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03.04.2012 Business & Finance

IMF To Establish Technical Assistance Centre For W/A

By Rita Adongo - Daily Graphic
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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will establish an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Technical Assistance Centre in Accra by the middle of the year to provide technical assistance to government on public financial management.

The IMF Resident Representative for Ghana, Mr Wayne Mitchell, told the Daily Graphic, in an interview during a regional conference on Medium-Term Expenditure Frameworks and Budgetary Processes in Accra, that the centre which would serve other 15 West African countries would also provide expertise for governments in the sub-region on banking supervision, among other functions.

The workshop was hosted by the government through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and sponsored by the Japanese government. It brought together expertise from the continent as well as budget officers and economists from across the West African sub-region.

“We are hoping to have five centres in Africa. Already, we have one in Tanzania and Mali. We set up one in Mauritius and we are going to set up one in Ghana, hopefully by the end of the year,” Mr Mitchell explained.

He added that the centres would provide expertise for member governments in a number of areas, including public financial management, statistics or banking supervision and monetary operations.

These centres would be financed by donor agencies; the Swiss, the Japanese and the British.

He said that ECOWAS was also hopeful of providing financial support for the centre, when it is established.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Kwabena Duffour, disclosed that the inflation rate of the country had declined to the lowest run of single digits in the history of the country.

He observed that through modest public financial management reforms in the country, Ghana’s economy had been strengthened; high level growth had been recorded, with remarkable reduction in the fiscal deficit, and an improved current account balances.

“The government has made strides in boosting revenue collection and repaying the domestic arrears. Substantial progress has also been made in our structural reform agenda. The continuous pursuit of prudent macroeconomic policies and structural reforms will further help preserve the stabilisation gains made so far,” he concluded.

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