In what has appeared to be a contradiction to his earlier statements and campaign promises, Ghana’s president Akufo-Addo has turned to the IMF for loans.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo ordered his Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to open talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for support. According to the presidency, the loan is urgently needed to support the country’s economy.
The information was contained in a statement by the Minister of Information, who revealed that the directive was given to the Finance Minister via a telephone call from the president.
It further reveals that President Akufo-Addo has already personally communicated with the Managing Director of the IMF, Miss Kristalina Georgieva, who gave him the approval for Ghana to approach the IMF formally.
“At a meeting on June 30th, 2022, the cabinet indicated its support for the decision,” the statement said on Friday, July 1st, 2022.
“The engagement with the IMF will seek to provide a balance of payment support as part of a broader effort to quicken Ghana’s build back in the face of challenges induced by the Covid-19 pandemic and, recently, the Russia-Ukraine crises”.
You will recall that upon assuming office, President Nana Akufo-Addo was very vocal about his intentions to turn Ghana and Africa at large from dependence on foreign aid. To follow up on his promises, he spearheaded a transition of the Ghanian economy from reliance on foreign aid.
Three years ago, the country successfully exited the IMF loan program, and the Ghanaian president received huge commendations for the move.
Critics praised the president’s decision to prevent Ghana from further debts after the country had received a loan of $ 918 million in 2015 to support its currency and stabilize the economy.
Many critics have slammed the move by the Ghanaian president, saying that he ate his words and has made ridiculed the African continent.
In 2017, Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo gave a speech where he stressed the need for African leaders to put an end to foreign aid. He emphasized that it “won’t work, it has not worked and it will not work.”
What made the president receive more commendations for his speech was the fact that he delivered it right in front of President Emmanuelle Macron. The Ghanaian president said that Africa should be helping itself instead of leaning on foreign counterparts.
He drew comparisons with Asia and said that 60 years after gaining independence, “Ghana should not need to rely on the generosity and charity of European taxpayers to fund many of its sectors.”
Critics say that his current move counters all he stood for and has changed the perception of Africans about him.
However, there are some who believe that there is nothing wrong with the president’s decision to apply for a loan from the IMF. They argue that in recent months, Ghanaians have been feeling the pinch of record inflation and the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war amid cuts in government spending to avoid a full-blown debt crisis.
What are your thoughts?