Ghana vows to heed IMF guidance post bailout programme

23 Aug 18

Ghana’s finance minister has said the country will keep its public spending open to IMF scrutiny after its bailout programme ends next year.

Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said that the government does not intend to ask for a second bailout deal but will seek other forms of cooperation with the fund.

He said, in an emailed response to Bloomberg, that Ghana will “take seriously” the IMF’s assessments of its economic health to prevent future financial problems.

The country went to the IMF in 2015 for an almost $1bn extended credit-facility programme, after years of overspending.

After the bailout programme ends, the Ghanian government has pledged to carry on implementing reforms to ensure better management of public finances, such as legislation to limit the fiscal deficit to no more than 5% of GDP and measures to expand the tax base, Ofori-Atta said.

The IMF projects Ghana’s economy will expand 6.3% this year, compared with 8.5% last year.

Public debt in the $47bn economy was 63.8% of GDP at the end of May, compared with 67.3% a year before.

The country is working to keep spending under control and implement policies to attract private investors to participate in the development of roads, railways and ports, the finance minister said.

“Ghana’s annual infrastructure financing gap is between $3.9bn and $5.6bn. Attracting private finance has become essential,” he said.

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