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IMF team visits Ghana for more talks on relief package

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Stéphane Roudet will visit Ghana from today, Thursday, December 1 to Tuesday, December 13 to continue discussions on the country’s request for a support programme, the Fund said in a statement on Wednesday.

Ghana turned to the IMF for help in July as its balance of payments deteriorated and hundreds took to the streets to protest against economic hardship.

Ghana is facing a severe economic crisis which has been described by some as the worst in a generation, with rampant inflation, spiralling debt and a tumbling local currency.

“Our objective for this visit is to make further progress toward reaching an agreement on policies and reforms that could be supported by an IMF lending arrangement.

“The IMF remains fully committed to help Ghana restore macroeconomic stability, bring relief to Ghanaians in this time of crisis, and lay the foundation for more inclusive growth,” the fund said in a statement.

Ghana in October said the aim was to reach a staff-level agreement with the IMF by the end of December 2022.

The Fund has not yet commented on a timeline but previously said more work was needed on a debt-sustainability analysis.

Ghana’s total public debt stood at GH¢450 billion at the end of November 2022, the Finance Minister revealed when he presented the 2023 Budget statement.

The finance minister also promised to cut spending and boost revenue in the 2023 budget as the government negotiates the relief package with the IMF.

The Bank of Ghana on Monday increased its main lending rate by a further 250 basis points to 27% on Monday to try to quell inflation, which hit a 21-year peak last month despite aggressive central bank lending rate hikes this year.

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