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Africa: Ken Ofori-Atta – the man to make Ghana fly

The country’s new minister of finance has ambitions to build factories, cut taxes and combat corruption. His background as an entrepreneur and banker may mean his plans can get off the ground.

Ken Ofori-Atta: the new minister of finance for Ghana

To get into Ghana’s ministry of finance, you only have to look official enough to walk right past reception and into the main building. To get into the minister’s personal office, however, is a more arduous process. 

The two adjoining rooms that lead to the minister’s room on the fifth floor are full of people waiting to meet Ken Ofori-Atta, an investment banker-turned-politician and the new minister of finance for Ghana. But access to his office is strictly controlled by his staff. The door to his office is locked; the only way in is via a fingerprint recognition system. Guests must wait to be summoned. 

Once in, Ofori-Atta is mild mannered and quietly spoken. And while he is very welcoming, he is visibly tired. It is no surprise. Since his appointment as minister of finance by his cousin, president Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party, in January of this year, Ofori-Atta has been busy. 

Less than two months after his official appointment, he delivered a lengthy budget with ambitious plans to slash nuisance taxes, cut wasteful expenditure and build one factory in each of Ghana’s 216 districts. 

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