Board approval for US$597 million indicates renewed confidence in economy

Board approval for US$597 million indicates renewed confidence in economy Finance Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffuor holds the viewpoint that the approval by IMF Board for US$597 million, as balance of payment support to the country, is an indication of renewed confidence in the economy.

At a press briefing in Accra, the minister specified: "So far, this is the largest financing package in Africa and it shows a strong expression of the IMF's support to Ghana's programmes and policies."

A tough economic situation was faced by the government this fiscal, in terms of existing account deficits, high inflation and depreciation of the cedi against prominent international currencies.

A strict budget was thus announced by the government, as a response to the challenges, as it is determined to decrease the fiscal deficit of about 14 per cent to 9.5 per cent this year.

The minister informed that a further US$425 million would also be made available, in addition to the loan, with the aim of increasing foreign reserves; as a result of the G-20 decision to increase the IMF's special drawing rights by US$250 billion.

Dr. Duffuor said that the release of the amount was not dependent on having a programme with the Fund, and was also not based on any pre-set conditions.

He continued: "In all, the loan based programme with the IMF (US$597 million) and the additional allocation based on Ghana's quota (US$425 million) is therefore US$1,022 million."

Ghana would be getting US$625 million of the total amount before the year's end. It should be noted that remaining amount will be disbursed between 2010 and June 2012.