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Ghana To Get IMF Program Exit In March

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has set March ending as the date for its Executive Board to carry out its final review of Ghana’s program before approving the country’s exit of the program.

This was after the Fund’s staff mission to Ghana completed discussions with government which could be described as the final staff review on Ghana Extended Credit Facility Program, as a “pass” would lead to the successful conclusion of the program on April 3, 2019.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has set March ending as the date for its Executive Board to carry out its final review of Ghana’s program before approving of its exit.

This was after the Fund’s staff mission to Ghana completed discussions with government which could be described as the final staff review on Ghana Extended Credit Facility Program.

Passing the combined 7th and 8th Extended Credit Facility by the end of March, would lead to the release of the final tranche of Fund cash of about $188 million, bringing total disbursements under the program to about $920.58 million.

The IMF has noted that six out of nine quantitative targets under the program were met and structural reforms are advancing, as at the end of December 2018. According to the head of the IMF staff mission, Annalisa Fedelino, the government of Ghana has made “good progress implementing the Extended Credit Facility -supported program, which will end on April 3, 2019, as envisaged”.

During its visit to Accra between Accra February 12  and 21, the IMF noted that, domestic revenue mobilization should remain a key priority to create fiscal space and reduce public debt, and expressed that, “the authorities should continue efforts at implementing tax policy measures, especially tax exemptions and tax compliance measures”.

The mission met with Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori – Atta, Bank of Ghana Governor, Ernest Addison, other senior officials, as well as representatives of the private sector, civil society organisations and development partners.

At the end of the mission in Accra, the leader of the IMF mission issued a statement, indicating that “Ghana’s recent economic performance has been favorable despite a less supportive external environment for frontier economies.

It again noted that, the real GDP of the country grew by 6.7% in the first three quarters of 2018. Over the medium term, growth is projected to remain sustained, buttressed by recent oil discoveries. Consumer price inflation, now at 9.0 percent, is well within the band around the inflation target.

On Monetary Policy, they were of the view that Bank of Ghana should continue to remain prudent and complement fiscal adjustment efforts to keep inflation expectations anchored.

The authorities and the mission also discussed ways to mitigate risks stemming from exposure to external sources of funding and potential policy slippages, explaining that, authorities have renewed efforts to strengthen external buffers.

“They have also enacted legislation that introduces a fiscal rule and have established a fiscal council to underpin fiscal discipline and preserve macroeconomic gains made in the last two years” – the statement of Annalisa Fedelino added.

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