Ghana committed to strong reforms, growth
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has reiterated the country’s commitment to strong reforms and growth under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) supported post-COVID-19 Programme for Economic Growth (PC-PEG).
Highlighting the country’s progress under the $3 billion Extended Credit Facility (ECF) supported programme, Mr Ofori-Atta thanked the IMF for the strong collaboration and support that has enabled rapid progress at all stages.
He said this during a meeting with the IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, during the IMF Annual Meetings being held in Marrakech, Morocco from October 9 to 15, this year.
Mr Ofori-Atta also called on the IMF and other multilateral organisations to scale up support to nations such as Ghana that had implemented the necessary reforms towards debt sustainability and macroeconomic stability.
During the interaction, Ms Georgieva congratulated Ghana on the progress made towards reforms, and the achievement of a Staff Level Agreement (SLA) for the first programme review on October 6, 2023.
She also commended the Government of Ghana for its perseverance and commitment and urged the country to stay the course.
It is expected that the IMF Board will vote next month to approve Ghana’s SLA for the first review.
This would pave the way for the release of the second tranche of $600 million bailout funds.
Speaking later to the Daily Graphic from Marrakech, Mr Ofori-Atta described the Annual Meetings as an opportunity for a new beginning for the global financial architecture.
He said, “We have held very productive meetings with the IMF, World Bank, DFC, Open Society and the Commonwealth Group of Finance Ministers.
The consensus is clear: Ghana is firmly on the path to economic recovery and there is great support to ensure that we succeed as a nation”.
However, beyond that, she added: “we are calling for a re-engineering of the global financial architecture to ensure that no nation gets left behind, and that there is greater representation and broad-based prosperity”.
In his remarks at a Roundtable hosted by US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, on “IMF Policy Priorities,” Mr Ofori-Atta lauded the transformative leadership of Georgieva, which had led to the achievement of “truly momentous things.”
He, however, charged the IMF to strengthen the global financial safety net through bold reforms in the global financial architecture.
Mr Ofori-Atta said there was the need to stretch the IMF to do more and that the “need is great.
And at these Annual Meetings, the developing world is asking the international community to do all it can to advance a reform agenda that ensures institutions like the IMF have the requisite mandates, financing and governance models to deliver transformative impact.”
Mr Ofori-Atta further advocated an IMF that was able to provide sufficient resources at scale to strengthen the global financial safety net.
The Finance Minister called for reform of the available tools and lending instruments of the Fund to deal with global exogenous shocks.
On governance, Mr Ofori-Atta pushed for broad-based prosperity anchored on bold changes to the global financial architecture, including increasing Sub-Saharan African representation on the IMF Executive Board, through the creation of a third African seat on the board.
At a separate event on the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT), the Minister of Finance acknowledged the important role of concessional funding to low-income countries through the PRGT.
He went on to advocate a more permanent way of funding the PRGT, given recent global events that have buffeted many economies.
On the sides of the Annual Meetings, the Ghanaian delegation has so far participated in various high-level roundtables and held discussions with World Bank Group President, Ajay Banga; World Bank Managing Director for Operations, Anna Bjerde; US Development Finance Corporation (DFC) CEO, Scott Nathan; European Bank for Reconstruction and Development President, Odile Renaud-Bass; Vice President of Japan International Cooperation (JICA), Naoki Ando; and Deputy Prime Minister of Korea, Choo Kyung-ho.
The bilateral meetings have focused on Ghana’s recovery and progress under the IMF supported programme, with projections for macroeconomic stability and opportunities for growth, investment, capacity-building and knowledge sharing.
Africa has taken the spotlight at this year’s Annual Meetings, with a strong focus on the need to “create buffers and pursue growth opportunities in the short, medium and long term.”
The first and only Annual Meetings held on the continent prior to 2023, were held in Kenya, fifty years ago, in 1973.
The historic Marrakech gathering thus marks the second time that Africa has hosted the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings.
When asked about his first experience of IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings on the African continent, Mr Ofori-Atta commended the Moroccan authorities for a smooth and well-organised event.
“We are proud of what Morocco has achieved in spite of the loss and devastation caused by the recent earthquake.
We extend our deepest sympathies to the people of Morocco and commend them highly for their resilience which has culminated in a seamless event, made memorable by the exceptional Moroccan hospitality,” he said.