Economists now warn that relief is not coming as soon as the government said. These sentiments come against the backdrop of the IMF approving a 3 billion dollar bailout package for Ghana. The first tranche of 600 million dollars was released by the international monetary fund on the 19th of May to the government of Ghana.
Speaking at a joint press briefing with the IMF, the Minister of Finance Ken Ofori Atta said the government will inject the funding to run its day-to-day functions and ease service delivery to the public. The minister further went to urge Ghanaians to sigh as calvary had arrived.
However, these sentiments are not shared across the board. According to economists such as Joe Jackson, the market is yet to react positively to news of the IMF bailout. “Borrowing rates will not come down as quickly as projected. Banks are more careful about who they are lending to businesses are under a microscope scrutinizing them carefully before issuing any money while rates are still high. In the next 6 to 8 months, borrowing will not be easy.”
Despite caution from experts, the government maintains that though rugged, the country is on a path to recovery. According to the Ministry of Finance, the country was at its economic peak in 2019 until covid 19.” The government borrowed and invested in projects in 2019. The return on these investments was to begin showing. Unfortunately, the pandemic struck, and the economy retracted growing by only 0.5 percent. We lost the opportunity for growth and are now working towards a gradual rebuild.”
While borrowing was the only option to turn the economy around for Ghana after a tumultuous year, seasoned civil servants are calling for self-sustainability. According to Dr. Kwame Pianim, the government should forgo ambitious double-digit economic growth dreams and focus on slow but steady growth every year. “Double-digit growth calls for mega infrastructure projects which translates to aggressive borrowing. Piling debt leaves the country vulnerable thus forcing us back to the IMF.”