The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has held bilateral talks with the German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Svenja Schulze, focusing on economic cooperation between Ghana and Germany.
The meeting also highlighted the key role that Ghana’s development partners play towards growth and development.
The Ministers discussed among other things, the role that the KfW played in the post-World War II revitalisation of the German economy, and the need to deploy a similar mechanism using the newly established Development Bank Ghana as a catalyst for Ghana’s economic recovery.
Recognising the potential impact that the domestic debt exchange may have on the financial sector, the Minister said the Government of Ghana, together with development partners has established the Ghana Financial Stability Fund, to address potential solvency and liquidity gaps that may arise from the debt operations. German support for the Ghana Financial Stability Fund and partnership with the Development Bank Ghana, were therefore high on the agenda.
According to Mr. Ofori-Atta, government hopes to conclude the International Monetary Fund (IMF) negotiations by securing Board approval by the end of March 2023.
He shared that the success of the just-ended domestic debt exchange, has provided the necessary positive momentum to negotiate Ghana’s external debt successfully, under the G20 Common Framework for Debt Treatment.
German cooperation was subsequently solicited towards the speedy formation of a Creditor Committee under the G20 Common Framework, and also for the provision of financing assurances from the G20 and Paris Club members, as Ghana approaches IMF Board Approval.
Mr Ofori-Atta updated the delegation that a planned high-level Government Delegation to China has been postponed to late March, owing to the upcoming National People’s Congress of China scheduled for early March. Bilateral talks continue ahead of this important mission.
Mr Ofori-Atta also disclosed that ongoing structural changes in the energy sector are critical to ensure sufficient and stable energy supply to power industries and promote growth.
He was further of the view that the appointment of Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam as Minister of State at the Finance Ministry was opportune, given the nominee’s substantial experience in the energy sector.
Mr Ofori-Atta expressed optimism that Dr. Adam would help champion the effort to create a viable and sustainable energy sector in the country.
Against the backdrop of a recent meeting in Accra with the German Minister of Finance, Christian Lindner, on February 6, 2023, Mr Ofori-Atta declared that “our series of positive engagements with German officials so far assures me that our respective nations will continue to uphold our shared ambitions of deeper economic cooperation anchored on trade, private sector investment, technology transfer, cultural engagements, and capacity building, among others.”
In November 2022, following a visit by Mr Ofori-Atta to Berlin, Germany committed a total of 82 million euros in grants to support critical sectors of Ghana’s economy, including renewable energy development, financial sector strengthening, education and skills development (TVET), digital transformation, governance, food security, female empowerment, and MSMEs.
Ms Schulze, the German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), on her part, expressed Germany’s continued support to Ghana in various areas including economic growth, development, and regional security.
On regional security, Mr Ofori-Atta noted that it was critical for governments to commit to regional security to ensure the protection of citizens, whilst upholding the free movement of goods and services across borders.
Commenting on the need for growth as part of an IMF Programme, the Minister of Finance requested for an enhanced Compact for Africa that will cascade increased private sector investment into the economy.
Mr Ofori-Atta reiterated that growth remained a priority for the Government of Ghana, and development partners such as Germany were key to the success of the Government’s growth agenda.