IMF team visits Ghana on Monday to discuss lending program request

(Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund confirmed on Sunday that a team of staff will visit Ghana this week to continue discussions with the authorities on policies and reforms that could be supported by an IMF loan agreement.

Ghana turned to the IMF for help in July as its balance of payments deteriorated and hundreds took to the streets to protest economic hardship. An IMF staff team made a brief visit to the country two weeks later.

Reuters’ reported last week that an IMF team would visit Ghana this week. The IMF, in a statement on Sunday, said the team would arrive on Monday and stay until October 7.

The government of Ghana, a major producer of gold and cocoa, is struggling to control runaway inflation, reduce public debt and consolidate the local currency. Its balance of payments deficit swelled to nearly $2.5 billion at the end of June, from about $935 million in March.

A source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters last month that a possible agreement between Ghana and the IMF is likely to consist of $3 billion in financing over a three-year period and will contain elements of both the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and the Extended Financing Facility. (EFF).

(Reporting by Jaiveer Singh Shekhawat in Bengaluru; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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