Dr. Charles Mensa is the founder of the Institute of Economic Affairs, Ghana (IEA) describes itself as Ghana’s Premier Public Policy Institute and it was established in 1989 by him, with a view to broadening the debate on public policy; engendering private sector led economic growth, and strengthening the pillars of democracy.
He is a businessperson who has been at the head of 7 different companies and is Chairman for Accra Brewery Ltd., (SAB Miller Ghana Limited), Chairman and Board Chairman of Institute of Economic Affairs (Ghana), Chairman of Voltic (GH) Ltd. and Chairman for Fan Milk Ltd. Dr. Mensa is also on the board of Maersk Shipping Hong Kong Ltd. and Quality Care Medical Clinic. He is also the Board Chairman of and was formerly the Chairman of Barclays Bank Ghana Limited now ABSA Group.
In the past Dr. Mensa held the position of Associate at International Monetary Fund, Chief Executive Officer at Volta Aluminium Co Ltd, President of Ghana Employers Association, Vice President of Association of Ghana Industries and Associate at George Mason University. Dr. Mensa served as the CEO of Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO), the largest aluminium smelter in sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to assuming the position of CEO in October 2004, he had been the Resident Director of VALCO since joining the company in April 1996. He was also Vice President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), and President of the Ghana Employers Association (GEA).
He previously worked in the United States as a Research Associate at the Centre for Public Choice, George Mason University, and at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and serves as an advisor on The Energy for Growth Hub, which is a global solutions connector — matching policymakers with evidence-based pathways to a high-energy future for everyone, with funding from top organizations such as, Rockefeller Foundation, Pritzker Innovation Fund, Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust , Rodel Foundation, Blue Haven Initiative, Engie, General Electric, Chevron, Harmon Family Foundation.
The Energy for Growth Hub has a vision that seeks to ensure that, no person’s potential is wasted because the power where they live and work is too costly or too unreliable, all countries achieve the high-energy future they need to become prosperous, competitive, and climate resilient and provision of evidence and data drive energy decisions over ideology. Dr. Mensa previously worked in the United States as a Research Associate at the Centre for Public Choice, George Mason University, and at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In the United States, Dr. Mensa obtained a Master’s degree in Finance from the George Washington University and a PhD in Economics from George Mason University.
In November 2017, Board Chairman of Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Dr. Charles Mensa made the headline when he asked Ghanaians to hoot at the World Bank and IMF, that he had worked with before. In the said report, he questioned Ghana’s lower middle income status, adding that the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), who conferred this status onto the country ought to be ashamed, as according the renowned economist, Dr Mensa, a country like Ghana, with an average per capita income of $1600 which is comes down to $130 a month cannot be called a lower middle income country. “When a country has an average income $70, 000 per head and we have $1, 600, you break it down and it is about $130 a month and we are being told we are middle income country. We should say shame to the one telling us” he stated.
Speaking at Professor Yifu Lin’s public lecture held at the IEA on the topic ‘How To Achieve A Dynamic, Inclusive And Industrialized Economy in Ghana: A New Structure Economics Approach’, Dr. Charles Mensa said Ghanaians should not be happy with the lower middle income tag but rather question the rationale and justification behind it. “Is it because we are less human or is it because we don’t fit? Why would you tell somebody who makes $130 a month that you are middle income country?” he questions.
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