US$3bn IMF deal ‘far from magic solution’ – Ofori-Atta

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The IMF Board’s approval of US$3 billion for Ghana “is far from a magic solution won,” Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has said in a joint press conference in Washington following the deal.

“What it is, however, is a crucial first step on the necessary journey of strong reforms, inclusive growth, and relentless pursuit of a growth agenda geared towards restoring our economy to a place of strength, prosperity, and resilience,” Mr Ofori-Atta noted.

“Undoubtedly,” he said, “the economic toll on our people from the effects of the global public crisis cannot be understated.”

“We are, indeed, grateful for the forbearance of all Ghanaians in the wake of the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme, which was difficult but, ultimately, a necessary exercise,” he appreciated

He acknowledged that the DDEP “also has impacted our banking institutions, and we look [forward] to work[ing] with the banks to make sure that we get a financial stability that is required.”

“Ultimately,” Mr Ofori-Atta, projected, “the debt exchange programme, combined with our multi-year focus on growth, fiscal sustainability, and debt sustainability should accelerate our economy.”

He said: “We’ve already seen some relative stability in the currency and in inflation, thanks to the work, also, by the central bank.”

“Indeed,” he pointed out, “I think we have to move ahead, and as the good book says, we should forget the former things, we should not dwell on the past and see that new things are being done, and we are ready for that.”

Mr Ofori-Atta said the government of President Akufo-Addo is “acutely aware of the enormous task ahead.”

“We are certainly on the path toward not just recovery but, also, revitalising our economy,” Mr Mr Ofori-Atta indicated.

In that regard, he said: “I’m confident that the government will support the Fund, and the collective effort of the Ghanaian people will work through our current challenges and emerge stronger than before.”

He said “What is being seen is marvelous in our eyes as Ghanaians, and it is a moment of time freater things are ahead.”

“We know Ghana can achieve it,” he noted, recalling: “We’ve been through this before, and we are ready to ensure that we set a pace that others can also follow.”

Mr Ofori-Atta thanked the people of Ghana “for your forbearance and partnership.”

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