GAWU fears IMF may freeze gov’t investments in agric

Edward Kareweh, General Secretary, GAWU
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The Ghana Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) fears the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may place an embargo on government’s investments in the agricultural sector.

General Secretary of GAWU, Mr Edward Kareweh said farmers are not going to benefit from the programme.

“We should know that what we are going to get from IMF will not be in support of farmers or agriculture. They may freeze government expenditure with their conditionalities,” he said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday July 9.

“It’s unfortunate that we can mess up our economy to the extent of seeking the help of IMF. They will rather aggravate our problems than solve them,” he added.

Meanwhile, Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyerematen has said that the decision to go to the IMF should not be seen as a negative policy choice by government, presently, past or future.

In his view, the discussions around the IMF have been that of rancorous political discourses that should not be encouraged.

Mr Kyerematen called for a nationalistic view for the decision to head to the IMF.

“I believe that we need to have this conversation by acknowledging a few fundamental facts. First, it appears currently, our country is confronted with economic challenges which have been primarily occasioned and driven by the combined effect of Covid-19 pandemic as well as the Russia-Ukraine conflict. So this is a fact that we cannot run away from.

“Secondly, going to the IMF ought not to be seen as a negative policy choice. I believe that the negativity associated with going to the IMF for support has been driven by the rather rancorous political discourse over the years. It doesn’t matter whether it is the NDC or the NPP that is leading that discourse.

“I believe that there are certain fundamental issues that need to be discussed dispassionately as a united country driven by one national objective rather than us politicizing such critical issues,” he said on the Good Evening Ghana programme on Thursday July 7.

A Senior Fellow at the Africa Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET), Dr John Asafu-Adjaye, said investor confidence in Ghana’s economy dipped due to the downgrade by international credit rating agencies hence, it made sense to go to the Fund to rebuild that confidence.

Dr Asafu-Adjaye said the decision did not come to him as a surprise given the challenges that saddled the economy recently.

“Personally, I wasn’t surprised because given the sovereign rating downgrade, that Ghana suffered, Ghana is not able to to go into the capital market , investors confidence had gone down, capital flight. So I thought that going to the IMF makes sense in terms of restoring investor confidence,” he said during the 3businesscolloquium organized by Media General on Wednesday July 6.

The IMF staff team, led by Carlo Sdralevich, mission chief for Ghana, is in Ghana for the discussions with the Ghanaian authorities about a possible IMF-supported programme.

Mr. Sdralevich in a statement said “On the basis of a request from the Ghanaian authorities, an IMF staff team will in the coming days kick-start discussions on a possible program to support Ghana’s homegrown economic policies. We are at an early stage in the process, given that detailed discussions are yet to take place.”

“The IMF stands ready to assist Ghana to restore macroeconomic stability, safeguard debt sustainability, and promote inclusive and sustainable growth, and address the impact of the war in Ukraine and the lingering pandemic.”

“We are looking forward to our engagement with the authorities in Accra,” the Fund said.

The Government of Ghana on Friday July 1 announced that it was seeking support from the IMF.

This followed a telephone conversation between the President and the IMF Managing Director, Miss Kristalina Georgieva, conveying Ghana’s decision to engage with the Fund, a statement by the Ministry of Information said.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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