Unprecedented global challenges pushed us to IMF – Ofori Atta

he Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, has blamed the decision to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial support on unprecedented Global Challenges.

Delivering the Midyear Budget Review on Monday, July 25 in Parliament, the Finance Minister said Ghana’s economy was on the right path until the emergence of Covid 19 in 2020. He added that the country was on the path of recovery until the Russia-Ukraine war compounded Ghana’s financial crisis.

“Yes, I know this Government assured the nation of a Ghana beyond Aid and our plans and programmes for economic transformation have been designed to achieve just that, and indeed, I did say that Ghana would not embark on an IMF programme. We did not just say it. We also took measures towards the attainment of that objective including the passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act and instituting a number of irreversibility measures, and also launching the Ghana CARES “Obaatan Pa” programme for economic revitalisation and transformation.

“Unfortunately, unprecedented global developments over the past two years, especially in these last six months, have really and truly disrupted our efforts. Governments across the world have had to change course to tackle the current crisis. Governments that less than a year ago were busily talking about energy transition and green and cleaner fuels have gone back to firing their coal plants. Governments that are known for low taxes are now raising taxes to tackle growing deficits. These are not ordinary times; not for Ghana, not for Africa, and certainly not for the whole world.

Meanwhile, the latest figures released by the Bank of Ghana have put Ghana’s total public debt stock, as of June 2022, at USS 54.4 billion or GH¢393.4 billion.

In Dollar terms, the debt dropped by about $4 billion in the first 6 months of the year, from $58.6 billion in December 2021 to $54.4 billion in the first half of the year 2022.

In Cedi terms, however, the total debt stock within the first 6 months of this year, increased by about GH¢41 billion. Per the data from the Central Bank’s Summary of Economic and Financial Data report, for July 2022, an additional 41.6 billion Ghana cedis has pushed Ghana’s public debt stock to GH¢393.4 billion as of June 2022.

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