A 5-Member Committee is scheduled to lead an extensive stakeholder engagement shortly for a fiscal and debt sustainability path, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has disclosed.

“The announcement of the Committee Members will be made in the coming days and they will immediately get to work to engage key stakeholders in the financial services sector, additional to ongoing engagements with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), social partners (labour unions, employers, and FBOs), academia, industry professionals, and the leadership of Parliament,” the Finance Minister told a press conference on Wednesday.

The Minister further noted it will welcome all contributions from the public debate, however, he was quick to add that Ghanaians must be careful to build and not tear down the nation in the consensus building.

The opposition largely holds the key to an expedited IMF deal now as reorganization of the nation’s liabilities would require approval from parliament, where there is a turf war in numbers which has simmered since the inception of the 8th parliament.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team, led by Stéphane Roudet, Mission Chief for Ghana, is in Accra, currently holding discussions with the Ghanaian authorities on policies and reforms that could be supported by an IMF lending arrangement.

The Finance Minister is upbeat that the negotiation with the IMF Mission billed to cover a period of 10 days “will be fast-tracked to ensure that key aspects of the programme are reflected in the 2023 Annual Budget Statement in November 2022.”

The most recent IMF debt sustainability analysis, conducted in 2021, found Ghana at a high risk of debt distress and vulnerable to rising debt servicing costs. Interest costs have climbed since then, Fitch Ratings noted last week when it downgraded Ghana’s debt to CC, a junk status.