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General News of Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Source: The Insight

Dr. Botchwey admits: “Ghana is going for a full blown IMF Programme”

Dr Kwesi Botchwey, an economic advisor to the President, has finally admitted that Ghana is going for a full blown IMF programme which would have conditionalities.

He did not disclose the conditions attached to the programmes, but calmly accepted that some of them could impose hardship on the people.

He said, “The decision to re-engage with the IMF is meant to, hopefully, enable us to agree on the medium term, on a three-year fully funded programme to enable us to get some resources for balance of payment support, as well as to give us the kind of credibility in the markets that the fund programme brings to investors.

“So it is a negotiation for a full blown Fund programme, including access to Fund resources and the comfort it will bring to the markets in the knowledge that some external agency has agreed to chip in to help alleviate the current economic challenges.”

Dr Botchwey, who served as Ghana's Minister of Finance and Economic Planning for 13 years, was speaking in an exclusive interview with “Africa Watch” magazine.

He is credited with the pursuit of the most elaborate neo-liberal programme in Ghana’s history involving the privatization of the state enterprises, the massive devaluation of the national currency, mass lay-offs and the withdrawal of subsidies from the social sector.

Dr Botchwey now leads Ghana’s team negotiating with the International Monetary Fund for bail out.

H said “we are pragmatist. At this point, our economy needs some intervention from somewhere, and we think that our best bet is with the IMF. The comfort it will bring to the market is the knowledge that some external agency has agreed to chip in to help alleviate the current economic problems…….

“Even the opposition knows this if you leave aside the politics, their reactions have been positive,” he said.

According to Dr. Botchwey, IMF support comes with some conditions, it is part of the mandate of the IMF. So yes, the Fund will seek to ensure that the commitments you make are honoured.

But you know we have come a long way from the old-style Fund conditionalities…..”

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