Ghana’s mountain of debt questioned by IMF

Par - in Accra

A Ghanaian flag on sale at a stall near the entrance to the bus station in Tamale. © AP/SIPA

Continuing doubts about Ghana's rising debts and the management of its central bank could delay the release of some $300m in loans, according to a source close to talks last week between the International Monetary Fund and officials in the finance ministry in Accra.

However Finance Minister Seth Terkper was confident that the IMF loan would go ahead, in an interview with The Africa Report in Accra on 30 August, and that the Washington-based institution’s concerns were mainly about policy actions that needed to be taken in the next stage of the process. Terkper insisted the government had controlled spending rigidly ahead of the election as required by the Fund.

A financial sector source in Accra said there could be slippage in the timetable unless the latest problems are resolved and that could damage market perceptions about Ghana. He added that it was « unthinkable » for the IMF board to stop the programme less than a hundred days before national elections on 7 December. « The IMF experts make their technical assessment and the IMF board will make a political decision, » the source added.

IMF directors in Washington were due to study the conclusions of last week’s special mission to Accra and vote on the release of another $100m to the government at a board meeting in mid-September. Similarly the World Bank and the African Development Bank, which are due to release loans worth $150m and $50m respectively will take their cues from the vote by the IMF board.

Read the rest of this article on The Africa Report, a publication of Groupe Jeune Afrique.