Going to the IMF
• President Nana Akufo-Addo
When Ghana decided to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), it generated a range of heated debate among scholars in Ghana and other sections of the public. While some people supported the idea, others did not, claiming that Ghana can manage its own economic programmes without going to the IMF.
In the case of members of the Minority, they hailed the decision as good, pointing out that the economy has been mismanaged. Obviously, this was meant to seek equalisation since in 2015, their government, that is the NDC, had to go to the IMF for poor economic performance.
After series of debates as to whether the country should go to the IMF for support, the government of Ghana has taken the decision that at this time in the global economic situation, the country needs to go for some assistance.
Going to the IMF is not a crime because Ghana is a member of the Fund and can always go for assistance there. However, sound economic management and pursuing the interest of the country is what matters.
The assistance from the IMF has become necessary because, according to the government, the COVID-19 together with unfavourable global economic condition has made it difficult for the country to stand on its own, looking at the serious challenges affecting Ghana just like many other countries in the world.
Global economic events are not favourable to the whole world and that is why as many as 100 countries have gone for IMF support.
It has been explained that support from IMF will help the country to get balance of payment to enable it perform better in the days ahead.
The IMF is an international body that has been set up to achieve balance of payment support for member countries who decide to go to the international body for assistance. It is a body that plays a useful role in the economic development of countries.
The government of Ghana under President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has managed the economy well. A look at many of the ongoing projects in the country show that the economy will soon pickup to run shoulder-to-shoulder with other countries that are doing well as was seen in the pre-COVID-19 period. Every effort has been made to ensure that the economy performs better to improve upon the welfare of Ghanaians.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 which affected all parts of the world forced the government to spend heavily to save the lives of people. According to President Akufo-Addo, it would be better to protect the lives of people and prevent them from dying as a result of the effect of COVID-19. He pointed out that in the case of economies that are destroyed, it would be possible to revive them whereas in the case of human lives, they cannot be revived once lost.
In light of all these, we are of the view that the people of Ghana ought to be united behind the government, so that at the end of it all, a developmental agenda can be pursued for all Ghanaians irrespective of political affiliations.
We are very much aware that 100 countries have all applied to the IMF for one form of bailout or the other. In this connection, therefore, it is clear that the unfavourable global economic situation together with COVID-19 has adversely affected every country in the world.
In view of the unfavourable global economic situation, the IMF threw out invitation to countries that want assistance to come forward for various assistance.
From this perspective, it is appropriate for Ghana to take advantage and go to the IMF for assistance contrary to its previous position that it would not go for such assistance.
In fairness to government, it should be acknowledged that from 2017 up to the 1st quarter of 2020, the economy of Ghana was performing creditably well to the admiration of many other countries in the world.
Unfortunately, the sudden emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic ate substantially into the resources of the country and threw all projections out of gear. As if this was not enough, the high rise of crude oil worldwide, moving far above the $100 mark also added salt to injury and worsened the economic conditions of the country. As a member of the IMF therefore, Ghana has every right to seek assistance from this international body so that the economic situation can be made a bit bearable for the country.
What we should be concerned about is for government and the negotiation team to put forward the best cards for the country so that at the end of it all, the economic interest of the country would be maximised. We are urging the team negotiating with the IMF to prepare adequately and ensure that the best alternatives and options are what are given the country.
The economic situation all over the world in both developed and developing countries has become very unfavourable and harsh, making life extremely difficult for ordinary people. In this connection, we are urging all Ghanaians to remain calm behind government in the hope that what comes out from the negotiation with the IMF will be in the best interest of the country.
In conclusion therefore, the point must be noted that we need to put politics aside and in all fair mindedness agree that Ghana‘s economy has been managed well. In spite of the unfavourable economic global situation, the country recorded over 5% growth during the first quarter of 2022. Again, the World Bank has praised Ghana, saying that they are optimistic that the country will overcome its economic challenges.
All Ghanaians must therefore support the government in the hope that all is not lost and that very soon the economic indicators of the country would exhibit positive growth to overcome challenges like the inflation currently facing the country as a result of the Russian-Ukraine conflict and the effect of the COVID-19.
By Dr. Kofi Amponsah-Bediaku
Contact email/whatsApp address of author: