Ghana looking at 3-year IMF programme of $2 bln-$3 bln -finance minister

PUBLISHED: Fri, 29 Jul 2022 09:02:20 GMT
Christian Akorlie and Nellie Peyton
Reuters
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The seal for the International Monetary Fund is seen near the World Bank headquarters (R) in Washington, DC on January 10, 2022. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds / AFP) (Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

ACCRA, July 28 (Reuters) – Ghana is anticipating a possible three-year programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) worth about $2 billion to $3 billion, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said on Thursday.

“We’re thinking of maybe a three-year programme … but knowing that within two years we must have achieved most of what we intend to,” he said in an interview on Ghanaian television.

“We look forward to anything, maybe two or three or so billion dollars over the period.”

Gold, cocoa and oil-producing Ghana is facing a nearly $1 billion balance-of-payments deficit and turned to the IMF earlier this month for a support package after hundreds of people took to the streets to protest worsening economic hardship. Read full story

Read more: Crisis-hit Ghana changes its mind and turns to IMF for help

Inflation soared to 29.8% in June and the cedi currency has lost nearly a quarter of its value this year, problems which the government has blamed mainly on external factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

When Ghana last sought IMF assistance in 2015, it received $918 million for a three-year programme. Because GDP has now gone up it may enhance the quota, Ofori-Atta said.

A staff mission from the IMF visited Ghana from July 6-13 to hold initial discussions on the support package and has not given a timeline for next steps. Read full story

“Programmes usually take about six months, but the interventions of finding support for balance of payments has to be immediate and those discussions are going on,” Ofori-Atta said.

(Reporting by Christian Akorlie and Nellie Peyton; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Matthew Lewis)

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