I’m confident that we’re going to get the IMF Board to approve the bailout by March 2023, -Ofori-Atta

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The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has said he is confident that Ghana will win the approval of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) board for the $3 billion bailout it is seeking in March 2023.

According to him, the government hopes to prove to the IMF board that its debt is sustainable by completing its move to join the Paris Club and its domestic debt exchange programme.

“I’m confident that we will get it (the IMF board’s approval of the bailout). But as I said earlier, we have a deadline of the end of February for the Paris Club and so we have to be able to do that. And in the meantime, we would have completed our domestic debt exchange programme.

“And therefore to be able to go to the board in March to implement that,” he said in an interview on JoyNews’ PM Express programme on Thursday, monitored by Countryghana.

Asked if the government was hoping to get approval from the IMF board in March and not February as stated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Ofori-Atta said, “That is correct… that is correct.”

The Finance Minister said government is working with the IMF to ensure that Ghana’s IMF agreement is approved by the board before the end of March 2023.

“We joined the fund’s programme in July (2022), and the president said we should have our SLA (Staff-Level Agreement) by the end of the year. And it looked impossible because it really hadn’t been done before and between the fund and the government of Ghana, we worked hard and we were able to do that.

“So we are working in the same spirit and I expect that we should be able to do this,” he said.

Mr Ofori-Atta added that the IMF agreement would help resolve Ghana’s balance of payments difficulties and thus kick-start the country’s economic recovery process.

The IMF and the Government of Ghana have reached a staff-level agreement on economic policies and reforms to be supported by a new three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) of about US$3 billion on 13 December 2022.

In a statement posted on the Fund’s website, the IMF mission chief for Ghana, Stéphane Roudet, said, “I am pleased to announce that the IMF team has reached a staff-level agreement with the Ghanaian authorities on a three-year programme supported by an arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) of SDR 2.242 billion, or about US$3 billion.”

“The economic programme aims to restore macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability, while laying the foundation for stronger and more inclusive growth.”

The statement also noted that the staff-level agreement is subject to approval by the IMF’s management and Executive Board, and receipt of the necessary financing assurances from Ghana’s partners and creditors.

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