The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is urging Ghana not to deviate from the course of its fund programme to ensure that the country reaps the full benefits of the ongoing bailout package.
The Fund requires effective implementation of structural reforms following the release of the $600 million second tranche and at a time when the government is said to be considering engagements with the IMF for a consensus on the anticipated revenue shortfall over the planned suspension of the VAT on electricity.
But the IMF insists that Ghana adheres to the agreed-upon austerity measures in order to manage its way out of the economic crisis.
“What I can say is that going forward, it would be really, really important that Ghana continues to implement the program that they have developed as envisaged. That is really critical. These programs are designed to be implemented over three, four years. And it is important that Ghana sticks to the course and sees the program being implemented over the next three years,” says Abebe Selassie, Director of the African Department at the IMF, who has been speaking about Ghana’s program in Washington, DC.
In late January, the Bank of Ghana acknowledged receipt of US$600 million as the second tranche for budget support and stabilization of the local currency, bringing the total to US$ 1.2 billion out of the $3 billion approved under the three-year extended credit facility in May 2022.
The IMF has stated that Ghana is performing well under the program, with reforms bearing fruit and signs of economic stabilization emerging.
“Ghana’s program is being implemented effectively. We just went to the board recently with the first program review following, of course, the policies that the government has been putting in place to address the huge imbalances Ghana was facing through last year. And of course, the official creditors are signaling that they will provide debt relief, consistent with what Ghana needs. So, we just went to the Board a couple of weeks ago. We look forward to continuing to support Ghana, consistent with program implementation,” Abebe Selassie added.
Ghana’s next IMF program review is scheduled for June 2024 for the third tranche of approximately US$ 360 million.