General News of Friday, 27 February 2015
Ghana is expected to receive 100 million dollars as the first tranche of bailout funds from April under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program.
That should come in after the IMF board meets on April 3 to consider Ghana’s request for financial assistance.
According to persons close to the negotiations, Ghana’s request is likely to be approved by the IMF board, because of progress made so far by government on conditions set out under the bailout program and work done so far by the staff mission on Ghana’s request.
The $100m funds that will be disbursed in April is part of a total 940 million dollars that the country is going to receive under an IMF program.
Ghana is expected to get about 2 billion dollars from the country’s donor partners aside the 940 million it is going to get from the IMF, totaling almost 3 billion dollars.
According to the IMF, Ghana’s program is expected to go through 2017 to the end of 2018. This has raised concerns about government’s commitment to stick to though conditions like aggressive cuts especially in an election year.
But for the head of the mission to Ghana, Joel Toujas Bernate, he does not see this as a challenge at all.
Mr. Bernate said recent approval by Cabinet for additional prudent measures are also in the right direction.
According to him, the original budget for 2015 has already planned a reduction in the deficit by 3% of GDP, a move Mr. Bernate said is a plus for the country.
Meanwhile reports that IMF is under pressure from the US government to quickly close a deal with Ghana is not accurate, says Mr. Bernate.
Also for many, if the news of Ghana opening talks with the IMF alone contributed to the local currency’s stability last year, then the country’s economic challenges is set for a turnaround.
Others, however, say Ghana is in for challenging times ahead as government will be required to cut spending and increase tax collection to improve its revenue under the programme.