December 10th , 2022


Emmanuel Adjei

2 months ago


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2 months ago

Former President John Dramani Mahama recently attacked Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), over the Fund's assessment of Ghana's economic downturn. The IMF has responded.

This comes after the IMF chief said that Ghana's economic problems were caused by external shocks, not by the government's poor policies.

Ms. Georgieva discussed the Ghanaian economy with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in a private discussion that took place on September 5, 2022, outside of the Africa Adaptation Summit, a climate change conference, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Ms. Georgieva called Ghana a "superb country," adding that the nation's current economic problems were not the product of domestic factors but rather of external shocks.

She claimed that, in contrast to certain claims, the Akufo-Addo administration's disastrous policies were not the cause of Ghana's current predicament. Rather, the causes were external.

"You have experienced exogenous shock damage, just like everyone else on the globe. The pandemic came first, then Russia's conflict in Ukraine. "We must understand that this mix of shocks, rather than poor national policy, is to blame, and we must support Ghana as a result," the IMF director stated.

However, the former president, Mahama, expressed dissatisfaction with the diagnosis provided by the IMF and questioned the Managing Director's assessment of the current state of the Ghanaian economy.

Despite the fact that Ms. Georgieva "reaffirms the commitment of the IMF to support the people of Ghana in these perilous times," Mr. Mahama said that it was "incontrovertible" that the "poor policies" of the government had contributed to the economic downturn.

In order to comprehend the dire state of the Ghanaian economy at the moment, he claimed that it was impossible to ignore policies like "the botched, insensitive, and dubious cost of closing down locally owned banks, unbridled levels of corruption and lack of accountability, including the mismanagement of COVID-19 funds, unconventional borrowing practices riddled with opaqueness and conflicts of interest, resulting in an unsustainable debt envelope, costly, experimental, and untested programs."

He claimed that if the IMF and other international diplomats ignored these considerations, they may "make an incorrect diagnosis and propose improper cures."

The post by Mr. Mahama on Facebook read, "While the custom in international diplomacy of being circumspect in one's remarks is respected, comments by high-ranking officials must be anchored in facts that take into account local circumstances and attitudes."

"It is undeniable that this government's bad policies, which have significantly exacerbated the catastrophic situation, are the reason Ghana is in He also counseled foreign ambassadors to discuss the Ghanaian economy in terms of local realities.

"International diplomats must take these realities into account and not just dismiss them, lest they diagnose the problem incorrectly and provide the wrong treatments." 

He also counseled foreign ambassadors to discuss the Ghanaian economy in terms of local realities.

"The economy of Ghana must be managed first and foremost for the Ghanaian who lives and feels it every day, not only for an international audience."

However, the IMF's Director of Communications, Gerry Rice, backed the assertion made by the IMF chief, stating that the current Ghanaian economy has been put under a lot of pressure by developments in Ukraine as well as COVID-19 shocks, in response to the comment made by Mr. Mahama, the 2020 presidential candidate of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), at a virtual press conference held on Monday.

He reiterated emphatically that the developments, which can be thought of as external shocks, have made the country's current condition worse.

A journalist's query, "There's criticism by former President Mahama of the IMF, seeming to commend, to suggest that the economic troubles there are completely the results of COVID-19 and the Ukraine war, and seeming to praise the administration," is followed by this. Can you respond to the criticism and then, lastly, the smaller country? I suppose that might just be bureaucratic maneuvering.

Mr. Rice replied, "I would argue, simply to repeat, that the crisis in Ukraine has caused a global economic shock that is hurting Ghana."

"For many of these nations, their fiscal leeway, if I may use that phrase, is already very constrained because they've already expended a lot of fiscal strength, or firepower, in the pandemic.

"As a result, the shock brought on by the conflict in Ukraine exacerbates other urgent policy issues. and we are well aware of that. And for that reason, as I said at the outset, we are stepping up to assist nations where we can, and that includes Ghana.

He added that "We had an IMF staff team in Accra in July to begin early conversations with the Ghanaian authorities." An IMF mission is scheduled in Ghana in the coming weeks to continue talks with the government over discussions for a Fund plan. And we described that mission as productive, said it was the beginning of the process, and said it set the stage for engagement, which is still going on today.

Ghana is requesting US$3 billion from the IMF to help the nation get through the harsh economic situation it is currently experiencing as a result of the fatal coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

A delegation from the IMF has already visited Ghana and had preliminary discussions about a potential IMF-support package with the Ministry of Finance. The delegation was led by Carlo Sdralevich, the Mission Chief for Ghana.


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