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General News
Govt Adopts New Financing Policy — To Pursue Sound Programmes 1/23/2007
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, has said that the government has adopted a new financing policy that will enable it to pursue sound poverty reduction programmes.

He said the new policy also took cognisance of the country’s ability to weather external shocks, thus maintaining a sustainable debt level.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said this when he opened a five-day workshop on new Debt Sustainability Framework for Low Income Countries developed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Accra yesterday.

The West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) in collaboration with Debt Relief International and the World Bank, organised the workshop for participants from Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia.

The workshop was designed to provide hands on training based on the new methodology of long term debt sustainability for low income countries.

The new framework is to help low income countries to strike a balance between maintaining sustainable levels of debt and a faster pace of socio-economic development, which often involves external borrowing to augment internal resources.

He said having reached the completion point of HIPC and received additional debt relief under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI), the government was now turning its attention to projects that would accelerate growth and development.

“In doing so, it is mobilising the right mixture of aid resources while at the same time making sure the country’s debt remains sustainable in the long run,” he stated.

The Finance Minister urged participants to come out with specific and realistic policy options on the new financing framework to enhance the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

He said the options should also provide long-term strategic directions, which, according to him, would be a vital input for the government’s economic policy and financing of the development agenda.

The Director-General of the WAIFEM, Dr Chris Itsede, said the workshop would first focus on the general debt sustainability framework and the methodology of debt analysis.

Secondly, he said, the participants would be grouped into their country teams and asked to study the new template for debt financing and apply it to prepare debt sustainability schedules for their countries using the country’s real data.

WAIFEM was established by the Central Banks of the Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone in July, 1996 and has since grown into an integrated and holistic capacity building organisation towards upgrading competencies of middle and senior level officials responsible for debt, financial and macroeconomic management.

Story by Samuel Doe Ablordeppey

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