Ghana President Says IMF Program Will Be Concluded Next Year

ACCRA (Capital Markets in Africa) – Ghana’s government said it is committed to meeting the obligations of an International Monetary Fund program and is working with the Washington-based lender to complete its 2018 budget.

The West African nation is in the third-year of a $918 million credit-facility program that it agreed to with the IMF in April 2015 after its currency plunged and public debt ballooned. While the program was scheduled to be concluded in April 2018, Deputy Finance Minister Charles Adu Boahen said in June that the government will ask for more time until December next year to reach the plan’s objectives, which include targets for fiscal consolidation.

“We’re committed to completing the program,” President Nana Akufo-Addo told reporters Tuesday in the capital, Accra. Ghana’s budget for the fiscal year through December 2018 will be “the last budget that is going to held under the current IMF program.”

Ghana’s budget deficit for 2016 was 9.4 percent of gross domestic product, from a previous estimate of 8.7 percent, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said in an interview after Akufo-Addo’s engagement with reporters. The deficit compares with an initial target of 5.3 percent.

The 2018 budget will be drawn up in consultation with the IMF, Ofori-Atta said. The nation’s debt rose to 73 percent of GDP at the end of last year, from 34 percent in 2010, Finance Ministry data show.

“I am going to be sitting down to do a 2018 program with the IMF in which we will stick to it and then we will complete the program within that cycle,” he said. “My budget is going to cover January 2018 to December 2018.”

Source: Bloomberg Business News


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