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Ghana reaches $3bn deal with IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) have reached a staff-level agreement on economic policies and reforms to be supported by a new three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) of about US$3 billion.

The programme is aimed at restoring macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability while protecting the vulnerable, preserving financial stability, and laying the foundation for strong and inclusive recovery.

To support the objective of restoring public debt sustainability, the government also launched a comprehensive debt operation.

This follows after the IMF team led by Mr Stéphane Roudet, Mission Chief for Ghana, visited Accra during December 1 – 13, 2022, to discuss with the Ghanaian authorities IMF support for their policy and reform plans.

“In addition to a frontloaded fiscal consolidation and measures to reduce inflation and rebuild external buffers, the program envisages wide-ranging reforms to address structural weaknesses and enhance resilience to shocks,” says the IMF in a statement.

“I am pleased to announce that the IMF team reached a staff-level agreement with the Ghanaian authorities on a three-year program supported by an arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) in the amount of SDR 2.242 billion or about US$3 billion,” Mr Roudet, the lead team of the IMF said in a statement.

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“The Ghanaian authorities have committed to a wide-ranging economic reform program, which builds on the government’s Post-COVID-19 Program for Economic Growth (PC-PEG) and tackles the deep challenges facing the country.

“Key reforms aim to ensure the sustainability of public finances while protecting the vulnerable. The fiscal strategy relies on frontloaded measures to increase domestic resource mobilization and streamline expenditure. In addition, the authorities have committed to strengthening social safety nets, including reinforcing the existing targeted cash-transfer program for vulnerable households and improving the coverage and efficiency of social spending.

“Structural reforms will be introduced to underpin the fiscal strategy and ensure a durable consolidation. These include developing a medium-term plan to generate additional revenue and advancing reforms to bolster tax compliance. This will help create space for growth-enhancing measures and social spending. Efforts will also be made to strengthen public expenditure commitment controls, improve fiscal transparency (including the reporting and monitoring of arrears), improve the management of public enterprises, and tackle structural challenges in the energy and cocoa sectors. The authorities are also committed to further bolstering governance and accountability,” it added.

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According to him, the reduction inflation, enhancing resilience to external shocks and improving market confidence were key priorities of the supportive programme

“To support the objective of restoring public debt sustainability, the authorities have announced a comprehensive debt restructuring. Sufficient assurances and progress on this front will be needed before the proposed Fund-supported program can be presented to the IMF Executive Board for approval.

“Reducing inflation, enhancing resilience to external shocks, and improving market confidence are also important program priorities. Accordingly, the Bank of Ghana will continue to strengthen its monetary policy framework and promote exchange rate flexibility to rebuild external buffers. As part of the authorities’ debt strategy, a domestic debt exchange has been launched. The authorities are committed to taking the necessary mitigation measures to ensure financial sector stability is preserved,” it stressed.

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The IMF team furthered by acknowledging the effort of the Ghanaian negotiation team, Parliament’s Finance Committee and all the private sector, trade union, and civil society representatives for their open and constructive engagement over the past few months.

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Source: mondokayonline.com

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