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2009 Article IV Consultation and Request for a Three-Year Arrangement Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
August 2009
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Information about Sub-Saharan Africa África subsahariana
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June 29, 2009

I. Relations with the Fund

I. Membership Status: Joined 09/20/1957; Article VIII

II. General Resources Account:

SDR Million% Quota
Quota369.0100.0
Fund holdings of currency369.0100.0
Reserve position in Fund0.00.0

III. SDR Department:

SDR Million% Allocation
Net cumulative allocation63.98100.00
Holdings0.050.09

IV. Outstanding Purchases and Loans:

SDR Million% Quota
PRGF Arrangements105.4528.58

V. Latest Financial Arrangements:

ApprovalExpirationApprovedDrawn
TypeDateDate(SDR Million)(SDR Million)
PRGF05/09/200310/31/2006184.5184.5
PRGF05/03/199911/30/2002228.8176.2
PRGF06/30/199505/02/1999164.4137.0

VI. Projected Payments to the Fund1

(SDR million; based on existing use of resources and present holdings of SDRs):

Forthcoming
20092010201120122013
Principal10.5421.0921.09
Charges/interest0.670.820.800.720.62
Total0.670.8211.3421.8121.71

VII. Implementation of HIPC Initiative:

A. Commitment of HIPC assistanceEnhanced Framework
Decision point dateFeb 2002
Assistance committed by all creditors (US$ million)22,186.0
Of which: IMF assistance (US$ million)112.1
(SDR equivalent in millions)90.05
Completion point dateJuly 2004
B. Disbursement of IMF assistance (SDR million)
Assistance disbursed to the member90.05
Interim assistance25.06
Completion point balance64.99
Additional disbursement of interest income34.25
Total disbursements94.30

VIII. Implementation of Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI):

A. MDRI-eligible debt (SDR million)4265.39
Financed by MDRI Trust220.04
Remaining HIPC resources45.35
B. Debt relief by Facility (SDR million)
Eligible Debt
Delivery dateGRAPRGFTotal
January 2006n/a265.39265.39

IX. Safeguards Assessment

As Fund policy requires, the Bank of Ghana was subject to a safeguards assessment with respect to the PRGF arrangement approved on May 9, 2003. The assessment, which was completed on October 15, 2003, made recommendations for addressing specific vulnerabilities in the external audit, financial reporting, internal audit, and internal controls areas. The authorities confirmed that all measures proposed were implemented. In accordance with IMF policy, an update safeguards assessment will be conducted no later than the completion of the first review under the proposed new three-year arrangement under the PRGF.

X. Exchange Rate Arrangement

On February 2, 1994, Ghana accepted obligations under Article VIII, Sections 2(a), 3, and 4, of the Fund’s Articles of Agreement. The exchange rate regime is classified as a managed float with no pre-determined path. The system is free of restrictions on payments and transfers for current international transactions. At the end of May 2009, the average exchange rate for transactions in the interbank market was GH¢1.475 per U.S. dollar.

XI. Article IV Consultation

The 2008 Article IV consultation discussions were held in Accra during March 23-April 8, 2008. The staff report (Country Report No. 08/344) was discussed by the Executive Board on June 30, 2008 and is posted on the IMF website.

XII. FSAP Participation

Ghana participated in the FSAP in 2000–01, and a Financial System Stability Assessment (FSSA) was issued to the Executive Board in 2001. An FSAP update was presented to the Board in December 2003.

