Why is Ghana requesting an IMF programme?

The IMF said Ghana’s fiscal and debt vulnerabilities were worsening fast amid an increasingly difficult external environment.

It said during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ghana’s public debt increased from 65 per cent to 80 per cent of Gross Domestic Product.

 At the same time, it said, the government’s fiscal efforts to preserve debt sustainability were not seen as sufficient by investors, leading to credit rating downgrades, non-resident investors exit from domestic bond market and loss of access to international capital markets.

“These adverse developments, further exacerbated by the price and supply-chain shocks from the war in Ukraine, have led to a large exchange rate depreciation, a surge in inflation (29.8 per cent year-on-year inflation in June) and pressure on foreign exchange reserves in the past months. In this context, the government has requested assistance from the IMF, and we have kick-started the initial discussions on how to best address Ghana’s challenges,” it said.

An IMF-supported programme it said aimed to provide space for Ghana to implement policies which would restore macroeconomics stability and anchor debt sustainability while protecting the most vulnerable parts of the population.

“It should help create the conditions for inclusive and sustainable growth and job creation. This will help strengthen policy credibility, alleviate exchange rate pressures, and provide catalytic effect on financing,” it said.

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