IMF bailout: Government must adopt a humble approach in its communication, says Sikanku

The political communication expert believes failure to adopt such approach could lead to lack of confidence in subsequent government decisions

The government must not adopt a defensive approach in communicating the reasons for opting for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, Dr Etse Sikanku a political communication expert has said.

Sikanku believes the failure to adopt such an approach could lead to a lack of confidence in subsequent government decisions.

Speaking with Benjamin Offei-Addo on the Asaase Breakfast Show on Tuesday ( 5 July), he said, “Being defensive all the time does not inculcate confidence in the people … sometimes the people in government should accept when they are at fault and do better.”

“It was framed as though going to the IMF was an embarrassment and a hit to our national pride … it is very ironic then for us to turn back and resort to the very thing that they lambasted .’ Sikanku said.

The political communication expert wants the government to adopt a better approach in communicating its decision to opt for an IMF bailout.

“First the communication of the E-Levy was not good enough and yet the expectations on it were over sold … It was sold to Ghanaians as a ‘saviour’ to our economic quagmire,” he said.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team, led by Carlo Sdralevich, mission chief for Ghana is currently in the country to begin initial discussions with the government on a possible IMF programme.

In a statement, Sdralevich said, “On the basis of a request from the Ghanaian authorities, an IMF staff team will in the coming days kick-start discussions on a possible program to support Ghana’s homegrown economic policies.”

“We are at an early stage in the process, given that detailed discussions are yet to take place.”

The statement added, “The IMF stands ready to assist Ghana to restore macroeconomic stability, safeguard debt sustainability, promote inclusive and sustainable growth, and address the impact of the war in Ukraine and the lingering pandemic.”

“We are looking forward to our engagement with the authorities in Accra.”

Ghana’s decision to opt for an IMF programme has been greeted with mixed reactions, with concern about what it may mean for public sector jobs and social programmes.

On 1 July 2022, President Akufo-Addo authorised the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, to commence formal engagements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a possible bailout.

Fred Dzakpata

Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online

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