General News of Thursday, 26 February 2015
Ghana reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday for a three-year aid deal worth around $1 billion aimed at restoring fiscal stability to the country, a source close to the talks told Reuters.
The deal could represent a turning point for Ghana, a stable democracy and producer of gold, cocoa and oil whose economy lost much of its shine since it reported a budget deficit of nearly 12 percent in 2013.
The agreement is the culmination of talks that began in September after the government decided its own solutions to its fiscal crisis were failing to convince investors.
“We have concluded the talks at the staff level, and we’re looking forward to the Board’s consideration in coming weeks,” said a source who declined to be identified. The government will submit a letter of intent to the board and approval is expected by April, the source said. There were no further details.
Since 2013, GDP growth has slowed sharply to a projection for 2015 of 3.9 percent after years at which it stood around 8 percent. At the same time, the currency fell 31 percent last year, and public debt has soared.
The government of President John Mahama hopes the IMF deal will enable the economy to rebound well before elections in 2016 and it is also working to overcome a power crisis that has angered many voters and hampered business growth.