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Ghana Seeks IMF Aid

FILE: Ghanaians march in the streets on the second day of protests over recent economic hardships, in Accra, Ghana, 6.29.2022

Ghana said on Friday it was seeking International Monetary Fund (IMF) support for its economy, battered by inflation, a pandemic slump and the war in Ukraine.

Ghana will invite the International Monetary Fund "to support an economic program put together by the government of Ghana."

That statement came Friday from Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who said the president had "authorized Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to commence formal engagements" with the IMF.

The announcement followed a phone conversation between Akufo-Addo and IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva, he said.

It came after a two-day protest hit the capital, Accra, over the rising cost of food and fuel.

"The engagement with the IMF will seek to provide balance of payment support... in the face of challenges induced by the COVID-19 pandemic and, recently, the Russia-Ukraine crises," the minister said.

President Nana Akufo-Addo had previously rejected calls to seek financial assistance from the IMF.

In 2015, Ghana secured a $918 million credit facility as part of a three-year arrangement from the IMF.

Data from Ghana's central bank indicates the country's debt-to-GDP ratio was 80.1 percent at the end of last year, and fuel prices have shot up as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.