ACCRA– The Ghanaian government will start negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an economic bailout.

A statement by the Ministry of Information said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had authorized finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta to start the formal engagements after a telephone conversation with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. 

This will be Ghana’s second bailout from IMF since 2015, coming just three years after the completion of the earlier package.

 “The engagement with the IMF will seek to provide a balance of payment support as part of broader efforts to quicken Ghana’s build-back in the face of the challenges induced by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine crisis,” added the statement.

The statement said the cabinet had given approval to the decision during its weekly meeting on Thursday. 

The West African cocoa, gold, and crude oil exporter saw its U.S. dollar reserves dropping to $8.3 billion from $9.7 billion at the end of 2021, according to data from the Bank of Ghana. 

Ghana’s public debt also ballooned to 78 percent of gross domestic product by the end of March. – Xinhua