Kwesi Botchwey Leads IMF Talks


Dr. Kwesi Botchwey
President John Mahama has selected former Finance Minister, Kwesi Botchwey to lead Ghana’s economic team that will hold talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a bailout plan.

The talks are expected to begin on Tuesday, September 16, 2014, and agreement reached by November, this year.

Dr. Botchwey is the chairman of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and the Ghana National Gas Company.

Government recently said it would seek an IMF bailout to tackle fiscal problems including inflation, huge budget deficit, and a currency that has tumbled by almost 40 percent this year.

President Mahama, in an interview with Reuters at the Flagstaff house, said the purpose of pursuing an IMF deal was not simply to dig the country out of a short-term fiscal hole.

He said government wanted to work with the IMF, the World Bank and the African Development Bank on an ambitious set of institutional reforms and programmes to alleviate poverty and create jobs through the private sector.

‘We are looking to work with the IMF, both to consolidate the fiscal but then also to carry out the kind of institutional reforms that would be necessary to sustain that macroeconomic stability so that going forward, hopefully this country will probably not go into an IMF programme again,’ President Mahama said.

The President said government would seek $1 billion from a Eurobond this year, as it heads into talks with the IMF, adding that the country may look for further financing if it secures a deal with the IMF.

President Mahama disclosed that he had no immediate plans to change his key economic team.

By Cephas Larbi
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