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IMF sending team to Ghana to start aid talks

The IMF will send a team to Ghana this week to begin talks on a possible loan program for the West African nation, the fund announced Tuesday. The nation's President Nana Akufo-Addo had previously rejected calls to seek financial assistance from the IMF, but last week authorized the step as the country faces soaring inflation.…

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo gives a speech during the 75th anniversary celebrations of The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at UNESCO headquarters in Paris on November 12, 2021. (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / POOL / AFP)

The IMF will send a team to Ghana this week to begin talks on a possible loan program for the West African nation, the fund announced Tuesday.

The nation’s President Nana Akufo-Addo had previously rejected calls to seek financial assistance from the IMF, but last week authorized the step as the country faces soaring inflation.

“On the basis of a request from the Ghanaian authorities, an IMF staff team will in the coming days kick-start discussions on a possible program to support Ghana’s homegrown economic policies,” Carlo Sdralevich, IMF mission chief for Ghana, said in a statement.

“We are at an early stage in the process, given that detailed discussions are yet to take place,” Sdralevich said.

He will lead the International Monetary Fund staff team visit to Accra July 6-13.

The announcement came followed two days of protests in the capital over the rising cost of food and fuel, after the country was hit with inflation of more than 27 percent in May — the highest in almost two decades.

Brawls have erupted in the hung parliament as the government tries to push tough policies it believes could salvage the economy.

Data from Ghana’s central bank indicates the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio was 80.1 percent at the end of last year, and fuel prices have shot up as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The IMF stands ready to assist Ghana to restore macroeconomic stability, safeguard debt sustainability, and promote inclusive and sustainable growth, and address the impact of the war in Ukraine and the lingering pandemic,” said Sdralevich.

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