The country needs to diversify its economy further to be less reliant on cocoa exports and explore new markets.
Ghana successfully secured a $3 billion funding package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) earlier this month, President Nana Akufo-Addo announced during the Qatar Economic Forum.
In a candid conversation with Bloomberg Television Correspondent Jennifer Zabasajja on Wednesday, Akufo-Addo asserted his government’s commitment to a disciplined implementation of the IMF deal to stabilise the economy and manage debts.
The African state leader stressed that the financial support will serve as a springboard for economic revitalisation, while helping the administration to effectively regulate inflation and interest rates.
Though the economy was stabilising before the pandemic, he said, Covid-19 caused significant issues.
“The COVID-19 pandemic, followed by the Russia-Ukraine disaster, had a tremendous impact on our economy. Suddenly, we were facing major challenges in our balance of payments,” the president said.
“Our currency declined, interest rates went out of the window, and inflation became a pressing concern. All of these factors forced us to seek assistance from the IMF.”
Further funding will depend on how disciplined Ghana is in implementing the programme while focusing on domestic mobilisation. While China is a controversial topic in the West, the leader said, its involvement with African nation allowed it to secure the assistance it needs.
“China played a very positive and proactive role. They co-chaired the official creditor
committee, which was the final hurdle we had to overcome before seeking assistance from the fund,” he told Zabasajja.
“China was extremely supportive and gave the green light for the fund to assess the
Ghanaian situation. I have no hesitations or criticisms regarding China’s involvement. Their involvement in the Ghanaian economy could prove to be very helpful.”
The president also mentioned the need to expand beyond cocoa exports, with new crops being introduced to penetrate new markets.
During the panel talk, he outlined key strategies that include bolstering domestic savings, managing public spending, and galvanising private-sector investment.
As the world’s second-largest cocoa producer, Ghana is keen on expanding its chocolate production to capitalise on its leading industry. Akufo-Addo acknowledged the challenges of this process, describing it as “daunting.” Nonetheless, he expressed optimism in the face of such hurdles.
Akufo-Addo’s government is also pushing to comply with new European Union export standards for cocoa.
He emphasised their proactive efforts to venture into untapped markets in Asia and other regions, demonstrating a clear intent to broaden the country’s cocoa export landscape.