Razia Khan
Razia Khan

Razia KhanHead of Africa Research for Standard Chartered Bank, Razia Khan, says an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme may not bring an end to current challenges facing Ghana’s economy.

She explains: “no Fund programme on its own is ever going to be a panacea [for economic challenges]. What is needed is reform, and that will have short term costs. No question about it”.

The renowned expert on African markets however believes Ghana’s economy is most likely to become more stable with a Fund programme, because failure to obtain IMF assistance could rather bring immense economic costs to the country.

“Ghana will do very well not just to opt for an IMF programme but to follow it through. Even then the level of funding that it is likely to get is not going to be enough on its own to resolve all of Ghana’s problems overnight” she said.

Ghana is working towards securing monetary and technical assistance from the Washington-based lender by next year if negotiations end successfully by next month.

Speaking to Joy Business’ George Wiafe in London, Razia Khan said Ghana government must firmly put in place additional measures to complement any IMF programme it will get.

“The hope is that an IMF programme will help to unlock other sources of funding. Perhaps Ghana might see donor support from other quarters, but it will still need to do a lot on its own. [Ghana] will still need to look to mobilise revenue and look for those painful ways to cut spending, [and] cut the buildup in its debt”, she said.

After many months of a depreciating cedi against major international trading currencies, Ghana’s local currency stabilised by about 15 percent over the past few weeks.

Although some experts say government must work towards improving the cedi’s stability even further, Razia Khan thinks otherwise. She said the best managers of Ghana’s economy can do is to “enjoy it while it lasts”.

According to her the country’s economic fundamentals are not capable of sustaining the cedi’s exchange rate stability, advising instead focus should be on improving the fundamentals of Ghana’s economy.

“It’s very difficult to think that [government’s] priority right now should be to do something about exchange rate strength”, she said.



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