Prime News Ghana

Kwame Mfodwo writes: Dealing with the IMF - lessons from Jamaica

By Primenewsghana
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 Ghana and the IMF should set up an Economic Programme Oversight Committee.

The Jamaica - IMF relationship over the period 2009 to 2013 has been referred to from time to time in recent Ghana discussions on how to undertake effective, fair and sustainable Domestic Debt Exchange arrangements.

One of the practical and effective arrangements that came out of that period was the creation of an oversight committee. That Committee is still in existence and draws from the following stakeholders: the private sector, trade unions, government, academia and the mass media.

A review of the literature on the work of this Committee as well as a close look at its website suggests that it is useful. In particular it has made some clear contribution to making various Jamaican governments accountable for implementation of reform commitments and also for maintaining fiscal discipline.

It has also provided a framework within which civil society has been able to make it's voice heard. Over time conditionalities that have been too hard on the Jamaican people have also been softened or renegotiated.

Innovations based on genuine consultations with the working people have also been incorporated into the Jamaica - IMF agreements. It seems to me that civil society should press for such an oversight Committee and that Ghana civil society might benefit from contacting its Jamaican counterparts to provide some informed advice on how such a Committee might be established and how it might work.

It is also important to note that this Oversight Committee was established only after the first Jamaican Domestic Debt Exchange failed disastrously. The second Domestic Debt Exchange was successful in part because of the creation and work of the Oversight Committee.

By Kwame Mfodwo,  a member of ORGANISING FOR GHANA

January 19 2023