The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Resident Representative for Ghana, Dr. Natalia Koliadina, on Thursday 15th June, 2017, delivered a lecture on the topic “Regional Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa” at the Graduate Building of the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS). The lecture was to give students of the Master of Science (MSc.) Accounting and Finance class the opportunity to engage with industry practitioners.
Dr. Natalia Koliadina categorised the growth of Sub-Saharan African (SSA) economies into immediate, medium and long term, touching on themes such as Economic Growth, Domestic Imbalances, Risks and Vulnerabilities.
Speaking on economic growth, Dr. Koliadina noted that economic growth in 2016, slowed down to 1½ percent, slower than population growth. However, there were some isolated cases of some countries in the SSA still growing rapidly at 5 percent or more.
On domestic imbalances, she said weak fiscal discipline has resulted in the accumulation of domestic arrears, which are particularly high among oil exporters in some SSA countries. Fiscal discipline she added, when strictly adhered, will ensure reduction in budgetary deficits which will reduce excessive borrowing and its challenges.
Dr. Koliadina stated that focus should shift to domestic policies rather than external policies, since worsening economic fundamentals in the region have affected financing conditions in SSA, which have been tighter than those of other emerging and developing countries.
In her closing remark, she shared some recommendations the IMF believes will help address some issues raised. According to her, government policies need to create an enabling environment for the formal sector to grow and be efficient. The informal sector has also been noted as an integral part of the Ghanaian economy, as such government policies should provide opportunities for the informal sector to grow.
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