Business News of Tuesday, 15 April 2014
Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde has downplayed assertions that a bailout programme from them could see Ghana go through another phase of hardship while the country tries to meet its strict conditionality in order to restore fiscal discipline and macroeconomic stability.
‘Structural adjustments? That was before my time. I have no idea what it is. We do not do that anymore. No, seriously, you have to realize that we have changed the way in which we offer our financial support. It is really on the basis of a partnership’.
The implementation of IMF’s structural adjustment programme in the 80’s saw subsidies wiped, public sector jobs cut while wages kept low, moves which however restored economic growth.
There are speculations that Ghana could be heading to the IMF for a bailout programme.
The Ghanaian economy in the past months has been faced with some critical ailing conditions amidst high inflation, slower economic growth, depreciation of the cedi amongst others.
Speaking at a press briefing at the IMF and World Bank Spring Meeting, IMF Managing director, Christine Lagarde says the fund has changed its approach in the implementation of its programmes which focuses on partnership.
‘There is always in partnership a bit of hardship to go with it. If the Fund is called upon to help, it is that the country feels that it cannot decide certain things on its own. It needs backup support, financing to make sure that it has access to enough funding to finance itself.
The third thing that we have done and that is probably the fastest growing part of the activity of the Fund is technical assistance and capacity-building. So, it is a new face……..’
‘You know that we just opened in Accra, Ghana, our fifth Regional Training Center. This is our fifth location. So, we provide all sorts of things. We provide surveillance. We try to make it more sophisticated, better adjusted to the new economy, more connected, more balance between the various regions and areas of the world’.