The Government of Ghana is pursuing policies to boost economic growth, lower prices of goods and services, particularly food products, and reduce inflation.
The Minister for Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, disclosed this in an interview with the Daily Graphic on Sunday.
According to the Minister, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Extended Credit Facility programme has started bearing fruits four months into its implementation, as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth has rebounded strongly, averaging 3.2 per cent in the first two quarters of the year.
“Under the IMF programme, the end-of-year growth projection was 1.5 per cent. Inflation has also dropped to 40.1 per cent in August and further down to 38.1 per cent for last month, while the cedi’s depreciation has slowed from the beginning of the year to date, after depreciating cumulatively by about 23.5 per cent year-to-date compared to a cumulative depreciation of 37.6 per cent over the same period in 2002,” he added.
He said on the fiscal front, the primary balance on a commitment basis for the first half of the year was a surplus of about GH¢2 billion compared to a target of a deficit of GH¢4 billion. Gross International Reserves (GIR), which measures how the country could fund its import bill, also stood at $2.1 billion equivalent to one-month import cover, compared with $1.5 billion (0.6 months of import cover) recorded at the end of December 2022.
Mr Nkrumah added that on the debt front, the government has concluded the domestic debt exchange programme (DDEP), which saw it swap old bonds valued at GH¢82 billion for 12 new ones at reduced coupon rates and longer tenors.
“The exchange of dollar-denominated local bonds of about $742 million also saw a participation ratio of 91.7 per cent; the exchange of cocoa bills worth GH¢7.7 billion also saw a participation ratio of 97.4 per cent, while the exchange of pension funds holdings of treasury bonds of about GH¢29.6 billion also saw a participation ratio of 95.3 per cent,” he said.
He said the government is also looking forward to signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the bilateral Official Creditor Committee (OCC) in the coming weeks to restructure debts of $5.4 billion.
The country is also seeking to reach an agreement with its external commercial creditors by the end of the year to restructure debts of $14 billion, out of which $13 billion are in bonds.
The key objectives of the extended credit facility programme are to, among others, restore fiscal sustainability, re-anchor inflation expectations by achieving low and stable inflation, strengthen the exchange rate regime, restore investor confidence and regain market access while unlocking other financing sources.
Joyce Adwoa Animia Ocran, ISD