XIII. Technical Assistance

SubjectDepartmentDate
Advise on establishing large taxpayers unitFAD2002/03
Review of public expenditure management
reformsFAD2002/03
Tax policyFADMay 2003
Fiscal ROSCFADFeb. 2004
Regional advisor on public expenditure managementFAD2004/06
Assessment of petroleum pricing mechanismFADJan. 2005
Public financial managementFADMar.-Jun. 2006
Enhancing fiscal disciplineFADMay 2008
Revenue administrationFADJan. 2009
Tax policyFADApr. 2009
Revenue administrationFADApr. 2009
Fiscal regime for natural resourcesFADJun. 2009
Accounting and internal audit reformMFDJul./Nov. 2002
Mar. 2003
Foreign exchange market, government securities market, and banking system issuesMFDApr. 2003
Joint FSAP follow-up with World BankMFDJun. 2003
Multitopic technical assistance initiationMFDNov. 2004
Improving monetary operations, banking supervision and payment systemsMFDNov. 2004
Medium-term debt management strategyMCMMar. 2008
Money and banking statisticsSTAJul. 2002
Jan.-Feb. 2004
Apr. 2007
Mar. 2008
Apr.-May 2009
National accounts statisticsSTASep./Oct. 2001
Aug.-Dec. 2002
Sep. 2003
Feb. 2009
National accounts and pricesSTAMar. 2004
Oct. 2004
Apr.-May 2005
Apr.-May 2006
Sep. 2006
Government finance statisticsSTAMar. 2005
May-Jun. 2006
May-Jun. 2009
Balance of payments statisticSTAFeb. 2009
Pilot study of access to private capital marketsICMMay 2003
Nov. 2004
The remittance marketLEGApr.-May 2006

XIII. Resident Representative

The Fund has had a Resident Representative office in Accra since June 1985. The current resident representative, Mr. M. Arnold McIntyre, assumed the post in August 2006.

II. Ghana-Joint World Bank-IMF Work Program, 2009–10

TitleProductsProvisional timing of missionExpected delivery date
A. Mutual information on relevant work programs
Bank work program in next 12 months1. Poverty assessment

2. Public expenditure review

3. PRSC 7
January 2010November 2009

June 2010

April 2010
IMF work program in next 12 months1. First PRGF review/2010 budget discussions

2. Second PRGF review/2010 Article IV consultation
November 2009

February 2010
December 2009

March 2010
B. Requests for work program inputs
Fund request to Bank1. Assessment of progress with civil service reform

2. Assessment of energy sector recovery strategy
November 2009

December 2009
Bank request to IMF1. Regular updates of performance under Fund-supported program

2. Regular updates of macroeconomic projections
Continuous

Continuous
C. Agreement on joint products and missions
Joint products in next 12 months1. DSA

2. FSAP
T.B.D.March 2010

April 2010

III. Ghana: Statistical Issues

1. Data provided to the Fund are broadly adequate for surveillance purposes, but the quality and timeliness of certain data need to be improved. There are notable deficiencies in the dissemination of statistical information to the public, as well as in the reporting for Fund publications, although the situation has improved recently with the publication on the Bank of Ghana’s Web site of the Monetary Policy Committee Statement, Statistical Releases, and monthly monetary series for 2001–09. Data for publication in the International Financial Statistics (IFS) on international transactions were last reported for 2006, and monthly government finances for 2008, and on national accounts for 1997. No quarterly balance of payments data are currently reported for publication in the IFS. The latest available data reported for publication in the Government Finance Statistics Yearbook (GFSY) are for 2008. However, these data cover only the cash revenue and expense transactions of the budgetary central government. Also, there have been long delays in the release by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) of census and survey results, irregularity in the quarterly statistical digest. The authorities are making efforts to improve the quality and timeliness of economic and financial data through participation in the Fund’s General Data Dissemination System (GDDS) and the external sector and government finance statistics modules of the GDDS Project for Anglophone African Countries. GDDS metadata have been posted on the Fund’s Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB) since July 2005, but need to be updated.

National accounts and prices

2. The IMF’s Statistics Department has provided TA on national accounts (NA) over the period 2001 to 2009. A “bundled” TA mission visited Accra during March 12–26, 2008, with a follow-up mission in February 2009. The main objectives of these missions were to assist the GSS in (a) developing a plan to adopt the System of National Accounts 1993 (1993 SNA); (b) rebasing the national accounts—currently dating from 1993; and (c) ensuring that plans are in place for a comprehensive data collection program to improve the source data.

3. The February 2009 mission confirmed the recommendations of the March 2008 TA mission that the 2004 Supply and Use Table (SUT) includes more updated and comprehensive sources. It confirmed that Ghana’s national accounts are considerably understated, and recommended that the 2004, which consolidates new data sources, should be the basis for benchmarking the national accounts. The mission also pointed out some minor areas where changes to the estimates should be undertaken. There are still some concepts and methods that need to be addressed to insure compliance with the 1993 SNA. Incorporation of new data sources and rebasing of the national accounts to 2004, planned to be completed by end-2009. are likely to result in a significant upward revision of estimates of GDP.

