A 2-member delegation, led by the new IMF Mission Chief for Ghana, Stéphane Roudet, on Wednesday, 7th September 2022, paid a courtesy call on the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison and the Management of the Bank.
This followed Stéphane Roudet’s appointment as the new IMF Mission Chief for Ghana, effective 1st September 2022.
The new Mission Chief is in the country to engage with various government institutions and other key stakeholders ahead of Ghana’s Fund-supported programme.
In Governor Addison’s team were the First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari, Directors of Research, Financial Markets, Financial Stability and Banking Supervision Departments of the Bank.
Ghana is seeking to raise $3 billion through an IMF support-programme to help resolve some of its immediate economic challenges, especially balance of payment constraints.
The government began discussions with the Bretton Woods Institution in July 2022, reversing President Akufo-Addo’s administration pledge not to seek a bailout from the IMF.
Prior to the pandemic and later the Russia Ukraine war, Ghana’s economic outlook was highly rated as one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
A gradual sign of recovery from the effect of the pandemic at the end of 2021 was hit by another unforeseen setback, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – a war which has significantly ravaged economies around the world with many global currencies registering unprecedented depreciation against the US Dollar.
IMF expresses readiness to support Ghana
The Managing Director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgina, attributed Ghana’s prevailing weak economic conditions to shocks from the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine war.
According to her, shocks from the two unforeseen factors have heavily impacted the economy and are to be blamed for the country’s woes and not “bad policies” implemented by the government.
“Like everybody on this planet, you have been hurt by exogenous shocks. First the pandemic, then Russia-Ukraine and so we need to realize it’s not because of bad policies in the country, but because of this combination of shocks”.Kristalina Georgina
The IMF Director added that Ghana, as a strong country in the sub-region, ought to be supported by the IMF to bounce back because the strength of Ghana impacts positively on neighbouring countries. She therefore, reaffirmed the Fund’s resolve to assist Ghana, saying “I am very determined for us to indeed reach an agreement by the end of this year”.
IMF programme will check Government’s reckless conduct
Meanwhile, Former President, John Dramani Mahama, has noted that the programme that the Akufo-Addo’s administration is seeking under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will check what he termed the “government’s reckless conduct”.
The 2020 Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) told the United States Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia E. Palmer, that government has been wasteful in the utilization of COVID funds.
The Former President also said the government took poor economic decisions, leading to the severity of the economic woes of the country.
“We have been very restrained in our opposition because we know the seriousness of the situation. We have been very generous in giving advice about what they should do, but this is a very arrogant set of people who would not want to act like they took advice from somebody else. They have this mantra; ‘we have the men’. Unfortunately, the men don’t seem to know what to do.”John Dramani Mahama
Mr Mahama emphasized that “Confidence will only be restored when people know that we are in a programme and that the government will not behave as recklessly as it did in the past”.