IMF agrees to give Ghana $3 billion debt bailout

Dec 12, 2022, 3:00 PM | Updated: Dec 13, 2022, 5:02 am

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — The International Monetary Fund has agreed to give Ghana $3 billion to try to get the West African nation’s debt under control, restore financial stability and help people most at risk from rising prices and other economic problems.

The announcement this week say follows IMF officials’ two-week visit this month to Ghana’s capital Accra, where they discussed support for the country’s policy and reform plans with authorities. Ghana has been struggling with high public debt, rising inflation and a weakening currency.

At a press conference Tuesday, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said Ghana was “committed to the program and will work towards meeting the demands.” He said the agreement will help restore economic stability, tackle price spikes and strengthen the currency.

“The Ghanaian authorities have committed to a wide-ranging economic reform program, which builds on the government’s Post-COVID-19 Program for Economic Growth (PC-PEG) and tackles the deep challenges facing the country,” Stephane Roudet, IMF’s mission chief to Ghana, said in a statement Monday.

Ghana’s reforms are focused on shoring up public finances while protecting the vulnerable, he said. The changes include creating a medium-term plan to bring in revenue, increasing tax compliance, making the country’s finances more transparent and improving how public industries are handled.

Ghana also announced it will restructure its debt and “committed to strengthening social safety nets, including reinforcing the existing targeted cash-transfer program for vulnerable households and improving the coverage and efficiency of social spending,” Roudet said.

The goal is to restore economic stability and debt sustainability while laying the foundation for stronger growth, the IMF said.

IMF managers and board members still must approve the three-year agreement, which comes under a program providing financial assistance to countries with balance-of-payments problems. Ghana’s partners and creditors also must acknowledge receiving financing assurances, the IMF statement said.

The deal is a “crucial lifeline” and positive step, said Rukmini Sanyal, a Ghana analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit, a research and analysis division of the Economist Group.

Inflation reached more than 40% in October, the highest it’s been since July 2001 and well above the central bank’s target of 6% to 10%, according to Trading Economics, which provides global economic statistics. Prices accelerated by some 5% for food and more than 10% for non-food items, the company said.

Public debt has jumped from more than 63% of economic output in 2019 to an estimated more than 100% this year, Sanyal said. The exchange rate also is under pressure and Ghana has lost access to international capital markets, provoking a drawdown in foreign exchange reserves, she said.

The IMF says reducing inflation, boosting market confidence and making it easier for Ghana to withstand external shocks were priorities, with work from the Bank of Ghana on monetary policy and exchange rate flexibility and the government launching a domestic debt exchange.

___

Mednick reported from Dakar, Senegal.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

This undated photo provided by the Grants Pass Police Department shows Benjamin Obadiah Foster. Fos...
Rio Yamat and Andrew Selsky, Associated Press

Oregon kidnap suspect previously released the day he arrived at prison

A man at the center of an intense police search in Oregon after a violent kidnapping last week was released from custody in October 2021 by Nevada prison officials on the same day he was transferred to the state's custody to serve a kidnapping sentence, authorities said Monday.
9 hours ago
FILE - Military personnel watch as Air Force One, with President Donald Trump, aboard prepares to d...
Associated Press

Boeing bids farewell to an icon, delivers last 747 jumbo jet

Boeing bids farewell to an icon on Tuesday: It's delivering its final 747 jumbo jet.
9 hours ago
seattle police...
Associated Press

Name of Seattle officer in crash that killed woman released

Police have released the name of a Seattle police officer who was responding to a medical call when his patrol SUV hit and killed a 23-year-old Jaahnavi Kandula last week in a city crosswalk.
9 hours ago
Associated Press

US reassures Kosovo it won’t support Serb-majority ministate

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — The United States on Tuesday reassured Kosovars that it wouldn’t support the creation of a Serb-majority ministate in Kosovo — like one in Bosnia — as Washington attempts to convince the country to accept a controversial association. The U.S. Embassy in Pristina met with a group of civil society leaders, government […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Apple-Apps-Top-10

Top Paid iPhone Apps: 1. Minecraft, Mojang 2. Bloons TD 6, Ninja Kiwi 3. Shadowrocket, Shadow Launch Technology Limited 4. HotSchedules 5. Heads Up!, Warner Bros. 6. Geometry Dash, RobTop Games AB 7. Papa’s Freezeria To Go!, Flipline Studios 8. Plague Inc., Ndemic Creations 9. Monopoly – Classic Board Game, Marmalade Game Studio 10. Rovio […]
1 day ago
In this image taken from a Zoom screen, Solomon Peña listens as Judge David Murphy orders the defe...
Associated Press

New Mexico candidate indicted in drive-by shooting case

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A political newcomer who lost his bid for the New Mexico statehouse has been indicted on charges of allegedly orchestrating a series of drive-by shootings at the homes of Democratic officials. A Bernalillo County grand jury returned a 14-count indictment Monday against Solomon Peña, prosecutors said. The counts include criminal solicitation […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
IMF agrees to give Ghana $3 billion debt bailout