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$3bn IMF bailout: Key global decision makers push for Ghana



Key decision makers in the global economy have thrown their weight behind Ghana’s quest for a quicker deal from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help ease the economic pains facing the country and its citizens.

The IMF, the World Bank Group and the United States (US) Treasury Department are some of the key actors behind the clarion call for all roadblocks delaying the final approval of Ghana’s request for an IMF bailout to be removed to enable the fund to authorise the actual implementation of the programme, latest within the second quarter of the year.

This came to light at the just-ended IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington, DC, USA, where Ghana also secured the support of private sector investors and key development partners for a quicker deal for an economic turnaround.

Ghana, which turned to the IMF for support to stabilise the economy in July last year, has since met all prior actions necessary for a final approval, with the IMF Executive Board now awaiting financial assurance from the country’s creditors to be able to sign off the deal.

At the meetings that ended yesterday, the IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, and the IMF African Department Director, Abebe Aemro Selassie, assured Ghanaians that efforts to fast-track the process were underway but must be quickened.

The momentum from the leaders has boosted the government’s optimism that the country could soon secure the much-needed financial assurances, a mix of debt cancellation, restructuring and commitment of further strategic lending, soon to pave the way for a deal, latest by the second quarter of the year.

“We are expectant that this (financial assurance) will happen soon, as the Paris Club meets again this week on Ghana,” a source at the Ministry of Finance said at the Spring Meetings.

Earlier, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, had described Ghana’s participation at the meetings as highly successful.

While expressing her support for a quicker deal for Ghana, the IMF MD said at the meetings that the country had done well to complete all prior actions, and that its creditors must now back the momentum to help secure an early deal. 

Ms Georgieva said she would now use every opportunity to urge the creditors “to act swiftly”.

In a response to a question on when Ghanaians should expect a deal, she said: “We have worked very hard and very swiftly to have the programme for Ghana — a $3-billion support — in place. 

“We have been urging Ghana’s creditors to act swiftly. My appreciation for the proactive role of the Minister of Finance of Ghana in reaching out to creditors. I can tell you that I use every opportunity myself to urge them to act swiftly,” she said.

Exemplary economic leadership

Ms Georgieva also described Ghana as an economic example that was devastated by global shocks, hence the need for all concerned to join hands in helping the economy to return to stability. 

“Let us remember that Ghana, for a long time, has done really well to tap markets to finance its growth path. It has been, like all innocent bystanders, hit by COVID and the war in Ukraine, and these have complicated, domestically, the ability to finance the budget,” she said. 

“So a country that has a long track record of sound macroeconomic management ought to be supported to return to markets. Our programme is a bridge for Ghana,” she said.

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#NPPDecides: 95% of NPP MPs support Bawumia – Annoh-Dompreh



The Majority Chief Whip in Parliament, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, has said that approximately 95 percent of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament have expressed their support for Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia in the upcoming Presidential election.

Over 200,000 delegates from across the country are expected to participate in the elections scheduled for Saturday, November 4, 2023.

The exercise, which will elect a flagbearer to represent the party in the 2024 General Elections, will take place in every constituency across all 16 regions of the country.

While expressing optimism about the victory of Dr. Bawumia as the flagbearer of the NPP in an interview, the legislator said: “We know it is a foregone decision, Dr Bawumia is going to win hands down. It used to be around 80 percent. Now it’s moved higher. We are now doing like 95 percent of MPs who clearly believe that we should rally behind the Vice President. We are now hovering around 95 percent. It will even get better on the D-Day, and I think it’s looking extremely good. Our focus now is to ensure that after Saturday, we progress into a united front,” the Nsawam Adoagyiri MP said.

The NPP is gearing up for its presidential primaries on Saturday, November 4.

The four aspirants contesting the flagbearer position have signed an undertaking not to resign from the party if any of them loses the primary on Saturday.

The decision was reached at a meeting between the National Council of Elders and the aspirants.

Dr. Bawumia is the frontrunner in the race, but he faces stiff competition from Assin Central MP, Kennedy Agyapong.

A recent poll by the Institute of Research, Innovation & Development at Kumasi Technical University found that Bawumia stands a greater chance of winning the upcoming NPP flagbearer race, as he will most likely secure an overwhelming victory in eight regions.

The poll found that 71.1% of NPP delegates believe that Bawumia has a higher chance of breaking the eight-year cycle, while 26.8% of them stated that Kennedy Agyapong stands a better chance.

The other two contestants include the former Agriculture Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, and former MP for Mampong, Francis Addai-Nimoh.

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Xavier Sosu advocates for modernization of Ghana’s criminal justice system



Human rights lawyer and Member of Parliament for Madina, Francis-Xavier Sosu, has proposed a reformation of Ghana’s criminal justice system, describing it as archaic.

“Criminal Justice is reforming all over the world and the people who gave us these laws have long reformed these laws and have moved away… So why are we still putting them on our statutes?” Mr. Sosu said.

He further mentioned that keeping these old statutes without reforming them is a form of legal colonialism.

“This is a form of legal neocolonialism because we are carrying on the colonial baggage and unfortunately we are not looking at the peculiar circumstances of our case,” Sosu added

This comes in response to concerns about the amendment of the country’s sentencing regime, including the passage of the alternative sentencing bill.

In an interview with Citi News, the legislator urged the legislature to be guided by the justice systems of developed countries to expedite the passage of the bill.

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Lady dies during ‘sex marathon’ with boyfriend



A young woman has reportedly lost her life during an intimate encounter with her boyfriend in Ilorin, Nigeria. 

The incident has led to the arrest of the boyfriend, a middle-aged man who operates a barbing salon in the area.

According to reports, the said incident occurred at a guest house located in the Temidire community, Offa Garage area of Ilorin on Monday.

Sources in the community say the couple had checked into the guest house for what was supposed to be a leisurely outing.

However, things took a horrifying turn as the evening unfolded. There are unconfirmed reports that the man may have been under the influence of drugs, seemingly in an attempt to impress his girlfriend, before the situation took a dire and unexpected turn.

The tragic chain of events reportedly began when the young woman became fatigued during their intimate encounter, eventually losing consciousness. It was at this point that she became unresponsive and tragically passed away. The man, realizing the gravity of the situation, immediately raised the alarm, drawing the attention of the guest house staff.

The staff swiftly reacted by rushing the young lady to a nearby hospital in a desperate attempt to save her life. Regrettably, medical professionals at the hospital confirmed her untimely demise.

The owner of the guest house, in compliance with the law, promptly reported the incident to the Police ‘A’ Division in Ilorin. As a result, the middle-aged man was apprehended by the authorities.

The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Okasanmi Ajayi, affirmed the incident and emphasised that a comprehensive investigation was currently underway to determine the exact circumstances that led to the young lady’s tragic death.

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