4. Improving the source data by creating a statistical system built on a regular survey program is a priority for increasing accuracy and reliability. In this regard the following areas require action: (i) design and building a business register that have a minimum of information on output values, if possible input values, and the number of employees. The 2003 National Industrial Census 2004/2 (NIC) serves as a good starting point, but must be maintained and extended to cover also service industries; (ii) create a national statistical system containing regular business surveys for manufacturing, construction, transport and communication, and other service industries (surveys on retail trade and NPISH are urgently needed); (iii) create a system for annual household surveys that is less comprehensive than the current Living Standards Survey (round 5) 2005/06 (GLSS) and which could be carried out on a more frequent basis; and (iv) carry out an agricultural census.

5. To address problems in the compilation of price statistics and national accounts, a peripatetic advisor was assigned to Ghana during 2001–04. Follow-up technical assistance has been provided under the GDDS project for Anglophone Africa. Work on updating the CPI weights using the fourth Ghana Living Standard Survey (1998/1999) was completed in mid-2006. In March 2007, STA assisted the GSS in developing a producer price index (PPI), which is now published.

Labor statistics

6. The scarcity of labor statistics is a cause for concern. Labor statistics are almost nonexistent, although some wage indicators are available from the Social Security National Insurance Trust (SSNIT). The Ministry of Employment has been receiving technical assistance from the United Nations Development Program and the International Labor Organization in the design and compilation of labor statistics.

7. Steps have been taken to improve fiscal data. The Controller Accountant General Department (CAGD) currently compiles monthly budget implementation reports, and the data are available within six weeks, although some factors undermine their reliability. There is a need for comprehensive and timely reconciliation of monthly treasury data with bank accounts. To address these shortcomings, the government has formed a committee to define the nature of “broad” and “narrow” government; moved to a system of immediate booking for “direct debits” and more frequent reporting of government account balances; and is implementing a new automated Budget and Public Expenditure Management System (BPEMS). The BPEMS covers ministries, departments, and agencies. However, the economic classification is not sufficiently detailed for data to be compiled in accordance with the requirements of GFSM 2001. In June 2006 a STA mission proposed classification of transactions in line with international guidelines.

8. There are also problems of transactional coverage. The CAGD and the BOG have been missing a substantial part of central government spending, such as donor flows disbursed directly to ministries and those arising from internally generated funds. They have also had difficulties in accounting for expenses paid by extrabudgetary funds. The operations of special funds, such as the SSNIT, the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETF) and the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), are not yet covered in the fiscal accounts. Although the majority of local government expenses are directly met from budgetary accounts, the revenue of local governments and related spending, and transactions financed from the DACF are not yet covered. Extending the coverage of fiscal data to general government is strongly encouraged.

9. Comprehensive solutions to some of the data problems may have to await full implementation of the new BPEMS system and incorporation of Fund technical advice.

Various missions from FAD have suggested short-term, temporary solutions to alleviate current data quality problems. A joint Bank-Fund mission in 2004 assessed progress on monitoring poverty-related spending through the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Assessments and Actions Plans; a Fiscal Transparency Report on Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) was undertaken in July 2004; and STA provided further technical assistance in March 2005.

10. The country has elected to participate in the UK Department for International Development (DFID) under the Phase 2 initiative, which is a continuation of the DFID General Data Dissemination System Project for Anglophone Africa. The purpose of this project is to enhance the capacity of participating countries’ statistical systems. The DFID Phase 2 Project will rely on the GDDS framework to introduce improvements in fiscal reporting based on the methodology of the GFSM 2001. The Project ends in April 2009 and is expected that two or three missions will be required to complete the GFS module. An STA mission recommended an enhancement of the chart of accounts so as to include financing transactions and additional details on revenue and expense classifications. This mission also assisted the authorities with bridging their data with the GFSM 2001 framework. It recommended establishing an interagency working group to delineate the general government sector to ensure consistency of coverage amongst all datasets. The mission has also initiated the compilation of data for extrabudgetary and social security funds and recommended, as a first step, to expand coverage of fiscal data to at least the consolidated central government.

