The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has stressed the importance of maintaining optimism regarding the country’s economy, highlighting its steady path to recovery.
He pointed to positive signs in macroeconomic indicators, such as declining inflation rates and foreign currency stability, as evidence of the government’s efforts to restore economic confidence.
Mr. Ofori-Atta revealed that the progress the country has made under the IMF External Credit Facility was evident and indicated the World Bank President’s assurance of the Bank’s support for the economy because “we had stuck progressively to the program”.
”So, we are in a good space, and as we know the whole program is predicated on the PC-PEG because the President has been very clear that the growth agenda is necessary which talks about the issues for jobs.’’Ken Ofori-Atta
Ofori-Atta further made extensive deliberations, including policy discussions with the IMF and World Bank on IMF policy priorities, the Poverty Reduction Growth Trust, and Ghana’s participation in G7 and G20 meetings.
This recognition underlines Ghana’s status as a beacon of hope in Africa. The Finance Minister noted the significant progress achieved under the IMF External Credit Facility, earning the World Bank’s continued support due to Ghana’s commitment to the program.
He emphasized that the growth agenda was vital for job creation, signifying the government’s clear focus on this issue. The meetings also provided a platform to address financial architecture recalibration and challenges faced by distressed countries due to complexities in sovereign credit ratings. Ofori-Atta raised the question of how debt could be used to support growth without demonizing it, given the increasing debt profiles of many developing countries.
Advocacy For Africa
The Minister advocated for the requisite funding for Africa’s structural transformation, given that a significant portion of the world’s population would soon reside in Africa, including nearly one billion youth. He advocated for demonization of debts so African can access more credit to drive its development.
“With the increase of debt profile of a lot of developing countries, the question then becomes, how do we get access to more capital; how do we not demonize debt, and can debt be used to support growth?”Ken Ofori-Atta
On the bilateral creditor front, Ofori-Atta reported that debt restructuring was progressing well, offering optimism for positive news shortly. Commercial negotiations were also set to become more concrete after the successful completion of Domestic Debt Restructuring.
Ken Ofori-Atta also highlighted the positive impact of the US$3 billion 3-year IMF-supported PC-PEG implementation, for which the country had received praise from the IMF during their recent mission in Ghana. He addressed a wide range of questions during the press briefing, covering concerns in the energy and cocoa sectors, access to climate/carbon finance, GDP growth projections, and the demands of aggrieved customers of the defunct Gold Coast Fund Management. He also discussed the government’s strategies for youth job creation.
He shared these insights during a media gathering in Marrakesh, Morocco, where discussions centered on Ghana’s engagement with external partners and future projections.
The press briefing was attended by Ghana’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco, H.E. Ambassador Samuel Joojo Effah-Broni, Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, and officials from the Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Ghana, among others.
Ghana’s economy suffered significantly post-COVID. Inflation soared to about 50% in 2022. The government attributed the economic downturn to the pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine war while many, especially the opposition, attributed it to bad monetary policies of the central bank and, mismanagement and corruption within the administration.
In a surprise turnaround, the government had to take the bitter pill of visiting the IMF to aid in stabilizing the economy. Having reached a USD 3 billion deal, the government has consistently expressed its hopes of stabilizing the situation ahead of the 2024 General Elections.