The government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have agreed to work expeditiously towards securing a staff-level agreement on the country’s request for an IMF-assisted programme by the end of this year.
The Ministry of Finance announced this in a statement issued Friday, October 21, 2022.
It also pledged the government’s commitment to work with a “fierce sense of urgency” to help stabilise the economy.
The statement said the two sides have also agreed that the next IMF team would return to the country next week as part of efforts to speed up the discussions towards reaching staff level agreement by December.
The team that is expected in the country next week would be the third in a row after the country requested the IMF for a fund-assisted programme to help stabilise the economy in July.
The Finance Ministry statement followed the conclusion of the IMF/World Bank annual meetings in Washington D.C., where the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, and the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest Addison, participated in.
The statement from the Public Affairs Department of the ministry said the Ghana delegation also continued discussions with the IMF team on the country’s request for an fund-assisted programme
It said earlier discussions on an IMF deal achieved key milestones, with a clear path towards the final details of a programme agreed upon by both parties.
It said the goal now was for the two parties to reach a Staff-Level Agreement by the end of the year.
The IMF said in an earlier statement that the two sides had made “good progress” on the discussions and that specific policies needed to restore stability had been identified.
Countries’ requests for IMF-assisted programmes are normally taken through two levels.
At the first level, the IMF team, comprising expert staff, visit the country and hold discussions with the authorities to review and gather data, interrogate recommended reforms, policies and programmes and present a report to the IMF’s Executive Board for consideration.
At the Executive Board level, the report is thoroughly reviewed and a decision taken on it. Approvals come with funds, which are tranched and disbursements conditioned on the agreed targets.
Ghana, which is on the verge of 16th IMF programme, needs a deal to stabilise the economy after the currency came under intense pressure and inflation firmed up.
The government hopes to seal a $3 billion IMF-assisted programme.
The Ministry of Finance statement said the two sides had extensively discussed a pathway towards fiscal sustainability, with the Government of Ghana and the IMF remaining fully committed to the goal of reaching a Staff-Level Agreement on a Programme, within the shortest possible time.
“The Government of Ghana wishes to thank the IMF, the World Bank, our bilateral partners, and external investors, for their continued support.
“Furthermore, the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Ghana thank the people of Ghana for their forbearance in what is undoubtedly a troubling and challenging time for our economy, and economies globally.
“The government will continue to work with a fierce sense of urgency, to stabilise the economy and place it back on a firm trajectory of growth,” the statement said.
It further pledged the commitment of the ministry to continue to provide regular updates and further details of the economic programme to the public, immediately they become available.
“These updates will be posted on the ministry’s website, under a section titled IMF Programme Updates,” it said.