Monetary statistics and international reserves

11. While BOG had made significant progress implementing the previous missions’ recommendations on monetary and financial statistics, continued efforts are needed to improve the methodological soundness of the data. There have been three mission on to Ghana during 2007–09 in this area. The 2007 mission focused on the residency criterion in the BOG accounting data used as the source to generate monetary statistics, and in the sectorization of the government accounts with other depository corporations (ODCs). The mission assisted the BOG to automatically derive the standard forms to report monetary statistics (SRFs) for the central bank (SRF 1SR) and the ODCs (SRF 2SR) to STA, in light of the recommendations of the Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual. The BOG currently reports monthly data with a lag of four to six weeks, and data from the ODCs with a lag of eight to ten weeks. The March 2008 mission found that significant progress has been achieved in implementing STA’s earlier recommendations, especially to improve data for the ODCs. The mission agreed with the BoG staff on a plan to expand the coverage of the ODCs to include the savings and loans companies, rural banks, money market mutual funds, and credit unions; and compiled a comprehensive list of the financial corporations operating in Ghana, including the timing and frequency of the data reported to the various regulatory agencies. The mission proposed that the BoG starts compiling the Other Financial Corporations (OFCs) Survey, covering finance and leasing companies.

12. The April-May 2009 mission concluded that the implementation of earlier advice was uneven. While substantial progress was made in strengthening the source data for the BOG and expanding institutional coverage of the ODCs to include rural banks and savings and loans companies, the progress in improving data collection and compilation from the OFCs had been slow. To enhance coordination among financial regulatory agencies and improve data collection on the OFCs, the authorities agreed to establish an inter-agency committee. The mission helped BOG migrate to standardized report forms and an integrated monetary database, as well as expand the institutional coverage (see above). With the wider coverage of institutions, the authorities need to reconsider the definition of broad money, which currently only includes DMBs and thus may understate the aggregate.

Debt statistics

13. The responsibility for external debt recording and payment is divided among three agencies. The MOFEP, through its Aid and Debt Management Unit (ADMU), maintains the external debt database. It is responsible for recording debt-payment obligations, issuing payment requests, and tracking HIPC debt relief. The CAGD confirms the legality of the payment and authorizes the release of public funds. It is responsible for accounting for debt payments and rendering reports to parliament. The BOG as the payment agent for the government verifies payments made to ADMU and CAGD.

14. An FAD technical assistance mission in 2001 concluded that the three institutions needed to improve the transparency and accountability of external debt management. The authorities should (i) develop a single computerized database that is available to all three institutions; (ii) formalize procedures used for settling debt payments (including obtaining debt notification from donors, delegating signing authorities of officials within the relevant organizations, and creating registers tracing the movement of the documents required to effect external debt payment); and (iii) improve the analytical content and timeliness of data, which are not currently reported at regular intervals.

15. To enable systematic comparison of the budget, the balance of payments, and the BOG cash-flow data, the authorities should clearly identify the government subsectors for which data are reported and prepare a clear classification of financing, outstanding debt, and guarantees issued.

Trade and balance of payments statistics

16. Since 1982 the BOG Research Department has had primary responsibility for the compilation and presentation of the annual and quarterly balance of payments (BOP) statistics. Data are compiled based on the Balance of Payments Manual, Fifth Edition (BPM5). The main data sources were the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), administrative data (government ministries and departments within BOG), commercial banks, and the GSS. In addition, the BOG carried out simple financial surveys on other corporate entities that are involved in transactions with nonresidents. Starting from 2007, Ghana participated in the external sector module of the DFID project. Three TA missions have been conducted under the auspices of this project to undertake a comprehensive enterprise survey of cross-border financial flows and stocks with a view to significantly improving the quality of BOP and international investment position (IIP). The latest February/March 2009 TA mission finalized survey data entry, and verified and grossed-up survey results to construct BOP and IIP statements. The mission concluded that the survey findings are of good quality and should be incorporated into BOP compilation program. The BOG should contribute towards further success of other surveys by pursuing activities that promote improvement of standards and timeliness of reporting of financial statements by enterprises. Efforts in this direction could be focused on non-multinational enterprises whose financial statements were in many cases not comprehensive. Partnerships with accounting bodies and other institutions such as the auditor general’s office will be explored in this direction.

