The Ministry of Finance announced on Monday (December 12) that it was going to hold a joint press conference together with the Bank of Ghana and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The release stated the date of the conference as Tuesday, 13th December 2022 with the venue being the Ministry of Finance at 10 am.
Even though very little else was disclosed about the issue to be discussed, sources have hinted that the three parties are set to announce a concrete outcome from months of negotiations as government seeks a bailout.
Our sources say the Visiting IMF team is expected to announce having reached a Staff-Level Agreement with the Ghana Government for a FUND program.
The sources, stressed that as at yesterday, there remained some critical issues that needed to be “ironed out” before today’s formal announcement.
The Stephane Roudet-led IMF team has been in town since December 1, with the main mission of following up on engagements with Government on its COVID-19 Economic Recovery Program.
Government recently announced a Domestic Debt Exchange programme, which is laregly aimed at stabilizing the economy. The move which constitutes a domestic debt default status is seen by experts as part of conditionalities to access the FUND support.
What is a Staff-Level Agreement?
According to Ghanabusiness.com, a Staff-Level Agreement is reached between a country requesting for Fund and the IMF Mission subject to the approval of the IMF Management and Executive Board and receipt of the necessary financing assurances before loans are granted.
The IMF expatiates further on modalities from the agreement through to eventual approval of the agreement.
End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country.
The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board.
Based on the preliminary findings of this mission, staff will prepare a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF’s Executive Board for discussion and decision.
Ghana’s economic headwinds:
The economy is facing major headwinds that have been characterized by galloping inflation, consistent depreciation of the cedi and general high cost of living and of doing business.
The government is hoping to reach a deal with the IMF for an economic support programme aimed at shoring up the economy and easing the burden on ordinary Ghanaians.
President Akufo-Addo and his government have come under heavy scrutiny for failing to address the current economic challenges in the country.
The prices of goods and services have been continuously rising all year round, with inflation currently at over 40 per cent.
The Ghana cedi has been ranked the worst currency in the world among 148 currencies tracked by Bloomberg, overtaking Sri Lanka’s rupee, having depreciated by nearly 50 per cent so far in 2022.