Ghana President John Mahama Pledges to End IMF Bailouts in Next Term as December Poll Campaigns Tighten

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Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama pledged that the West African country won’t seek further bailouts from the International Monetary Fund while economic growth will almost double next year as he seeks a second term.

Mahama is leading his National Democratic Congress to polls scheduled for December while the country is in the second year of an almost $1 billion loan-program with the IMF. Ghana turned to the Washington-based lender in April 2015 after lower prices for its gold, cocoa and oil exports caused debt to balloon and the currency to decline against the dollar while regular power cuts weighed on the economy.

“Ghana’s current IMF program will be the last of all IMF programs,” Mahama said Tuesday in a televised presentation of the NDC’s key manifesto points. “With the institutional reforms we have implemented in the economy, Ghana will not need to go to the IMF again for any credit facility.”

Ghana’s gross domestic product will expand by more than 8 percent in 2017 as new oil and gas projects come on stream, Mahama said. The economy will grow between 4.1 percent and 4.3 percent this year, Finance Minister Seth Terkper said in July, after GDP expanded 3.9 percent in 2015, the slowest in almost two decades. Inflation, which measured 16.7 percent in July, will fall to below 10 percent next year, Mahama said.

Ghana, the world’s second-biggest cocoa producer, will increase annual output of the chocolate-making ingredient to one million metric tons, from about 750,000 tons, Mahama said.

Source: Bloomberg