President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said that the progress that has been made in securing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Staff Level Agreement, in the debt exchange programme, and the implementation of key structural reforms, are yielding benefits.
He said inflation is decelerating, interest rates on government treasury notes are declining, the depreciation of the cedi is slowing down, and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for 2022 has performed beyond expectations.
Speaking at the May Day celebration in Bolatanga on Monday May 1, Mr Akufo-Addo said “let me touch on a very important subject matter which is the status of the IMF programme negotiations.
“After achieving a Staff Level Agreement with the IMF in December, 2022 in record time, six months after beginning the negotiations in July 2022, we have continued to work tirelessly to complete all prior actions required to present Ghana’s Programme to the IMF Executive Board for approval.
“We have also made substantial progress on the debt exchange programme, as well as on our engagements with bilateral creditors to secure financing assurances required for the IMF Programme.”
He added “We are assured that the next round of meetings of the Paris Club will result in the formation of Official Creditor Committee, inclusive of China, and the provision of financing assurances.”
The IMF and the World Bank, he said, have been very supportive in this journey.
With the progress made so far, he said, “we expect the IMF Board to consider Ghana’s programme for imminent approval, after the financing assurances are provided.”
He further thanked Organised Labour for the role they have played in this journey, especially their inputs into the preparation of the government’s Post COVID-19 Programme for Economic Growth, which underpins the IMF-supported Programme.
“We are very confident that the approval of the IMF Programme will contribute significantly to revival of confidence required to drive the successful implementation of the Post COVID-19 Programme for Economic Growth and the key structural reforms for economic recovery and sustained inclusive growth.
“Already the progress we have made in securing the IMF Staff Level Agreement, in the debt exchange programme, and the implementation of key structural reforms, are yielding benefits. Inflation is decelerating, interest rates on government treasury notes are declining, the depreciation of the cedi is slowing down, and GDP growth for 2022 has performed beyond expectations. With the successful implementation of the Post COVID-19 Programme for Economic Growth, we expect growth to recover in the medium-term to over five percent (5%).
“The medium-term growth will be supported by key interventions to support improvements in the business environment and export competitiveness, promotion of entrepreneurship for private sector development, fast-tracking the implementation of key growth-oriented programmes under the Ghana CARES (Obaatan Pa) Programme, transitioning to a digital economy to boost productivity, tax collection, and the formalisation of the economy, and the strengthening of policies to adapt to and mitigate climate change for inclusive growth.”
We’ll ensure there are enough funds for 2023/2024 cocoa purchasing season – COCOBOD
COCOBOD has assured that concrete steps have been taken to ensure it is able to secure enough funds to finance its annual cocoa purchases in the 2023/2024 crop season.
Against the backdrop of a reportage by Reuters that the firm had borrowed up to $200 million from cocoa traders to plug its funding gap, COCOBOD said it had adopted a two-prong financing strategy to ensure that it obtained the required funds for the purchasing season.
A statement from COCOBOD in response to the Reuters report indicated that it had had firm assurances from its bankers of making funds available in time for the purchasing season and that a “Cocoa syndicated Loan has been laid in Parliament for consideration and approval.”
Below is COCOBOD’s full statement.
FINANCING OF PURCHASES FOR 2023/24 CROP SEASON
There have been some recent publications in the news media in relation to funds for cocoa purchases for the 2023/24 Crop Season.
We wish to brief our stakeholders on this very sensitive national issue as follows:
COCOBOD planned a two-prong financing for the 2023/2024 Crop Season in an effort to diversify Its source of funding for the annual cocoa purchases.
The strategy was therefore, to use a prefinancing arrangement with the international buyers to raise an amount of US$400 million for purchases at the beginning of the Season in September 2023.
These initial funds were expected to be augmented by an additional US$800 million loan from a syndicate of lenders by the end of November 2023. After engagements with buyers for several weeks, the arrangement was however discontinued.
Thus, since the beginning of the Season, cocoa purchases have been financed with noncollateralized cocoa sales proceeds. COCOBOD is therefore still in the process of securing the syndicated loan for the 2023/24 Crop Season.
As a matter of fact, the Board has so far received firm response from our bankers in this regard, and the Cocoa syndicated Loan has been laid in Parliament for consideration and approval.
We wish to use this medium to assure our stakeholders that the necessary arrangements have been made to secure enough funding for cocoa purchases for the year under review.
ISSUED BY: PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
Ghana is a good place to do business – Bawumia tells Czech investors
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia is actively seeking Czech investors for the country.
Dr. Bawumia emphasized that Ghana remains the best country in Africa for investment due to its stability, peace, and growth opportunities for businesses.
He made these remarks during his meeting with the Czech Prime Minister, Peter Fiala, at the Jubilee House in Accra.
“Ghana is an excellent place for doing business. We are the most peaceful country in West Africa and the second most peaceful country in Africa. It is crucial for anyone looking to invest in Africa to consider Ghana as the ideal destination for business.”
“I am confident that this will open up opportunities for our respective business sectors,” he stated.
Mahama’s ’24hr Economy’ project will revolutionize Ghana – Dafeamekpor
South Dayi Member of Parliament, Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor, has said that the ’24-hour Economy’ project conceived by the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Former President John Dramani Mahama will turn the economy around if implemented.
Mr Mahama proposed the ’24hr Economy ‘ project when he met with officials of the country’s mother workers union on Tuesday, November 7, 2023 at the start of his engagement with key stakeholders in a quest to return to power.
Dubbed ‘Building Ghana Tour’, the interactions with the stakeholders is to apprise them of the policies the next NDC administration will implement to transform the economy.
At Tuesday’s engagement, he said “NDC was left alone as the solitary voice seeking to hold the government accountable and speaking up for the voiceless Ghanaian and we were often cast out as spoilt brats who were ranting just because we have lost power.
“Today, the chickens have come home to roost and we are all affected.”
Commenting on this in a tweet, Mr Dafeamekpor said “Some concrete Examples of John Mahama’s ‘24hr Economy’ Projects include Terminal 3 at Kotoka, Tema Port Container Terminal, New Ridge Hospital, Maritime Hospital, Tema, UGMC, Legon, Kejetia Market, Accra Data Centre, the TamaleTeaching Hospital. It’ll revolutionize the economy.”