Ghana names Issahaku Central Bank Governor to replace Wampah

Ghana appointed Second Deputy Governor Abdul Nashiru Issahaku to head the central bank after Kofi Wampah retired amid a slumping economy and inflation that remains stubbornly high.

Issahaku’s term began on Monday, President John Dramani Mahama’s office said in an e-mailed statement. Issahaku joined the central bank in 2013 and is a former head of the West Africa nation’s Export Development and Agricultural Investment Development Fund.

In his new position Issahaku will have to fight an inflation rate that surged to 19 percent in January, the highest in at least five years, while economic growth in the world’s second-largest cocoa producer is languishing near the slowest pace in two decades. The Bank of Ghana has increased its benchmark rate by four percentage points since July to help restrain price growth and stem losses in the cedi, which weakened 16 percent against the dollar since the start of last year.

Wampah retired on March 31, four months before his term was set to end, saying he wants to give his successor room to settle in before presidential and parliamentary elections that will take place as early as Nov. 7. Millison Narh is the central bank’s first deputy governor. The statement from Mahama’s office didn’t refer to Narh or discuss a replacement for Issahaku’s now vacant position.

The cedi was little changed at 3.8400 per dollar as of 7:19 a.m. in Accra.