The unnecessary political twist and turn of the GHs9.7bn bond

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, Tue, May 30, 2017

by Senyo Hosi

The ‘$2.25bn’ Templeton bond saga is a classic example of ‘PR motivated by political spin’ gone bad. I am a strong believer in institutional policy making and cringe when politicians seek to overwhelm the technical space of public relations.

The art of PR makes one minded that your public is not restricted to your customers but include competition and other stakeholders.

Needless to say, politicians ought to be reminded that their public involves more than the electoral public. Focus on sharing facts and cut the political spin.

I ask, of what value was the announcement that a ‘$2.25bn bond, was successfully issued? Did politics seek to show that over 2bn was done when others struggle to do 1bn? Totally needless. For starters, there were no dollar bonds so why state them into dollars?

Share official facts and outsource the spin. You announce a USD size bond and then create room for the opposition to battle the legality and legitimacy of the transaction. We all know external borrowing requires parliamentary approval but not local borrowing whose cap is limitless.

The bond size was simply Ghs9.7bn.

If the objective was to provide a comparative perspective to other USD bonds, then communication was obviously not optimal. State the Cedi size and indicate the dollar equivalent but don’t state the dollar equivalent without stating the primary cedi size. . . .

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