Statement by IMF First Deputy Managing Director John Lipsky at the Conclusion of his Visit to Ghana

Press Release No. 10/46
February 17, 2010

Mr. John Lipsky, First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), visited Accra, February 16-17, 2010. Mr. Lipsky met with President Atta Mills and his economic team to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing Ghana. He also exchanged views with members of Parliament on the challenges facing the global economy and African countries, including Ghana, as well as recent changes in IMF lending terms.

Mr. Lipsky issued the following statement in Accra at the conclusion of his visit:

“This is my first visit to Ghana in my capacity as First Deputy Managing Director of the IMF. I wish to thank President Atta Mills, Minister of Finance Duffuor, Central Bank Governor Amissah-Arthur, and other senior government officials for their hospitality and the quality of our discussions. I also had productive exchanges with members of Parliament and civil society organizations on economic issues, particularly how best to address challenges facing Ghana and policy options for improving the conditions of Ghanaian citizens.

“I welcome the productive discussions I have had with the authorities on Ghana’s economic outlook and the challenges to be met. Economic prospects are encouraging. Strong demand for cocoa and gold cushioned Ghana from the worst effects of the global recession, and for 2010, a modest economic recovery is expected. In order to allow a return to a strong growth path that will lead to a significant reduction in poverty, the government needs to remain firmly committed to its macroeconomic stabilization program over the next two years. This includes strengthening budget implementation to create the fiscal space for oil production revenues to be dedicated to poverty-reducing programs.

“The IMF stands ready to support Ghana in its efforts to meet macroeconomic challenges. In July 2009, our Executive Board approved a new PRGF-supported program amounting to US$602.6 million to help the country tackle budget imbalances (see Press Release No. 09/263). In addition, in the context of the allocation of Special Drawing Rights issued to all IMF members, Ghana received about US$450 million that will further support its official reserve position (see Press Release No. 09/283).

“I’m delighted to confirm that Ghana has been selected to host AFRITAC-West II, the IMF’s second regional technical assistance center in West Africa. This center will allow Ghana and five other African countries (Cape Verde, The Gambia, Nigeria, Liberia, and Sierra Leone) to benefit from the Fund’s highly successful model of providing targeted regional technical assistance. For a country like Ghana, AFRITAC-West II will serve as a conduit for introducing international best practices into a range of economic management systems in the country.

“Again, I would like to thank the authorities for their hospitality, and to underline that we will continue to work closely with them, to support their economic reforms and their efforts to foster deeper economic development and a reduction of poverty in Ghana”.



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