Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, a former staff member of the International Finance Corporation, has remarked that the favorable remarks made by different International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank officials on the current status of Ghana’s economy are consistent with their organizational culture.
He said that because of the IMF’s financial commitments to the country’s economy through the $3 billion bailout sought by the government, representatives from the Bretton Woods organizations have been instructed on what to say.
“I was part of that system, that’s part of the work. I was in communication. I started with communication at the African Development Bank. I was the only black person in the Communication Department of the International Finance Corporation 30 years ago. That was part of my job. To make sure that the institutions said the right things about certain countries which were their clients,” he said on the January 21 edition of Hot Issues with Keminni Amanor.
Keminni had asked him what he thought of the IMF representatives’ encouraging sentiments, despite numerous concerns from members of the general public regarding difficulty in the nation.
It should be noted that the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Mission Chief for Ghana, Stéphane Roudet, stated on his Twitter platform that Ghana’s economy is improving.
He claims that, despite a hard global economic climate, Ghana’s economic reforms are yielding results and the economy is stabilizing.
“Growth has proven more resilient than it was envisaged, inflation is declining rapidly, the fiscal and external positions have improved, Bank of Ghana‘s international reserves have been increasing and exchange rate volatility has decreased,” he said.
It should also be noted that, following the Executive Board’s debate on Ghana’s application, Mr. Bo Li, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, released the following statement:
“Ghana’s economic performance has been marked by significant volatility over the years. Most recently, severe external shocks compounded pre-existing fiscal and debt vulnerabilities, leading to acute economic and financial pressures in 2022. The authorities’ efforts to reorient macroeconomic policies, restructure debt, and initiate wide ranging reforms are already generating positive results, with growth more resilient than initially envisaged, inflation declining, the fiscal and external positions improving, and international reserves increasing.”
The Managing Director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva also posted this on her X platform, January 16, “Wonderful to see @NAkufoAddo and @oofmghana at #WEF24. The policy and reform commitments under Ghana’s economic program are starting to bear fruit.”
However, Dr. Spio-Garbrah, a National Democratic Congress (NDC) loyalist, insisted that they are only performing their duties.
“That is what the world bank would say. I used to work there. So, that’s what they would have to say. Because they have given us money through the IMF, they are all Bretton Woods institutions, the IMF, the World Bank Group, the International Financial Corporation, that’s where I worked, have a reason to say the positives things about Ghana, because their money is now here.
They may have said something else if they didn’t have the $3 billion loan Ghana received from the IMF. However, they now have “skin in the game,” as Europeans or Americans would phrase it. So, they have an investment in Ghana, and they must support the economy with language, reports, and conferences that say the appropriate things, so that their money does not go to waste,” the former Information Minister explained.