Members of the Council State say they are optimistic about the economic fortunes of the country in the light of the country’s renewed growth trajectory under the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In light of this, the council commended the government for the hard work that went into achieving a quick IMF deal to help restore the fortunes of the country following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the sitting of the Council in Accra last Thursday, the Chairman of the Council of State, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, said "there is light ahead for Ghana. We must remain optimistic and steadfast in our belief that our country will overcome the challenges it currently faces.
‘’The IMF programme approval marks a turning point which will energise our path to renewed growth and catalyse further opportunities for economic recovery.”
The meeting which was attended by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, formed part of the government’s Post COVID-19 Programme for Economic Growth (PC-PEG) as well as the IMF sensitisation and stakeholder drive to educate Ghanaians on the details of Ghana’s Growth Agenda and the IMF Programme.
It is also to solicit inputs from all stakeholders to ensure effective implementation.
Mr Ofori-Atta echoed the chairman's sentiments and acknowledged the significant progress that the country had made so far.
“We have made significant strides in our recovery journey, and we are optimistic about the future. This IMF programme will provide the necessary support to restore our economy and set us on a path of sustained growth,” he said.
Detailing the programme, the minister said the PC-PEG was a multi-faceted programme with four key objectives of re-orienting Ghana's economic trajectory towards recovery and growth.
The foremost goal, Mr Ofori-Atta indicated, was to restore macroeconomic stability which entailed managing inflation, stabilising the exchange rate and creating a favourable business environment.
By regaining stability, the government aims to rebuild confidence among businesses and investors, which will set the stage for sustainable growth.
The second pillar of the PC-PEG is tackling Ghana's fiscal challenges, and the finance minister said the government was committed to doing so by bringing fiscal operations and public debt to sustainable levels.
To achieve that Mr Ofori-Atta said, “a comprehensive overhaul of tax administration is underway, along with measures to manage expenditure,” he said.
“Prudent fiscal policies will be implemented to alleviate the burden on future generations and ensure a sound economic foundation,” the minister added.
The PC-PEG also emphasised the significance of structural reforms, Mr Ofori-Atta added, stating, “the economic blueprint encompasses measures to improve the business environment, attract
private sector investments and bolster infrastructure development.”
The finance minister added that the financial sector would be strengthened and provided with the necessary support through regulatory forbearances, and the operationalisation of the Ghana
Financial Stability Fund (GFSF) to ensure a robust and resilient financial sector.
Some directors and programme heads who accompanied the finance minister explained that in line with the government's commitment to inclusiveness, the PC-PEG programme placed a focus on promoting strong and inclusive growth, while safeguarding the poor and vulnerable.
Responding to the Finance Ministry’s presentation, members of the Council of State called for the active cooperation of the government and citizens alike, especially in the areas of revenue mobilisation and expenditure rationalisation.
They further highlighted the need to carry citizens along in the PC-PEG/ IMF sensitisation and stakeholder drive.
The council members recommended the development of local language content to help foster a nationwide sense of ownership concerning Ghana’s economic recovery and growth pathway.
“Let us continue to engage the citizens of Ghana, explaining the fine details of this programme very well, and assuring them that there is redemption ahead. Indeed, there is light ahead,” Nana Otuo Siriboe.