July 20, 2024
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Ghana reaches staff-level agreement with IMF for second tranche of $3bn bailout

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Ghana have reached a staff-level agreement on economic policies and reforms to conclude the first review of the country’s three-year programme under the Extended Credit Facility.

This agreement is subject to approval by the IMF’s Executive Board and receipt of necessary financing assurances.

The IMF has praised Ghana’s strong policy and reform commitment under the programme, which is bearing fruit and leading to signs of economic stabilization.

In a report, the IMF noted that Growth in 2023 has proven more resilient than initially envisaged, inflation has declined, the fiscal and external positions have improved, and the exchange rate has stabilized.

The IMF has also noted Ghana’s strong fiscal performance under the programme, with the country on track to lower the fiscal primary deficit on a commitment basis by about 4 percentage points of GDP in 2023.

According to the IMF, spending has remained within programme limits, and the authorities have significantly expanded social protection programmes to help mitigate the impact of the crisis on the most vulnerable population.

On the revenue side, Ghana has met its non-oil revenue mobilization target. Ambitious structural fiscal reforms are bolstering domestic revenues, improving spending efficiency, strengthening public financial and debt management, and enhancing transparency.

The IMF has urged official creditors to move forward and agree on an appropriate debt treatment for Ghana in line with the financing assurances they provided in May 2023. This is a critical next step to ensure that Ghana can continue to make progress on its economic reform programme.

“Ghana will have access to about US$600 million in financing once the review is approved by IMF Management and formally completed by the IMF Executive Board. To ensure the timely completion of the review, the country needs official creditors to quickly reach an agreement on a debt treatment in line with the financing assurances they provided in May 2023.

“The authorities’ strong policy and reform commitment under the program is bearing fruit, and signs of economic stabilization are emerging. Growth in 2023 has proven more resilient than initially envisaged, inflation has declined, the fiscal and external positions have improved, and the exchange rate has stabilized.”

Below is the full statement

IMF Reaches Staff-Level Agreement on the First Review of the Extended Credit Facility and Conducts Discussions of the 2023 Article IV Consultation with Ghana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

End-of-mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. Based on the preliminary findings of this mission, staff will prepare a report that subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF’s Executive Board for discussion and decision.

IMF staff and the Ghanaian authorities have reached a staff-level agreement on economic policies and reforms to conclude the first review of the 36-month ECF-supported program. Performance with respect to the program’s targets and reform objectives has been very strong.

Ghana will have access to about US$600 million in financing once the review is approved by IMF Management and formally completed by the IMF Executive Board. To ensure the timely completion of the review, the country needs official creditors to quickly reach an agreement on a debt treatment in line with the financing assurances they provided in May 2023.

The authorities’ strong policy and reform commitment under the program is bearing fruit, and signs of economic stabilization are emerging. Growth in 2023 has proven more resilient than initially envisaged, inflation has declined, the fiscal and external positions have improved, and the exchange rate has stabilized.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team, led by Mr Stéphane Roudet, Mission Chief for Ghana, held meetings in Accra from September 25 to October 6, 2023, to discuss progress on reforms and the authorities’ policy priorities in the context of the first review of Ghana’s three-year program under the Extended Credit Facility. The arrangement was approved by the IMF Executive Board for a total amount of SDR 2.242 billion (US$ 3 billion) on May 17, 2023. The team also conducted the 2023 Article IV consultation.

At the end of the mission, Mr. Roudet issued the following statement:

“I’m very pleased to announce that the IMF staff and Ghanaian authorities have reached a staff-level agreement on the first review of Ghana’s economic program under the Extended Credit Facility arrangement. This staff-level agreement is subject to IMF Management approval and Executive Board consideration once the necessary financing assurances have been received.

“An agreement with official creditors on a debt treatment in line with program parameters would provide the needed financing assurances. Upon completion of the Executive Board review, Ghana would have access to SDR 451.4 million (about US$ 600 million), bringing the total IMF financial support disbursed under the arrangement, since May 2023, to SDR 902.8 million (about US$1,200 million).

“Faced with an acute economic and financial crisis, the authorities have adjusted macroeconomic policies, successfully completed their domestic debt restructuring operation, and launched wide-ranging reforms. These actions are already generating positive results, as growth in 2023 has proven more resilient than initially envisaged, inflation has declined, the fiscal and external positions have improved, and the exchange rate has stabilized.

“Consistent with the authorities’ commitments under the Fund-supported program, fiscal performance has been strong, and Ghana is on track to lower the fiscal primary deficit on a commitment basis by about 4 percentage points of GDP in 2023. Spending has remained within program limits. To help mitigate the impact of the crisis on the most vulnerable population, the authorities have significantly expanded social protection programs.

“On the revenue side, Ghana has met its non-oil revenue mobilization target. Ambitious structural fiscal reforms are bolstering domestic revenues, improving spending efficiency, strengthening public financial and debt management, and enhancing transparency.

“In light of Ghana’s compelling performance under the Fund-supported program, the critical next step is to secure an agreement with official creditors on the terms of a debt treatment consistent with the IMF Executive Board-approved program parameters and debt targets. We urge official creditors to move forward and agree on an appropriate debt treatment in line with the financing assurances they provided in May 2023.”

IMF staff held meetings with Vice President Bawumia, Finance Minister Ofori-Atta, and Bank of Ghana Governor Addison, and their teams, as well as representatives from various government agencies. The IMF team also engaged with other stakeholders. Staff would like to express their gratitude to the Ghanaian authorities and other counterparts for their continued open and constructive engagement.

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