Ghana president says ‘no reason’ to return to IMF
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo on Thursday hailed the country’s economic recovery and said he saw “no reason” to seek further help from the International Monetary Fund.
Once hailed as a regional growth model, in 2015 former president John Mahama’s administration was forced to turn to the IMF for help amid a global commodities rout.
But Akufo-Addo told parliament in the annual state of the union address that his government had buckled down on mismanagement and pledged to stabilise the economy to avoid another bailout.
“We are determined to put in place measures to ensure irreversibility and sustain macroeconomic stability, so that we will have no reason to seek again the assistance of that powerful global body,” Akufo-Addo told lawmakers.
“For the first time in a long while, our macroeconomic fundamentals are solid, and all the critical indices are pointing in the right direction.”
The $918-million loan is set to come to an end this year, completed on conditions of reform, tighter fiscal discipline and lower inflation.
The World Bank last month said Ghana’s economy would likely grow by 8.3 percent in 2018 as a result of increased oil and gas production, making it one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
Creating more jobs will be the next step, said Gideon Amissah, of the Institute of Certified Economists of Ghana.
“For the ordinary Ghanaian on the street we still need to keep the confidence level high,” he told AFP.
“If the government is unable to fulfil some of its promises given, then the confidence may not be sustainable.”
Akufo-Addo defeated Mahama at the polls in December 2016 and inherited an economy reeling from huge public sector deficits, rising inflation, high unemployment and a weakened currency.
He campaigned on a platform to end rampant government spending and end the financial crisis, which had contributed to an electricity shortage and spooked investors.