The Ministry in charge of Finance says popular government flagship policy, Free Senior High School (Free SHS) and other social interventions will not be cancelled amid the central government’s decision to seek an IMF bailout.
In a document sighted by AcademicWeek to clarify whether Free SHS will be cancelled should the government seek support from the Fund, the Ministry said IMF programmes are flexible, hence the free school program is safe.
“Free SHS among others are good social intervention programmes and it is the lack of financing and unsustainable debt burdens that could constrain a government’s ability to maintain its level of spending, including social or investment spending.
In our situation, the IMF may ask Ghana to consider curtailing lower priority or non-productive spending as part of its fiscal adjustment but to preserve priority social spending, including on health and education,” the Ministry stated.
The Finance Ministry’s comment comes after the Government of Ghana (GoG) July 1, 2022, announced it was seeking support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) amid the negative impact of Covid on the country’s economy.
The IMF bailout announcement follows a telephone conversation between President Nana Akufo-Addo and the IMF Managing Director, Miss Kristalina Georgieva, conveying Ghana’s decision to engage with the International Fund.
In response to His Excellency’s call, IMF representatives led by Mr Carlo Sdralevich arrived in the country on Tuesday, July 5 for further discussion on how best the Monetory Fund can be of help to save the worsening economy.
“On the basis of a request from the Ghanaian authorities, an IMF staff team will in the coming day kick-start discussions on a possible program to support Ghana’s homegrown economic policies,” Sdralevich told Nana Addo.
Carlo added, “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.”