Ghana has made progress on structural reforms under an International Monetary Fund programme designed to restore fiscal balance to its sagging economy, though at a “slower pace than expected in some areas,” the IMF said in a review on Thursday.
The West African country’s economy was one of the continent’s strongest performers but it has slowed sharply in the last two years, hit by a fiscal crisis and a fall in commodity prices that have hurt revenues from its gold, cocoa and oil exports.
Growth is expected at around 4 percent in the first half of 2016 with inflation at 17 percent, said the IMF. The government will present measures in the 2016 budget due this month to reduce the fiscal deficit to 5.3 percent of GDP from 5.8 percent initially expected, the global body added.
“Implementation of the program has so far been satisfactory with all end-August 2015 performance criteria met,” the IMF said after a second review of a $918 million programme that began in April.
The review must be ratified by the IMF’s board before a further disbursement of funds.
Ghana’s President John Mahama faces a tough contest at next year’s election against opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo and the performance of the economy is likely to be a key issue for voters.