IMF, Ghana agree on preliminary economic reform program
ACCRA, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- A visiting team of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday announced a three-year preliminary agreement with the Ghanaian government to help the west African country revitalize its economy.
Stephane Roudet, the team chief, made the announcement in a press release after ending the discussions with the Ghanaian authorities, civil society organizations, and the business community.
During a joint press conference between the government and the IMF team, Ghanaian Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said the preliminary agreement is only a first step towards reaching an agreement with the IMF executive directors and management.
He said Ghana will capitalize on an economic reform program backed by the IMF to reduce inflation and control currency depreciation, which will assist Ghana's efforts to restore stability and strengthen its currency.
The proposed reform program, backed by a 3-billion-U.S.-dollar Extended Credit Facility (ECF), aims to restore macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability while laying the foundation for strong and more inclusive growth.
Ofori-Atta said the key requirements of the IMF-backed program include preparing a post-COVID-19 program for economic growth, a medium-term macroeconomic framework, and debt sustainability analysis with a debt management strategy.
The minister pledged that Ghana will also undertake structural reforms to address structural bottlenecks, improve competitiveness, and promote efficiency and effectiveness.
"Ghana stands ready to complete all prior actions before the end of March 2023. But more importantly, Ghana is committed to the IMF program as a whole," Ofori-Atta said.
According to the IMF team release, "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 and tackles the deep challenges facing the country."
It further disclosed that the government's economic reforms would rely on front-loaded measures to increase domestic resources 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," the release added.
It said the government would introduce structural reforms to underpin the fiscal strategy and ensure a durable consolidation.
Over recent months, Ghana's economy has been hit by soaring inflation and currency depreciation. The country began discussions with the IMF on July 1 for a bailout package.