the high office of a Minister of State, he also served as the Governor of the Central Bank of Ghana from July 1997 to 2001 and was named as one of the four best Central Bank Governors in the World at an IMF/World Bank meeting in 1999 (Euromoney Publication).
In 1958, Kwabena entered Prempeh College on a Ghana Cocoa Board scholarship, where he obtained his O & A Level Certificates. For his A’Levels, he studied Physics, Applied Maths and Pure Maths. He then proceeded to the University of Ghana, Legon, where he graduated in 1968 with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics with concentration in Statistics and Operations Research.
Dr. Kwabena Duffuor started his working career in July 1968 at Volta River Authority. He then moved on to Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) now GCB Bank in February 1969 and was confirmed as a Research Officer in 1970. Between the years 1973 and 1979, while working with GCB Bank, Kwabena obtained a USAID and African Graduate Fellowship Awards to pursue further studies at the Syracuse University in New York. He obtained an MBA in Finance and Banking, an MA in Economics in 1975 and a PhD in 1979, all at the Syracuse University.
While preparing for his PhD Thesis, Dr. Duffuor worked briefly with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC, USA as an Economist in the African Department, where he submitted a paper on “Exchange Rate |Policy as part of a stabilisation programme in Hyperinflationary situation, with special reference to Ghana”(African Department (IMF, Washington DC. September, 1979).
Dr. Duffuor spent the first ten (10) years of his banking career in GCB Bank in Ghana working in Research, Domestic Banking and International Banking. He rose rapidly through the ranks to become a General Manager in 1990 and in June, 1991, he assumed the position of the Head of the London Branch. At the London Branch, Dr. Duffuor was instrumental in arranging a Syndicated loan of US140 million for Ghana Cocoa Board. This Cocoa syndicated facility has now become an annual transaction between Ghana Cocoa Board and the International Banks.
While working in the GCB Bank, Dr. Duffuor’s love for acquiring and impacting knowledge led him to pursue a part-time career in academics, lecturing in Economic Theory and Public Finance at the Economics Department and the School of Administration, University of Ghana, Legon, between 1980-1991.
In July 1995, Dr. Duffuor was appointed the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana. As a Deputy Governor, Dr. Duffuor restructured Government accounts at the Bank of Ghana; this led to efficient implementation of both fiscal and monetary policies.
Dr. Kwabena Duffuor was appointed Governor in 1997. As Governor, he chalked many success and accomplishments, key among them were:
- The conversion of Ghana Commercial Bank London Branch into a U.K incorporated bank –Ghana International Bank plc. in March 1998.
- Transfer of government accounts from the Commercial banks to Central Bank to ensure more efficient management of government funds;
- Shift of budget financing from the Central Bank to the Banks and the public to stem injection of high powered money into the economy ;
- Introduction of Repurchase Agreement (REPOS) and the adoption of automated book-entry system for money markets.
Dr. Duffuor retired voluntarily from Bank of Ghana in September 2001, with high commendation from the sitting President for his contribution towards the stabilisation of the Ghanaian economy during his term in office.
In February 2009, Dr. Duffuor was appointed Minister for Finance and Economic Planning. His term of office saw the following key accomplishments:
- GDP growth rate of about 15% in 2011. Highest in Ghana’s entire history, and highest in the world in that year (2011).
- Exchange rate stability between January 2009 (GHS1.20 =$1) to February, 2012 (GHS1.88 = $1).
- Longest sustained single digit inflation (for 32 months);
- Highest ever Gross International reserves of over $5.3 billion in 2011
- Met all four (4) Primary convergence criteria of the West African Monetary Union;
- Instituted a Hedging Program (Petroleum Price Risk Program) aimed at stabilizing petroleum product prices and thus ensured that consumers paid a reasonable price for petrol at the pumps.
- Developed and instituted a National Public Private Partnership Policy (PPP Policy) to encourage and facilitate investment by the private sector in the provision of public infrastructure;
Dr. Kwabena Duffuor exited the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning after completing a full political term with the ruling NDC in February 2012. Dr. Kwabena Duffuor has won several awards over the years, both internationally and locally.