Although, the country is yet to realize the expected advantages of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program almost four months after the deal, Economics Professor, Kwesi Botchwey is assuring Ghanaians that the country will soon start realizing the full benefits of the IMF program government has signed on to.
Professor Kwesi Botchwey who led the IMF negotiations asserted that, it will take some time for the actual impact of the program to be felt on the economy.
According to him the fiscals are already taking shape, which will trickle down to other sectors of the economy soon.
These assurances are coming despite criticism from some economists that the much talked-about inflow of investor funds and a stabilized Ghana cedi appears to be eluding the country.
President John Mahama in other news also admitted that, Ghana’s economy needs to expand by more than eight percent a year to create jobs for its growing population.
This is seen as a tough challenge for a country battling a fiscal crisis and weaker prices for its commodity exports.
The country has seen dwindling growth in the past two years and is expected to stand at 3.9 percent in 2015, below average for sub-Saharan Africa.
“We want to accelerate the economy so that more people can find jobs both in the formal and informal sectors,” President John Mahama said in a nationwide radio interview last week.
“The private sector has to begin to grow to be able to take up the extra jobs that are needed,” he said, adding that there was a misalignment between the skills and formal education young people seek and those that businesses actually need.
However, Prof Botchwey has denied that the country received just under a billion dollars from IMF because it was not prepared for tougher conditions associated with the program stabilize the economy.
Ghana received about 918 million dollars spread over three years, but some analysts say the country could have secured about 1.5 billion dollars under tougher conditions.But the Professor refuted those reports saying they are false.
In a related development the board of the IMF is set to meet next month to review Ghana?s performance after staff carried out its first review.
If the IMF board approves the staff report, it will pave the way for the release of some 114 million dollars to support the country?s balance of payment.
Ghana, whose population has jumped to 26 million from 19 million in 2000, saw annual economic growth of about eight percent for many years, above average for the continent, helped by its exports of cocoa, oil and gold. But those days are over.
The government aims to tackle its fiscal problems with a three-year International Monetary Fund programme. It is also grappling with frequent power blackouts that have angered voters and have hurt businesses.
Ghana’s cedi currency, buffeted by global commodity market woes and increased demand for imports, has lost about 30 percent against the dollar since the start of the year, Thomson Reuters data show.
“We are seeing some stabilisation in the cedi, even though it is still finding its correct level,” Mahama said.
Ghana’s economic figures for the second quarter of this year will be “much better” than in the first quarter, Mahama said, citing data he has seen which is still to be released.
by : Adnan Adams Mohammed
Source : newsghana.com.gh