(Adds comments from Minister of Finance, economic details)
By Christian Akorlie
ACCRA, July 28 (Reuters) – Ghana is considering a possible three-year program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) worth around $2 billion to $3 billion, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said on Thursday.
“We may be thinking of a three-year program…but knowing that within two years we must have achieved most of what we intend to do,” he said in a statement. interview on Ghanaian television.
“We’re looking forward to anything, maybe two or three billion dollars over the period.”
Ghana, a producer of gold, cocoa and oil, faces a balance of payments deficit of nearly $1 billion and turned to the IMF earlier this month for a program of support after hundreds took to the streets to protest worsening economic hardship.
Inflation soared to 29.8% in June and the cedi currency has lost almost a quarter of its value this year, problems the government has blamed mainly on external factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
When Ghana last requested IMF assistance in 2015, it received $918 million for a three-year program. Because GDP has now increased, that could increase the quota, Ofori-Atta said.
An IMF staff mission visited Ghana July 6-13 to hold initial discussions on the support package and did not give a timeline for next steps. “Programs typically take about six months, but interventions to find balance of payments support need to be immediate and those discussions are ongoing,” Ofori-Atta said.
(Reporting by Christian Akorlie and Nellie Peyton Editing by Marguerita Choy and Matthew Lewis) (([email protected]; +221 77 298 1636;)) Keywords: GHANA ECONOMY/IMF (UPDATE 2, PIX)
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