Economic Recovery: Ghana’S Progress is Impressive – IMF Mission Chief

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Economic Recovery: Ghana’S Progress is Impressive – IMF Mission Chief
Economic Recovery: Ghana’S Progress is Impressive – IMF Mission Chief

Africa-Press – Ghana. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission Chief for Ghana, Mr. Stéphane Roudet, has said that the progress made by Ghana in ensuring economic stability is impressive.

He observed that the country has come a long way following the economic crisis that occurred in 2022.

Speaking during a joint Ministry of Finance, Bank of Ghana, and IMF press conference on the disbursement of the $360 million third tranche, in Accra on Monday, July 1, he said “Ghana has truly come a long way after being confronted with economic and financial crisis in 2022.

“The government and authorities embarked on a comprehensive reform programme aimed at restoring economic stability and debt sustainability and laying the foundation for robust and inclusive recovery. The progress Ghana has made is impressive on the fiscal front to bring public financing back on a sustainable track.”

The Executive Board of the IMF on Friday, June 28 announced the completion of the second review of Ghana’s US$3 billion, 36-month Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Arrangement, which was approved by the Board in May 2023.

Completion of the second ECF review allows for an immediate disbursement of SDR 269.1 million (about US$360 million), bringing Ghana’s total disbursements under the arrangement to about US$1.6 billion.

In a statement, the Find said “Ghana’s economic reform program is delivering on its objectives. Following acute economic and financial pressures in 2022, the Fund-supported program has provided a credible anchor for the government to adjust macroeconomic policies and implement reforms to restore macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability, while laying the foundations for higher and more inclusive growth.

“These efforts are paying off, with growth proving more resilient than initially expected, inflation declining at a faster pace, and the fiscal and external positions improving. The medium-term outlook remains favorable but subject to downside risks—including those related to the upcoming general elections.

“Ghana’s primary fiscal balance improved by over 4 percent of GDP last year. Looking ahead, the authorities are committed to further advancing fiscal consolidation, including by achieving primary fiscal surpluses of 1⁄2 percent of GDP this year and 11⁄2 percent of GDP in 2025. These efforts are underpinned by reforms to bolster revenue mobilization and streamline non-priority expenditures, while expanding social protection programs to mitigate the impact of fiscal adjustment on the most vulnerable. The authorities are also taking steps to strengthen tax administration, expenditure controls and management of arrears, fiscal rules and institutions, and SOEs management—including in the energy and cocoa sectors. The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has maintained a prudent monetary policy stance to sustain a rapid reduction in inflation and has taken steps to rebuild international reserves. The BoG has also appropriately strengthened measures to preserve financial sector stability—including by ensuring implementation of banks’ recapitalization plans—while the Ministry of Finance has started recapitalizing state-owned banks consistent with available resources.

Ambitious structural reforms to help create an environment more conducive to private sector investment, and to enhance governance and transparency are gaining prominence and will be key to boosting the economy’s potential and underpin sustainable job creation.

Looking ahead, sustaining macroeconomic policy adjustment and reforms is essential to fully and durably restore macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability—especially during the upcoming electoral period—while fostering a sustainable increase in economic growth and poverty reduction.

Following the Executive Board discussion on Ghana, Deputy Managing Director Kenji Okamura issued the following statement:

“Ghana’s performance under its ECF-supported reform program has been generally strong. The authorities’ strategy aimed at restoring macroeconomic stability and reducing debt vulnerabilities is paying off, with clear signs of stabilization emerging. Going forward, perseverance in macroeconomic policy adjustment and reforms is essential to fully restore macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability, while fostering a sustainable increase in economic growth and poverty reduction.

Ghana has made progress adjusting its fiscal position. Looking ahead, attaining the fiscal objectives under the Fund-supported program requires further mobilizing domestic revenue, streamlining public spending—including related to externally-funded expenditures, and finalizing Ghana’s comprehensive debt restructuring. The authorities’ strong debt restructuring efforts are paying off with the reaching of agreement on a Memorandum of Understanding with the Official Creditor Committee and an Agreement in Principle with bondholders. Resolve in keeping the domestic revenue mobilization agenda on track and tightening expenditure commitment controls is critical to avoid policy slippages ahead of the December 2024 general elections. These efforts should be supported by continued progress in improving tax administration, strengthening expenditure control and management of arrears, enhancing fiscal rules and institutions, and improving SOEs management. Bolstering targeted social protection programs is needed to cushion the vulnerable from the impact of fiscal adjustment.

The authorities have taken appropriate actions to ensure implementation of banks’ recapitalization plans and start recapitalizing state-owned banks. Sustaining these efforts, together with a cost-effective resolution of legacy issues, are essential to ringfence financial sector stability going forward.

Greater focus on reforms aimed at private sector development is needed to foster inclusive growth and poverty reduction. In this regard, a key step is to ensure that the policy interventions underpinning Ghana’s National Development Policy Framework are recalibrated to reflect the socio-economic impact of the shocks that occurred after the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Source: 3News

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