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Feb 8, 2015

America breaks silence on Ghana –IMF deal

The United States of America (USA) has projected that Ghana will be better positioned economically this year, especially when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program takes off.  

Ghana’s economic challenges had been enormous last year.   The cedi had depreciated by more than 30 percent last year alone against the dollar, coupled with a high budget deficit, leading to government revising its budget deficit target.

There had also been erratic supply of power to industries and households, hikes in inflation, utility tariffs and prices of petroleum products among others.  

These challenges among others pushed the country to the IMF this year.   Negotiations with IMF are far advanced and Ghana is expected to kick start a bailout programme with the fund this year.   Head of the Ghana delegation negotiating with the IMF, Professor Kwesi Botchwey had earlier confirmed  that the 3 year program with the IMF would commence 2015, downplaying projections by rating agency Fitch that the IMF backed program will commence in April, 2015.

US Ambassador to Ghana, Gene Cretz, speaking at a press roundtable briefing on the highlights of the US-Ghana relationship in 2014, said the US supports Ghana’s move.   ‘Giving the current situation we support Ghana’s move to go to the IMF.  

As Ghana makes a transition to being an established middle income country, international donors such as the IMF will be important partners in helping to build Ghana’s credibility with international investors and donors.  

When an agreement is reached between the two partners we believe it will be an important step towards ensuring that Ghana’s positive medium and long term growth trajectory.’ He said.  

He adds that ‘But going on the country’s oil and gas prospects look good Atuabo is in its testing stage, I think the prices in cocoa are going to be better, gold is difficult to predict though…….’  

The American government which does not provide budget assistant to Ghana like the EU does pumped over 600 million dollars into Ghana’s economy last year alone.