Govt will make sure Ghana gets the best out of IMF deal – Alan Kyeremanteng assures business leaders

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyeremanteng has assured the Ghanaian business community of a smooth negotiation between the government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Alan Kyerematen is Ghana's Trade Minister

He said the Akufo-Addo government will ensure Ghana is not shortchanged in the negotiations.

“The IMF itself cannot create prosperity for us, however, it comes in purely for stabilisation, balance of payment and liquidity support,” Mr. Alan Kyerematen said at a meeting with businessmen and captains of industry in Accra.

He said “We have come from quite a long distance, those of us who went round the country with the President campaigning around the country [in 2016], the circumstances in which we found ourselves were very difficult. Static growth, high inflation, high debt, all the indicators of an economy that it is in severe distress were apparent at that time. But the point is that, we did something which probably we have not explained quite eloquently to people.

“[Ghana] was in an IMF programme when [NPP] took over. We decided that we had no choice but to complete the programme. But whiles we took the decision to complete, our strategic objective was to exit because again, there was no evidence where the IMF itself and its programmes can create prosperity for you. So IMF comes in purely for stabilization, for balance of payment support and liquidity support.

“So, whiles we agreed to remain with the programme, we try to work ourselves out of the programme and that is what we did. So, again, the evidence is there, within two years we were able to meet all the conditionalities and the requirements for the programmes and we were about to exit with our chest out.

“I remember, Madam Christine Lagarde [then Managing Director of the IMF] very uncharacteristic of the World’s central bank, she actually was praising us when we were exiting. I am making this point because whiles we agree and decided that we would keep to the programme through fiscal consolidation and prudent expenditure management and control, we decided also at the same time to embark on an aggressive transformation programme.

“It is important that we understand that , whiles we were ensuring that we achieved fiscal consolidation with the IMF programme, at the same time and we needed a lot of courage that, whiles you are doing that you decide to embark on a transformation programme because, if the transformation does not occur, you will go back to IMF, and to get into the substance of the transformation programme, it requires a lot of money.

A team of IMF officials will arrive in the country today to begin talks with government on a balance of payment programme.

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