The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has given the assurance that government will safeguard the country’s interest in its ongoing negotiation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
He said the NPP government has a proven track record of putting Ghana first, adding that it would do its best to negotiate a better deal with the Fund.
The Minister gave the assurance during the 3 Business Colloquium, dubbed “Ghana’s Road to the IMF”, yesterday in Accra. He stressed the need for Ghana’s team at the negotiation table to look at the last two times that government had negotiated with the Fund.
“Somewhere in 2018 when we negotiated an extension of the Extended Credit Facility (ECF), at that time we had rolled out a number of social protection programmes, and there was that debate of ‘are we going to lose that programme in lieu of that one-year extension’?” he recounted.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah further noted that Ghana had succeeded in showcasing the kind of growth happening in the economy for which reason it should be allowed to keep those programmes.
“Then just last year …we went for a 1 billion facility. So, if you look to the evidence of the last two, I think we can be optimistic that we will do our best to get the best deal for Ghana,” the Minister indicated.
Touching on the economic imbalances, the Minister said prior to the onslaught of the current global crisis, the country had witnessed an average annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of seven per cent in 2017, 2018, 2019 and part of 2020.
“This was when the economy was then generally acknowledged as one of the fastest growing in the world. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic that slowed the country’s economic momentum. The country made a gradual rebound with a good economic outlook in 2021 in the short to medium term, contingent on an increase in demand for Ghana’s exports, improved business confidence, and successful implementation of the Ghana COVID–19 Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprise Support programme. Ghana ended 2021 with 5.4 per cent in growth,” he elaborated.
The Minister, however, said the Russia-Ukraine war further derailed the country’s growth, causing unfavorable increases in fuel prices, shortage of fertiliser and essential agro-processing inputs with its associated inflationary pressures.
“Ghana is not the only African country seeking support from the IMF on the back of the adverse impact of COVID-19 on the global economy. Other countries that have gone for support include Kenya, Egypt, Cote D’Ivoire, Ethiopia and Morocco, among others,” he mentioned.
President Akufo-Addo last Friday authorised Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to commence formal engagements with the IMF, inviting the Fund to support an economic programme put together by the government of Ghana.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Information said this followed a telephone conversation between the President and the IMF Managing Director, Miss Kristalina Georgieva, conveying Ghana’s decision to engage with the Fund.
On the back of this, a high-level delegation from the IMF are in the country, holding discussions with the government on how to support the country out of its current economic challenges.