Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) Dr Ernest Addison has said that Ghana is making progress with its engagement with bilateral creditors as part of the process to close a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Dr Addison explained that stakeholders in Ghana were expecting the IMF Board to meet on Ghana’s proposal by end of March but that meeting was hinged on obtaining financing assurance from bilateral creditors.
He said that there has been progress made regarding assurance from the creditors.
Answering questions at the 111th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) press conference in Accra on Monday, March 27, Dr Addison said “We were all expecting that the IMF board would have met by the end of March but that is contingent on obtaining financing assurances from the Bilateral creditors.
“Fortunately, there is progress on that front, the official creditor’s committee met last week, and they are looking at a date in April by which time they expect to give the necessary financial assurances.
“Once that is out of the way, once we have signed this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), and once parliament has passed these new revenue measures we would have completed what they call the prior actions, this is what is needed for the fund to set a date for the Executive Board meeting.”
He expressed optimism that the Board would meet by the end of April.
“So hopefully, if things go as planned by the end of April we should see that executive board meeting taking place.
“We are confident about the outlook, our foreign exchange situation is not dire, we believe that the outlook is not that critical, we have been fairly successful with the gold for reserves programme, we have been able to increase our reserves through the purchases of gold. So it is not as serious as initially projected.”
Last week, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, led a high-level delegation from the ministry to China to engage in bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart and other Chinese officials.
The Finance Ministry said that Mr Ofori-Atta had very positive and encouraging meetings in China.
The Ministry said they were looking forward to securing external assurances very soon.
“So far had very positive and encouraging meetings in China! Looking forward to securing external assurances very soon, even as we pass our outstanding domestic revenue bills back home. Great progress on all fronts…#ResolvingTogether #GhanaFirst,” the Office of the Finance Minister tweeted on Friday.
Mr Ofori-Atta also mentioned to the Chinese Finance Minister Liu Kun the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme that has been introduced by the government as an indication that Ghana was ready to take the necessary action to readjust its fiscal path.
In response, Mr Kun said “we know that these are short-term challenges which we as responsible creditors remain committed to resolving” and that “the long-standing and prosperous relationship between Ghana and China imposes on us, a responsibility to help”.
The Chinese Finance Minister further said it was the hope of his country that Multilateral and Commercial creditors would also fully participate in the interest of burden sharing.
“Chinese authorities have confidence in Ghana’s economic management, and its long-term economic viability,” Mr Kun said.
He added “China believes in promoting debt sustainability and sustainable development,”
He said these when Mr Ofori-Atta, led a high-level delegation from the ministry to China to engage in bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart and other Chinese officials.