Ghana’s programme with the IMF and its impact on you
Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister

Ghana’s programme with the IMF and its impact on you

Ghana’s Finance Minister was dead on when he said in his Sunday afternoon presser that “the real work of adjustments, realignments and the return to a path of steady economic growth has just begun”.


A read through of Ghana’s programme which Graphic Business has been serialising its publications over the past weeks has revealed that “the devil is in the details”.

So when Ofori-Atta says again that “let us brace ourselves for the needed reforms, especially in expenditure control, non-arrears accumulation, revenue growth, ECG collections and energy sector reforms, in order to rebuild the walls of the republic with urgency,” he meant every word.

This is because the targets we have set for ourselves in our programme with the IMF are very audacious and frightening for any business and economic watcher. 

It is on this score that the Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank  organised the Breakfast Meetings every quarter. The theme for the second quarter Breakfast Meeting is “The Current Economic Situation and You: What to Expect; How to cope and How to thrive.”

We have assembled experts from diverse fields to help us understand what the real issues are as detailed in the document for our information and education to unable us all to prepare for the real task of nation building with “urgency”.

Graphic Business is in the business of proffering solutions to our national challenges and providing the platform for the exchange of ideas.

And we do this in all sincerity and without malice. We are enjoined by our professional ethics to be truthful, accurate and credible at all times. We believe it is these values that have endured our brand to our audiences over the past 70 years. These platforms are useful. It gives voice to voiceless and gives hope to those who have long given up on their dreams. This is why Graphic Business and its sister brands will remain relevant in the national affairs well into the future.

On the Ghana and IMF programme, truth be told, the deal scares us as a business. An example is the increase in electricity tariffs over the past six months. A cumulative upward adjustment of over 48 per cent in the first two quarters alone presents real challenges to the business community. And we are told by the Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission to expect a quarterly upward reviews henceforth.

Inflation as of May stood at 42 per cent. The key drivers of inflation going up from 41 per cent in April was on the back of non-food component of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), utilities, buildings etc,.

With a projected single digit inflation at the end of the three-year programme, we are a bit pessimistic about the inflation target for instance. This is an economy where the slight increase in fuel and electricity cost has a more than double cascading effect on the cost of goods and services.

There is also the lingering issue and an ongoing discussion with labour to restructure pension funds. It is a very thorny issue. One which both sides have to come around the table with a clear and transparent process that will ensure that Ghana wins.

Lastly, we have seen interest rates take a tumble upon the completion of the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme. Sadly, we are seeing on debt side of the market, interest rates on government dated securities beginning to creep upwards again. 

These are the lingering issues that need answers and we trust, through this platform, we can address these issues.

Overall, we do share in Ofori-Atta’s optimism of a turn-around in the fortunes of the economy in the short to medium term. In fact, it is incumbent on all businesses to see a sound macro-economic environment that is predictable and business-friendly. 

An environment of unpredictability in the macro-economic front does not encourage investments and will not spur growth.

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