The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has called on the World Bank to be more responsive to the global crises to avert the erosion of gains made in economic growth, poverty reduction, and human development and also increase concessional financing.
“We expect the WBG Evolution process to result in increased concessional financing commensurate to the multiple challenges faced by developing countries. More importantly a tripling of IDA resources in upcoming Replenishments”.
Ken Ofori-Atta said this when the World Bank Managing Director for Operations, Ms. Anna Bjerde paid a courtesy call on him. She was accompanied by Mr. Ousmane Diagana, Regional Vice President for Central and West Africa, Mr. Pierre Laporte, Country Manager and other officials of the World Bank.
Their discussions centered on Macroeconomic Developments, including progress with the IMF ECF programme, Climate Change, Energy Senator Issues, Social Protection and World Bank Evolution.
He acknowledged the ongoing discussions between the Bank and share holders to enhance the banks mission and its operating model, financial model etc. and added that the evolution of the bank should enhance partnerships with other development partners and the privates sector to maximize development outcomes.
“We look forward to a 21st-century Bank that will successfully mobilize resources from countries in the global north and the private sector to address poverty, inequality, and sustainability more effectively”.
On the country’s US$3 billion Extended Credit Facility IMF programme, the Minister indicated that the country was on course for a successful completion of its first review in November this year and the subsequent disbursement of an additional US$600 million.
“We expect to finalize an MOU with our official bilateral creditors before the first review of the IMF Programme is completed in November 2023. We have also started engaging our private creditors to seek relief on external commercial debt.”
Ken Ofori-Atta acknowledged the critical role of the World Bank throughout the process and expressed the country’s’ appreciation to the Bank.
On the energy sector issues, the Minister noted that the sector was a major concern for government as it posed significant risks to the recovery programme. He enumerated various interventions put in place to address the energy challenges. These include tariff adjustments, performance improvement plans, cash waterfall mechanism and IPP debt restructuring.
“These reforms are expected to clear the energy sector legacy debts and reduce the annual shortfalls to ensure that the sector’s financial viability is restored within the medium-term.”
Ms. Anna Bjerde on her part, commended Ghana for the progress made with the economic recovery programme particularly the IMF ECF.
She also expressed concern about the energy sector risks and asked government to focus on strategies to improve cost recovery as well as on renewable energy where Ghana has all the parameters needed for a successful programme.
The World Bank total portfolio in Ghana, covering 24 projects is valued at US$3222.21, as of June this year, cumulative disbursements was about 48.66% of the current portfolio.
The social sector has the highest share at 38%, followed by the Infrastructure and Economic Governance sectors with 32%, and 23% respectively. Climate and Energy sectors represent 7% and 0.6% respectively.