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Business Maverick

Ghana Leader Sees IMF Program Restoring Confidence in Economy

Ghana Leader Sees IMF Program Restoring Confidence in Economy

Ghana’s program with the International Monetary Fund will help to restore investor confidence in the economy that slid into a debt crisis last year due to years of overspending, the country’s leader said.

Access to the IMF facility “will not spell the immediate end” of the difficulties the country is in presently but will lead to a reopening of the avenues that have closed to the nation in the past one and a half years, President Nana Akufo-Addo said in a televised broadcast Sunday night.

IMF approved a $3 billion extended credit facility for Ghana May 17 with an immediate disbursement of $600 million. The funds will help the West African nation to bolster its budget and balance of payments after finances deteriorated due to spending pressures from a power crisis, a sweeping banking sector cleanup, the Covid-19 pandemic and fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The fact that we’ve been able to negotiate such a deal sends a positive message to our trading partners, creditors and investors,” Akufo-Addo said. “A positive message that will be underpinned by the discipline, hard work and enterprise with which we execute the program.”

Ghana unilaterally suspended payments on most of its external debt in December as it engages investors for talks on debt restructuring. The IMF approved the program after bilateral creditors through the Group of 20’s Common Framework provided financing assurance and the country completed the first part of a domestic debt exchange program, with investors replacing bonds that paid an average of 19% with new securities that pay as little as 8.35%.

The President declared an end to the Covid-19 pandemic in Ghana, three weeks after the World Health Organization said the disease was no longer a global public health emergency. The disease had claimed 1,462 lives by May 15 out of 171,738 positive cases and 2,538,198 tests since it struck in March 2020.

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