By Charles Sarpong Amponsah
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says instructing the Minister of Finance to seek the IMF’s support for a bailout programme was a painful decision.
According to him, this is because the option was not part of the economic transformation agenda.
“It was a painful decision for me to take because going to the IMF was not part of the economic transformation agenda I’ve been pursuing, especially as my government has gone the extra mile to bring to a successful end the IMF programme we inherited from the previous government.”
The president revealed this in an address to Ghanaians on Sunday, May 28, 2023.
The update comes on the country’s deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Initially, government rejected the option of going to the Fund for an economic bailout. Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta revealed that government had put in place several measures aimed at generating more revenue to strengthen the economy.
But growing pressure on the economy and inflation, among other things, made government reverse the decision to stay off the IMF.
This, President Akufo-Addo explained, was due to the economic crisis, describing the situation as “extraordinary”.
“We were in extraordinary times. And we took extraordinary measures, and when faced with the realities of the economic crisis last year, I accepted the challenge that the economy required a similar attitude, including the sacrifices many of us have made in recent times.
Luckily, the International Monetary Fund has been most supportive and we have ended up with having our programme approved in record time, culminating in the formal approval by the IMF board,” he stated in the address.
The President further added that the IMF facility will send a positive message to Ghana’s trading partners, creditors, and investors. He added that it would lead to the resumption of many stalled projects.
“Access to the IMF facility will not spell the immediate end of the difficulties we are in presently, but the fact that we’ve been able to negotiate such a deal sends a positive message to our trading partners, creditors, and investors—a positive message that will be underpinned by the discipline, hard work, and enterprise with which we execute the programme.
It should lead to the restoration of confidence in the reopening of avenues that had been closed to us this past year and a half. It should also lead to the resumption of many of the infrastructural projects that have stalled.”
On May 17, the IMF finally approved Ghana’s Programme request seeking $3 billion Balance of Payment support to stabilise the economy.