Ghana’s economy back on track: President

PUBLISHED: Thu, 18 Jan 2018 10:51:36 GMT

Ghana’s economy is rebounding and the major commodity exporter is poised to wean itself off bailouts through sustained fiscal discipline and a battle against corruption, President Nana Akufo-Addo said on Wednesday.

The former opposition leader, sworn into office a year ago, said his government spent the past year stabilizing the economy, including clearing huge debts while rolling out infrastructure such as schools and roads.

Ghana, which exports cocoa, gold and oil, is in the last year of a $918 million credit deal signed in 2015 with the International Monetary Fund to reduce the deficit, public debt and inflation and lift growth.

“I am glad to report that the hard work is yielding positive results – the macroeconomic fundamentals have seen improvements through improved fiscal and monetary discipline,” Akufo-Addo told reporters in Accra.

“The important aspect and the cornerstone of our government going forward is to remain committed to fiscal discipline so that never again will we go back to the IMF or any bailout of the sort.”

GDP growth in the West African state rebounded to 9.3 percent in Q3 2017 from 3.5 percent in the same period of 2016.

Akufo-Addo said the government saved about $7 billion after reviewing power sector deals signed by his predecessor covering a 13-year contract. Eleven of the contracts had been terminated.

It also saved at least $200 million through value-for-money procurement reviews, he said, without giving details.

Akufo-Addo, who last week named a special prosecutor to investigate graft, warned that his appointees would not be spared if found culpable of corruption.

He also said his government had yet to decide whether to extend the stay of two ex-Guantanamo Bay detainees transferred to Ghana under a special arrangement with the United States.

The two Yemeni nationals were sent to Ghana in January 2016 for an initial two-year period after being held for more than a decade at Guantanamo for suspected terrorism.

Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; editing by Mark Heinrich

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