WASHINGTON (AFP): International Monetary Fund executives approved a loan agreement with Ghana worth around $3 billion Wednesday, bolstering the West African country’s finances as it grapples with its worst economic crisis for decades.
The 36-month Extended Credit Facility (ECF) agreement “is focused on restoring macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability as well as implementing wide-ranging reforms to build resilience and lay the foundation for stronger and more inclusive growth,”IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement.
Ghana’s debt burden has grown in recent years, along with other sub-Saharan African countries, due to external shocks including the Covid-19 pandemic and economic fallout from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Ghana agreed to the IMF deal back in December, but final approval was held up for months while its creditors discussed the proposals.
The authorization by the fund’s board immediately unlocks the first tranche of funds, worth roughly $600 million, according to the IMF statement.
The program will help Ghana overcome immediate policy and financing challenges, mobilize external financing from development partners and provide a framework for the successful completion of the ongoing debt restructuring, the IMF said.