Economy’s structure must change after IMF bailout – experts


Experts on the economy have advised that government must put in the necessary efforts to ensure that the structure of the economy does not remain same after the conclusion of the proposed programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Speaking on the topic ‘Managing IMF’s Expectation and Ghana’s Economy: the Way Forward’ at the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana’s breakfast meeting, Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) at the University of Ghana, Professor Peter Quartey, said that the economy must move from being import-driven to production-driven in order to avert the structural challenges that always push it to the IMF for a bailout.

“IMF will come and give you short-term economic respite, but we have to change the structure of the economy. We have to produce and export in a value-added form. I have seen some young ones putting efforts in adding value to some products, but the boost is not enough for me. The IMF will come but we need to put things in order. We should stop profiteering, it will not help us as Ghanaians,” he noted.

Also commenting on the theme, Senior Partner at KPMG, Anthony Sarpong, said that one benefit that the negotiation will bring to the country is price stability, but the survival of the country’s economic growth in the long term depends on good policies as well as strategies.

“IMF only helps you to rise to a certain point, but to survive in the long term, that is not what the IMF gives us. It is possible we can graduate from an IMF programme, but to sustain the stability will be our own actions. Some of the actions to take are ensuring that our internal production consistently follows policy. We have had knee-jerk policies in terms of industrialisation from one government to the other.

“There is a focus on industrialization, but because we are not so consistent to break the chain, we have not been able to get there. In a nutshell, I believe that discipline, consistency, good planning and if we implement these policies over time, we can certainly graduate from the IMF,” he said.

President for ICAG, Sena Dake, mentioned that the country’s insatiable appetite for foreign products must change to help exit the current economic shocks. She added that Ghana has a lot of opportunities in agriculture, yet a lot of manufactured products, including food, are imported.

Miss. Dake, speaking on the role of accountants, urged them to create and verify high-quality sustainability information as enablers and trusted advisors. She added that they must speak up against any administration’s attempts to spend outside its limits, push back and strongly advise against any attempts to make decisions that will not be in the best interest of the public and future.

“We have worked with and will continue working with other partners and regulatory agencies to make positive impacts on the development of public financial management and the nation’s economy, and this is another opportunity for us to contribute to resolving a long-term crisis that has befallen our country,” she said.

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