The IMF’s newest bailout in Ghana

1 April 2015

The IMF reached a long-anticipated loan agreement with Ghana in late February (see Observer Winter 2015, Autumn 2014). The three-year, $940 million extended credit facility arrangement is subject to approval by the IMF’s executive board at a meeting scheduled for 3 April 2015.

Joel Toujas-Bernaté, mission head of the IMF team that visited Accra in mid-February, indicated that the programme’s main priorities include the restoration of debt sustainability through sustained fiscal consolidation, a reduction in financing costs and adequate capital spending to support growth. He outlined the programme’s three pillars as: “restraining and prioritising public expenditure with a transparent budget process; increasing tax collection; and strengthening the effectiveness of the central bank monetary policy”. Asserting that this “ambitious economic reform program is supported by Ghana’s international partners”, Bernaté insisted that Ghana’s “authorities have made significant progress in firming up financing assurances from their main bilateral donors and other international financial organisations”.

Nevertheless, civil society has expressed concern that the IMF’s intervention will negatively impact on Ghanaian workers. Following the announcement, Kofi Asamoah of the Trades Union Congress vowed to “resist” any IMF-instigated job cuts.