The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, has urged Ghanaians to stay positive as a deal with the Fund is close.
According to her, Ghana’s international creditors are showing goodwill toward the need for immediate assistance to save the nation’s economy.
She told journalists in Washington DC, yesterday, at the ongoing IMF Spring Meeting that the Bretton Woods Institution would act swiftly as Ghana’s creditors are also moving faster.
“Our program is a bridge for Ghana and to tell you the truth, I am actually quite optimistic. I think Ghana is trying to move and creditors are going to move swiftly, so I guess the short answer to you is to stay tuned and stay positive,” she said.
The IMF boss commended the proactive role of the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, in reaching out to creditors and further indicated that discussions among creditors are expected next week with regards to Ghana’s foreign debt restructuring.
She opined that Ghana had, for a long time, done really well to tap markets to finance its growth path. But it has suffered the brute force of COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine as a bystander like other economies.
“So, a country that has a long track record of sound microeconomic management ought to be supported to return to markets,” she opined.
Yesterday, the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta said in a presentation that Ghana expects the IMF’s board to approve the deal by the end of the second quarter of 2023.
A quarter is three months of every year, making the end of the second quarter for 2023 to be June.
According to Ken Ofori-Atta, financial assurances are expected by May and the country’s domestic debt exchange program would yield 38 billion cedis ($3.3 billion) of debt service savings in 2023, Reuters reported.
Ghana must restructure its debt in order for the IMF board to approve the staff-level support package.
Ofori-Atta said $20 billion was eligible for external debt restructuring, 66% of which is in the form of external debt stock. Another $5.4 billion in official creditor debt will also be restructured.
The government also aims to bring rampant inflation down to 8% in the medium term and is targeting real GDP growth of 5% over the same period.
A memorandum of understanding with official creditors and an agreement in principle on eurobond restructuring are expected by July, the minister said.
Ghana is highly represented at the ongoing IMF Spring Meeting, 2023, led by the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta.
Aside from representatives of the executive arm of government, the legislature is also present, with members drawn from both sides of the House.
MP for Obuasi West and Chairman of the Finance Committee, Kwaku Kwarteng, the Vice-Chairman of the Finance Committee and MP for Okaikoi North; Yaw Boamah, the Minority Spokesperson on Finance and MP for Bolgatanga Central, Isaac Adongo are part of the delegation.
Others are MP for Oforikrom, Dr Emmanuel Marfo, MP for Mpraeso, Davis Ansah Opoku, MP for Afram Plains North, Betty Nana Efua Krosbi Mensah.
Ghana is seeking assurances from bilateral and multilateral lenders with the view to getting IMF Board approval for a US$3 billion facility.
The country reached a staff-level agreement late last year and has also completed domestic debt restructuring.