I’m confident we will secure IMF Board-Approval for bailout by March 2023 – Ofori-Atta
The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has said that he is confident that Ghana will get the approval of the board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the $3 billion bailout it is seeking in March 2023.
According to him, the government is hoping that it will be able to prove to the IMF board that its debt is sustainable by finalising its move to join the Paris Club and its Domestic Debt Exchange Programme.
“I’m confident that we’ll get it (approval of the bailout by IMF board). But as I mentioned earlier, we have a deadline of the end of February for the Paris Club and so we need to be able to do that. And in between that we would have completed our Domestic Debt Exchange Programme.
“And therefore, to be able to go to board in March for this to be executed,” he said in an interview on JoyNews’ PM Express show, on Thursday, which was monitored by GhanaWeb Business.
Pressed on whether the government was hoping to get the approval from the board of the IMF in March and not February as stated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Ofori-Atta answered “That is correct… that is correct.”
The finance minister said that the government is working together with the IMF to ensure that Ghana’s IMF deal gets a board-approval before the end of March 2023.
“We joined the fund’s programme in July (2022) and the president said that we should do our SLA (Staff-Level Agreement) by the end of the year. And it looked impossible because it really had not been done before and between the fund and the government of Ghana, we worked hard and we were able to do that.
“So, it is in that same spirit that we are working and I expect that we should be able to do that,” he said.
Ofori-Atta added that getting the IMF deal would help resolve Ghana’s balance of payment difficulty and thus start the country’s economic recovery process.
The IMF and the Government of Ghana reached a staff-level agreement on economic policies and reforms to be supported by a new three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) of about US$3 billion on December 13, 2022.
A statement released on the Fund’s website said the IMF Mission Chief for Ghana, led by Stéphane Roudet, noted that “I am pleased to announce that the IMF team reached staff-level agreement with the Ghanaian authorities on a three-year program supported by an arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) in the amount of SDR 2.242 billion, or about US$3 billion.”
“The economic program aims to restore macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability while laying the foundation for stronger and more inclusive growth.”
The statement also noted that the staff-level agreement is subject to IMF Management and Executive Board approval and receipt of the necessary financing assurances by Ghana’s partners and creditors.