Director of Research at the Institute of Economic Affairs, IEA, Dr. John Kwakye, says government’s revenue agreement with the International Monetary Fund, IMF for revenue generation is not ambitious enough.  

He said there is a need for government to increase and diversify exports. He said the country is struggling because the revenue mobilization is not encouraging. Dr. Kwakye said although the country has a lot of natural resources, it has allowed Foreign investors to take over. He added that the country can only develop if government mobilizes resources to fund various sectors of the economy. 

This, he said, will avoid the need to continuously run to the IMF for support.

Dr. Kwakye was speaking at a media Interface on Ghana’s IMF Bailout, which was on the theme  ” THE 17TH IMF BAILOUT: What did Ghana sign-up for? Considerations for 2023 mid-year budget review.”

“let me say that if you listen to the presentations, you will get the sense that we are struggling as a country. We think we are a poor country, what I must say is we are not a poor country. You know we can raise more revenue, we are not doing enough when it comes to revenue generation. We have a lot of natural resources you know, gold, diamond and many others. Development is about mobilizing resources to fund various sectors of the economy. If you don’t have enough resources, then, of course, you run to the IMF and the World Bank begging for money every now and then,” Dr Kwakye said.

“President  of Rwanda has said that those who have natural resources and go around the world begging must have something wrong with me.  We are not in a poor country. So why can’t we address the problem of our natural resources? Well, you know, we let foreigners come in here and take over. If we continue to do that, we are never going to be able to make any progress,” He added.

An Economist and Political Risk Analyst, Dr. Theo Acheampong said Ghana is in debt distress and this calls for concern. Dr Acheampong said government must contain its expenditure which has seen a major spike. He wonders whether there is going to be light at the end of the tunnel, that is when the IMF program ends in 2026.

“Ghana is not out of trouble yet, despite the IMF deal. It still needs to restructure its external debt, implement structural reforms as well as financial and monetary sector reforms among others. I agree we other analysts that going into the elections next year, this idea of meeting some of the expenditure target will be problematic, and I only speak on the basis of what is happening in history”. Dr Acheampong noted

Executive Director at the Africa Centre for Energy Policy, ACEP, Ben Boakye said although the IMF program may not address all concerns of stakeholders, it is a good start. He called for proper monitoring of the programme to help achieve its goal.

“When it comes to the IMF program, we may not address concerns of every stakeholder or individual who has participated in efforts to shape the program but I appreciate that it is a framework that if we are able to monitor and implement, it could see a quick recovery from the current situation that we find ourselves in us a country. The two sectors that are prime on the IMF program are the energy and cocoa sectors, and if look at those two sectors, they did not go to Ukraine or Russia, these need to generate revenue but we are not able to do so,” Mr. Boakye said.

The program was organised by the Economic Governance Platform, a Coalition of CSOs focused on ensuring the efficient and effective use of Public resources.