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Ghana-IMF Deal: A week of highlights of soonest hope amidst skepticism

Adnan Adams Mohammed

The Balance Of Payment support sought by Ghana Government from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), last week, received massive attention from the key negotiators which shines brighter light of concluding the deal soonest.

Earlier in the week, the Managing Director of the Fund assured the President of Ghana that, the  deal would be finalized before the end of the year.

The IMF boss gave the assurance during a closed-door meeting with President Nana Akufo-Addo, last week on the sidelines of the Africa Adaptation Summit, in Rotterdam, Netherlands. President Akufo-Addo indicated to the IMF boss that, a lot of work has been done by Cabinet and the Ministry of Finance, and the document to be presented by the Ghana side “is ready for the scrutiny of the IMF.”

“We understand the urgency, and we will move as quickly as possible”, Kristalina Georgieva said. Describing Ghana as a “superb country”, she reiterated the determination of the Fund to work with Government and the Ministry of Finance, to ensure that an agreement is in place before the end of the year.

Last week after the Kristalina-AkufoAddo meeting, the new Mission Chief of IMF for Ghana, Stéphane Roudet, paid a courtesy call on the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori Atta and the first Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Maxwell Opoku Afari as well as heads of other key governmental institutions.

His visit sets the tone for a full negotiation to begin with the Government of Ghana.

Despite the soaring hope, some economists are skeptical about the parties reaching a deal before end of the year.

A Financial Economist, Professor Lord Mensah, is skeptical about reaching a deal with the IMFin the last quarter of this year.

“We’re almost through the last quarter of the year, so if we get the program with the IMF now, the fiscal impact will not be as effective as expected. I believe that the IMF will want to take the new year into consideration, and some of the policies they’ll like to roll with us will be reflected in the budget that will be read in November. So they may be using this period till the end of the year to draft the possible policies,” he said in an interview while reacting to the IMF Boss comment.

“This also shows how prepared the country was for the IMF, and everything signals that we were not ready. That is why we’ve been going up and down with them. I believe they want to match up some of their policies to go with our fiscal year”.

Ghana is before the IMF for US$3 billion to help the country navigate through the hostile economic crisis it finds itself in as a result of the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

IMF officials are expected back in the country in the last week of September to open formal negotiations.

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