Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo pulls plug on three-year IMF aid programme

Ghana’ president Nana Akufo-Addo on Tuesday said the country will not extend its three-year aid programme with the International Monetary Fund beyond April 2018. The IMF had urged it to do so to give it time to complete the programme’s goals.

President Akufo-Addo’s announcement is a surprise turnaround after government officials said last month that Ghana was considering a request by the Washington lender to extend the programme to December 2018.

According to analysts, an extension would reassure markets of the government’s commitment to fiscal discipline.

“There is no question, the IMF program being extended, the IMF program which comes to an end technically in April next year, its going to be completed by this government. Along the terms which is… because there have been certain amount of renegotiation of the program taking place already since we came into office,” the president said.

However, the Finance Ministry said Akufo-Addo’s remarks did not mean that Ghana was pulling out of the current programme. The IMF board is due to review Ghana’s progress under the deal in early August.

Responding to Akufo-Addo’s comments, the Fund maintained that an extension was essential for Ghana to successfully complete the review after failing to meet certain deal requirements on scheduled.

Akufo-Addo said, the government was on target with its policy to restore growth and create private sector jobs, in part by bringing down the cost of debt.

“We have to continue to work to bring down the cost of borrowing to enable businesses to have access to much needed credit. It is my hope and expectation that these statistics will soon translate into tangible benefits in the lives of Ghanaians,” Akufo-Addo added.

Akufo-Addo’s government inherited the $918-million agreement signed in April 2015 to address problems of slow growth, high public deficit and high public debt. Read more here.