An International Monetary Fund (IMF) Staff Mission will commence Ghana’s first review of the ongoing $3 billion loan-support programme from September 25, 2023, the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has announced.
“The Fund will be here from September 25 through to the beginning of October 2023,” the Minister said, adding, “hopefully, we’ll get the staff agreement and go to the Board in November of this year.”
He was responding to a question by the Ghana News Agency after an engagement with some private sector Chief Executive Officers on deepening public-private partnerships for accelerated economic growth in Accra on Tuesday, September 5.
The review is crucial for the release of the second tranche of $600 million of the $3 billion loan to the government for its Post COVID-19 Programme for Economic Growth (PC-PEG).
The PC-PEG is aimed at restoring macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability and laying the foundation for stronger and more inclusive growth amidst an economic crisis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war, and internal structural challenges.
Ghana’s performance assessment of the loan-support programme would be done using six quantitative performance criteria, three indicative targets and other structural benchmarks.
“There are a lot of conditions to be met, but we’re working assiduously to make sure that we meet that, and we’ve gone a long way to be ready for the Mission,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.
On work done ahead of the review, he said the government had completed the domestic debt restructuring, including the cocoa bills and domestic dollar bonds, and had some pension fund holders.
From those domestic debt exchange programmes, the government secured $7.7 billion from cocoa bills, $740 million from the US-denominated bonds, and $26.9 billion, which Mr Ofori-Atta said had provided some fiscal space “to do other things.”
He expressed confidence in reaching a Staff Level Agreement that would enable the government to go to the IMF Board in November and subsequent approval for the second tranche in December 2023.
In addition to debt restructuring, the Finance Minister said the government was also critical with the ongoing fiscal consolidation and domestic revenue enhancement measures, and social interventions to bring relief to Ghanaians.
However, he said the participation of the private sector, would be essential in accelerating the country’s recovery and put the economy on a path of sustainable growth.
“We’ve proven that as a country, we’re moving in the right direction, and prepared to make some difficult decisions, but the missing link is our engagement with the private sector that will take us to a sustainable means even as the government continues to ensure that all our citizens benefit from the economic recovery,” he said.
The Bank of Ghana (Bog) on behalf of the government received the first tranche of $600 million of the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) of the $3 billion from the IMF on May 17, 2023, as a balance of payment support.
The Governor of BoG, Dr Ernest Addison said the money has boosted Ghana’s gross international reserves to $5.7 billion as of May 19, leading to a reduction in the inflationary and exchange rate pressures.
SOURCE: JOYNEWS online