Government not rushing for more loans – Ken Ofori-Atta

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister, says the government is not in a rush to enter the international capital market.

Mr Ofori-Atta said the goal of getting back to the international capital market, which Ghana has been locked out for more than a year, was to give the country a positive ratings and outlook to attract more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

‘There’s no rush to go back to the international capital markets. Our expectation is that in managing our expenditure and increasing our revenue, we’ll have the resources to it,’ Mr Ofori-Atta said.

He, however, noted that ‘Working towards the capital market is important because we then get our ratings up and make the country more attractive for foreign investors, especially [getting] FDI.’

He gave the assurance at a joint press conference on Thursday, which was held in Washington and online by the IMF and the Government of Ghana the IMF approval of the implementation of Ghana’s homegrown policy under an Extended Credit Facility (EFC) arrangement.

The loan facility would ensure macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability and lay a solid foundation for inclusive and sustainable growth and job creation, while protecting the most vulnerable of Ghana’s population.

Mr Ofori-Atta explained that the programme would aim at bringing Ghana’s debt to Gross Domestic Product (GPD) ratio down to 55 per cent, which in addition to the revenue measures in the 2023 budget provide the needed resources to move the country forward.

‘Going forward, we’ll find ways of ensuring that we’re efficient in our deployment [of the $3bn funds] …and ensure efficiency in providing services to the people,’ Mr Ofori-Atta said.

‘We will also try to reduce importation to its barest minimum …by ensuring that the importation of rice, poultry and tomato are brought down and we produce those ourselves. That way our economy can be resilient enough,’ the Minister added.

Mr Stephane Roudet, IMF Mission Chief for Ghana, was confident that the loan-support programme would help address the country’s economic crisis, build the foundation for a better and more inclusive future for all Ghanaians.

‘It will also help ease financing constraints including, by unlocking more funding from the rest of the international community,’ Mr Roudet said.

This is the 17th time that Ghana is getting an IMF loan-support programme to address its economic challenges.

The current economic crisis, which has necessitated the IMF’s $3bn loan-support programme was induced by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia-Ukraine war and internal structural problems.

The Government is hopeful that by the end of the three-year programme, Ghana’s economy would be resilient, have a strong footing to support sustainable economic growth and enhance the livelihood of citizens.

Source: Ghana News Agency