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Ghana president names former investment banker as finance minister

ACCRA (Reuters) - Ghana's new President Nana Akufo-Addo named the co-founder of investment bank Databank, Ken Ofori-Atta, as finance minister on Tuesday as he seeks to revitalize an economy that is heavily reliant on commodities.

Akufo-Addo promises to create jobs, fight poverty, promote development and boost free market growth through cutting taxes and red tape.

The new president has also pledged double-digit growth after a sharp slowdown since 2014 - largely due to the fall in prices of Ghana's cocoa, gold and oil exports.

Ghana is mid-way through a $918 million International Monetary Fund program that aims to reduce inflation, public debt and the deficit and boost growth.

Ofori-Atta's appointment is part of a cabinet list issued three days after Akufo-Addo was sworn in to a four-year term. Cabinet nominees must be approved by parliament.

The president named Boakye Agyarko, a former vice president of the Bank of New York, as energy minister and Shirley Ayorkor Botchway as foreign minister.

Ghana produces around 100,000 barrels of crude per day from offshore fields operated by British company Tullow and new oil and gas are expected to come onstream in 2017 and 2018 from a field operated by Italian company ENI.

(Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Richard Lough)