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International bodies to resume budget support to Ghana

As a result of International Monetary Fund (IMF) adopting and agreeing to support Ghana Government in a three-year credit facility programme, some countries and international bodies have decided to resume their budget support to the country.

The Ghana Government and IMF programme is posing confidence in some international bodies and other countries that for some years now have stop supporting Ghana’s budget.

One of such bodies who have pledge to start supporting the country’s budget is the European Union (EU).

Mr William Hanna, the Head of the European Union Delegation in Ghana said his outfit is confident in providing budget support to the Government of Ghana due to the adoption of the IMF’s three year extended credit facility programme.

Mr Hanna said a sound implementation of the programme was important, in order to restore macro-economic stability in Ghana with a view to creating an enabling framework for development, investment and job creation.

Mr Hanna said this when he addressed a press conference to announce the opening of Europe Week 2015 in Ghana. The event is under the theme: “EU-Ghana: Partnership for a Better World,” and it supposed to start from May 4-9, 2015.

He said its budgetary support was conditioned on certain rules and prerequisites, which the implementation of the IMF programme would ensure, thus there is the possibility of the EU resuming its support.

The Executive Board of the IMF in early April this year approved a three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for Ghana in an amount equivalent to SDR 664.20 million (180% of quota or about US$918 million) in support of the authorities’ medium-term economic reform programme.

The programme aims to restore debt sustainability and macroeconomic stability to foster a return to high growth and job creation, while protecting social spending.

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) received US$114 million on April 14, 2015, which is the first tranche of the US$918 million bailout package from the IMF.

Mr Hanna said the EU appreciated government’s commitment to improving public financial management, especially focusing on enhancing controls in public payroll management, the publication of a comprehensive and time-bound action plan to detect and remove ghost workers, secure and unify payroll databases and to sanction those responsible for fraud.

Mr Hanna pledged the EU’s continued support to Ghana in the pursuance of its development agenda, with additional support in areas of social protection, employment and skills development in order to support job creation and protection of the most vulnerable in Ghana as well as anti-corruption and rule of law.

“We are looking forward to the publication of the quarterly progress reports by the inter-ministerial committee on payroll,” he said.

Mr Hanna said the EU was ready to support Ghana in the implementation of the challenging structural reforms, as sound economic governance, better tax and customs administration and a widening of the tax base will all contribute to a sustainable development of the country and a better investment climate in the future.

He said the partnership between Ghana and the European Union dated back to Ghana’s independence and has since 2000, being based on the framework of the Cotonou agreement.

Mr Hanna said it was in the common interests of both Ghana and the EU to build a stronger partnership, based on shared historic cooperation and values such as a deep attachment to democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights.

He outlined three areas of cooperation between the two sides, where stronger partnership was being built: political, trade, business and Investment, and development cooperation.

Under political dialogue, Mr Hanna said there would soon be a political dialogue between the EU and Ghana at the highest levels, not only with government but also with civil society following a roadmap recently agreed with them.

The agenda for the dialogue will be peace and security in the West African region, including maritime security, governance, support for democracy and migration, which was a pressing issue domestically for most members of the EU.

Credit: with files from GNA


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