Ghana’s Economic Recovery: Govt announces talks with IMF

Accra, July 01, GNA – The Government is set to initiate talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout following severe challenges to Ghana’s economy.

A statement signed by Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Information Minister, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, on Friday, said: “The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has authorized Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to commence formal engagements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), inviting the Fund to support an economic program put together by the Government of Ghana.

“This follows a telephone conversation between the President and the IMF Managing Director, Miss Kristalina Georgievs, conveying Ghana’s decision to engage with the Fund,” the statement noted.

According to the statement, the decision was taken at a meeting on June 30, 2022.

It said: “The engagement with the IMF will seek to provide a balance of payment support as part of a broader effort to quicken Ghana’s build back in the face of challenges induced by the Covid-19 pandemic and, recently, the Russia Ukraine crises.”

Ghana’s economy is currently in a crisis with worsening public debt, rising inflation, high fuel prices, and the depreciation of national currency, the cedi.

Recent data released by the Bank of Ghana put Ghana’s total public debt stock, as of March 2022, at US$ 55.1 billion (GH¢391.9 billion).

In dollar terms, the debt dropped by over $3 billion in the first 3 months of the year, from $58.4 billion in January to $55.1 billion in March.

Several initiatives by the Government, including the introduction of an Electronic Transfer Levy (E-levy) to shore up enough revenue to save the situation is yet to yield the expected results.

In June 2019, Henry Kerali, World Bank Country Director for Ghana stated in a report: “Economic growth is expected to be stronger in 2019, but over the medium term a more diversified economy is vital.”

“Addressing the remaining vulnerabilities in the financial sector is urgent and will require additional efforts in 2019, and over the medium term.”

The report projected Ghana’s economic growth to increase to 7.6 percent in 2019, driven by both the oil and non-oil sectors.

Growth in the non-oil sector is expected to accelerate as policy interventions in agriculture and industry will revitalize the productive sectors. The report recommends the need to better invest Ghana’s current natural resource wealth in non-natural resource sectors for sustainable growth in the medium-to-long-term.

The government sustained its fiscal consolidation efforts in 2018 despite shortfalls in revenue, it noted.

“Ghana’s annual economic growth continued on a strong path at 6.3 percent in 2018, although at a slower pace than the 8.1 percent in 2017,” the report stated.

“This trend was led largely by a strong growth in mining, petroleum, agriculture and sustained expansion in forestry and logging, according to the World Bank report.

Non-oil GDP reached a strong 6.5 percent growth in 2018.