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Discussions with IMF have progressed quite well – Adu Boahen

Discussions between government officials and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Ghana’s proposal, have progressed very well, Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Charles Adu Boahen has, said

Discussions between government officials and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Ghana’s proposal have progressed very well, Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Charles Adu Boahen has, said.

So far, he said, the team from the Finance Ministery that is currently in Washington DC, United States of America (USA), has had four separate meetings with the Fund.

Addressing a press conference in the US last week, Mr Adu Boahen indicated that the Fund was pleased with the government’s post-Covid programme for economic growth.

He said “The Fund was in Accra from September 27  to October 7 and I think the meetings were very well, they spent a lot of time, and they released press statements at the end.

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“All in all, I they were quite pleased with the post-Covid programme for economic growth that we put together which is what we believe would underpin the programme. They felt that the measures we have highlighted and the fiscal adjustment proposed, the structural reforms in line with their thinking.”

He reiterated the government’s hope to close the deal by end of the year.

“We are hoping to be able to conclude negotiations and get to start the agreement by the end of the year and so the discussions are ongoing. We have met with the team three or four times since we came in last week and discussions have progressed quite well on various fronts.

“We are also very cognizant of being able to incorporate into our budget some of the key policy decisions so that we wouldn’t have to go back and revise the budget once it is passed in November.

“That has also been part of discussions, we are quite encouraged, we think that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Mr Adu Boahen further underscored the fact that all countries, whether in Europe or Africa or Asia, are facing similar economic challenges – high inflation, food insecurity, currency depreciation, and rising youth unemployment.

In his view, it doesn’t appear that there is going to be any reprieve next year.

To that end, he has asked all to continue to tighten their belts.

Addressing a press conference in Washington DC, United States of America, he said “The general consensus across all the meetings I have attended is that we certainly are in the midst of global crisis. There is a saying that is nowhere cool.

“I think coming here today,  this week and the past week has really confirmed that we are not the only ones who have been going through very challenging times. Whichever country you engage the Ministers, whether being the West or in Africa or in Asia, their problems are similar – high inflationary pressures,  currency depreciation, food insecurity, and rising youth unemployment. It has really brought to the fore the fact that we need some unique solutions for this unique set of problems across the board.

“There is also still quite a lot of uncertainty about the Russia-Ukrainian war and how it is going to end. It certainly seems that the understanding is that it is going to go into 2023, there seems to be the perception that 2023 is going to be tougher than 2022. If you look all at the forecasts you can see revisions have been made. These revisions have all been downwards, not upwards.

“The only thing that may seem to have tapered off in the forecasts is, maybe, inflationary pressures but that of course will be based on the fact that this year has been so high, coming off a high base, it is unlikely that we will see the same high levels going into next year.

“Crude oil forecasts still seem to be in the high, double digits to triple digits.  So essentially, from my impressions from meetings I have attended so far, it doesn’t look like there is going to be any reprieve next year and so we need to continue to tighten our belts and look at some serious fiscal consolidations in the budget for 2023.”

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