Posted: Saturday 9th August 2014 at 19:36 pm

Government not seeking bailout from IMF – John Mahama

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President John Mahama says the government is not running to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial assistance.

The Ghana government, last week announced the decision to seek assistance from the Fund to rescue the country from further plummeting after the local currency plunged to about 40 per cent this year against the US dollar, making the Cedi the worst performing currency in the world in 2014.

But speaking on Bloomberg TV Africa in Washington, where he attended the three-day US-Africa Leaders’ Summit, President Mahama explained that the relief government was seeking from the IMF, “is more along a discussion and a programme that we are looking at.

“If it comes with money, that is fine,” Mr. Mahama indicated.

Ghana is seeking assistance from the IMF less than a decade after it had most of its debt written off as part of a campaign to help poor nations.

With the government failing to adhere to spending controls and debt rising, investors have lost faith in the economy.

President Mahama noted that the IMF’s assistance may help to bolster investor confidence as the government prepares to sell as much as $1.5 billion in Eurobonds by the end of August.

“We want to see Ghana transition from a lower middle-income to a middle-income country,” Mahama said.

“If having a closer relationship with the IMF will give that confidence in our partners to be able to work together to achieve that, we are happy to do that,” he added.

The IMF in  a statement on Saturday signed by its Deputy Managing Director, Min Zhu indicated its the preparedness to help Ghana address the current challenges facing her economy

“Today, IMF Management received a formal request from the Ghanaian authorities to initiate discussions on an economic program that could be supported by the IMF”. 

According to the statement, an IMF team is expected to be in Ghana in early September to initiate discussions on the program.

“The Fund stands ready to help Ghana address the current economic challenges it is facing. We expect to send an IMF team to Ghana in early September to initiate discussions on a program.”

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