IN a statement made on Wednesday, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo expressed his government’s intention to pursue a ‘very disciplined approach’ in executing the IMF loan programme. Last week, the IMF’s executive board approved a three-year loan of $3bn for Ghana, with an initial disbursement of about $600 million.
Speaking at Qatar’s economic forum organised by Bloomberg, President Akufo-Addo emphasised Ghana’s commitment to rationalising expenditure and highlighted the benefits of the IMF programme, which would enable the government to access international debt markets. The President also acknowledged the constructive role played by China in supporting the IMF’s favourable evaluation of Ghana’s situation.
‘I don’t have any hesitations or any criticism about the Chinese involvement… I know it’s a matter of controversy in the West …but for us, they have been strong friends,’ said Akufo-Addo.
Ghana, alongside Cote d’Ivoire, the world’s leading cocoa producers, has faced significant scrutiny from Western nations, including the European Union, regarding the use of child labour in cocoa farms. President Akufo-Addo expressed confidence in meeting the EU’s legislative requirements and dismissed allegations of child labour as unfounded.
‘I have no doubt that we will meet the requirements of the EU legislation… We are confident that the allegation of child labour forms an important part of our cocoa, it’s not an allegation that has any foundation in fact,’ he stated.
Regarding the possibility of bartering gold for oil, President Akufo-Addo confirmed that such arrangements were already in motion, emphasising their positive impact on reducing dollar outflows.
‘That’s very much on the table, and it’s helping in terms of its impact on our dollar outflows,’ he affirmed.