The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has completed the last review of the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for Ghana, signifying the conclusion of the four-year support program.This comes after the Executive Board completed the seventh and eight reviews under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) supported arrangement for Ghana, paving way for about US$185.2 million to be made available to the country.
The Executive Board also approved the authorities’ request for a waiver of the nonobservance of a few program targets. The three – year arrangement was approved on April 3, 2015 for about US$925.9 million or 180 per cent of quota at the time of approval of the arrangement.
But the agreement was extended for an additional year on August 30, 2017 and is to end on April 2, 2019. The arrangement is aimed to restoring debt sustainability and macroeconomic stability to foster a return to high growth and job creation, while protecting social spending.
This was contained in a statement by the IMF which also indicated that, considering that the Ghanaian authorities’ resolved to tackle difficult reforms, the Executive Board has also approved the authorities’ request for a waiver of the non – observance of a few program targets.
“Progress on structural reforms needs to be intensified. Plans to improve public financial management and supervision of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), the establishment of a fiscal council, and the fiscal rule are welcome. Stronger monitoring of fiscal operations, including for SOEs, will help mitigate fiscal risks” – the statement added.
The IMF went on to state that, “The authorities deserve praise for strengthening the banking sector and for resolving nine banks. Completing the financial sector clean-up, as planned, will support the provision of adequate and affordable credit to the economy.
“The Fund congratulates the authorities for successfully completing the ECF supported program and stands ready to support Ghana in its quest for economic prosperity.”
The ECF is a lending arrangement that provides sustained program engagement over the medium to long term in case of protracted balance of payments problems.