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31.10.2005 Business & Finance

Foreign Reserves To Miss WAMZ Criteria

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Available half year data from the Bank of Ghana (BoG) indicates that Ghana's foreign exchange reserves currently stands at US$ 1.5 billion as against West Africa Monetary Zone's (WAMZ) benchmark of US$2 billion required for attaining a more than three months of imports cover.

This development, which represents a further decline from the US$1.7 billion chalked last year places Ghana, Guinea and Sierra Leone as member countries with least status of meeting the four convergence criteria for the creation of monetary zone.

Other primary benchmarks to be attained by the county include achieving single digit inflation and ensuring that fiscal deficit, as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) is less or equal to 4 per cent.

Though, this shortfall points to a probable deviation from the set target by the close of the year, Dr. Ernest Addsion, director of Research Bank of Ghana says there is no cause for alarm since the Central Bank together with WAMI is employing all possible measures for the country to attain convergence before 2009.