IMF approves $191m for Ghana

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance

The International Monetary Fund’s board has urged Ghana to take further steps to address its high debt after it approved the next disbursement of about $191 million under Ghana’s aid programme on Monday.

“As the debt burden remains elevated, continued prudence in debt management is essential to reduce the risks associated with market-based borrowing,” Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director of the IMF, said in a statement.

He said, “It will be important as intended, to undertake liability management operations with part of the proceeds from the planned Eurobond to help mitigate foreign exchange roll-over risk and smooth the debt maturity profile.”

“Monetary policy should continue to be focused on achieving the inflation target. In this context, while the decision to extend and publish the memorandum of understanding on zero financing of the government by the Bank of Ghana is welcome, additional amendments to the Bank of Ghana Act would be a more robust way to eliminate the prospect of fiscal dominance,” he said.

Mr.Zhang urged the government to continue addressing fragilities in the financial sector.

“Further actions to tackle the overhang in non-performing loans and more progress on regulatory reforms and in strengthening oversight and cleaning up the microfinance sector will help support credit to the private sector. The recent bank intervention should be followed up with decisive action to restore the bank’s solvency and financial viability,” he said.

“The Fund is looking forward to the successful completion of the   Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement in the coming year and stands ready to continue to support Ghana in the future.”

Mr Zhang said, “Implementation of the ECF-supported programme had significantly improved in 2017.


“Growth has rebounded, the fiscal deficit has declined, leading to a primary surplus for the first time in fifteen years, the external position has strengthened, generating a build-up of external buffers, and key steps have been taken to address fragilities in the financial sector. Reforms should continue to entrench these hard-won gains,” he said.


“The authorities’ commitment to fiscal discipline and the expenditure restraint shown in 2017 to meet the end-year deficit target are commendable. The government should continue to implement its fiscal consolidation programme, with the adjustment focused mainly on increased domestic revenue mobilisation. The recent announcement to enact revenue measures in the context of the mid-year budget review in July is welcome. Such measures will be critical to ensure that Ghana’s fiscal policies can be sustained over time,” he said.

By Times Reporter



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