17. Currently, the GSS is not publishing timely monthly trade statistics, although the data are available from the CEPS. The staff has recommended that the GSS collaborate with the CEPS to process customs data within six weeks and with the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOT) and the BOG to identify and reduce discrepancies in trade statistics and to ensure that imports into bonded warehouses are not double-counted. Data collection procedures of the CEPS need to be improved, and there is also room for improving trade volume data collected by the CEPS through customs invoices, which would help the GSS to extract meaningful import and export unit values.

18. Fund staff has recommended that the GSS produce export unit values for major export commodities, such as gold and cocoa. A high coverage of the country’s export bundle can be obtained from just three major exports—cocoa, gold, and unwrought aluminum. In contrast, deflation of imports is likely to require an iterative procedure to strike a balance between coverage of the index and its stability, owing to the heterogeneity of the basket.

Ghana: Table of Common Indicators Required for Surveillance(As of May 31, 2009)
Date of latest observationDate receivedFrequency of Data6Frequency of Reporting6Frequency of Publication6
Exchange RatesMay, 2009May 2009DWD
International Reserve Assets and Reserve Liabilities of the Monetary Authorities1May 2009June 2009MMQ
Reserve/Base MoneyMay 2009June 2009WMI
Broad MoneyApril 2009June 2009MMI
Central Bank Balance SheetMay 2009June 2009MMI
Consolidated Balance Sheet of the Banking SystemApril 2009June 2009MMI
Interest Rates2May 2009June 2009MMM
Consumer Price IndexApril 2009May 2009MMM
Revenue, Expenditure, Balance and Composition of Financing3 - general government4NANANANANA
Revenue, Expenditure, Balance and Composition of Financing3 - central governmentMarch 2009May 2009MMI
Stocks of Central Government and Central Government-Guaranteed Debt5Dec. 2008May 2009MQI
External Current Account BalanceMarch 2009May 2009QQQ
Exports and Imports of Goods and ServicesMarch 2009May 2009QQI
GDP/GNP2008May 2009AAI
Gross External DebtDec. 2008May 2009MIA
International Investment Position7NANANANANA

Includes reserve assets pledged or otherwise encumbered as well as net derivative positions.

Both market-based and officially determined, including discount rates, money market rates, rates on treasury bills, notes and bonds.

Foreign, domestic bank, and domestic nonbank financing.

The general government consists of the central government (budgetary funds, extrabudgetary funds, and social security funds) and state and local governments.

Including currency and maturity composition.

Daily (D); Weekly (W); Monthly (M); Quarterly (Q); Annually (A); Irregular (I); Not Available (NA).

Includes external gross financial assets and liability positions vis-à-vis non residents.

Includes reserve assets pledged or otherwise encumbered as well as net derivative positions.

Both market-based and officially determined, including discount rates, money market rates, rates on treasury bills, notes and bonds.

Foreign, domestic bank, and domestic nonbank financing.

The general government consists of the central government (budgetary funds, extrabudgetary funds, and social security funds) and state and local governments.

Including currency and maturity composition.

Daily (D); Weekly (W); Monthly (M); Quarterly (Q); Annually (A); Irregular (I); Not Available (NA).

Includes external gross financial assets and liability positions vis-à-vis non residents.

1When a member has overdue financial obligations outstanding for more than three months, the amount of such arrears will be shown in this section.
2Assistance committed under the original framework is expressed in net present value (NPV) terms at the completion point, and assistance committed under the enhanced framework is expressed in NPV terms at the decision point. Hence these two amounts ca not be added.
3Under the enhanced framework, an additional disbursement is made at the completion point corresponding to interest income earned on the amount committed at the decision point but not disbursed during the interim period.
4The MDRI provides 100 percent debt relief to eligible member countries that qualified for the assistance. Grant assistance from the MDRI Trust and HIPC resources provide debt relief to cover the full stock of debt owed to the Fund as of end-2004 that remains outstanding at the time the member qualifies for such debt relief.

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