Bernard Anaba, a Policy Analyst at the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) has lamented over the inequities in SDR allocation, an exchange reserve asset created by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
According to him, in 2021 the Board of Governance of the IMF approved a US$650 billion general allocation to boost global liquidity, but African countries that are at the bottom of the economic ladder received just about five percent (5%) of the fund.
Speaking at a workshop organised for the media by Caritas Ghana, a charity organisation of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) and member of the global Caritas Confederation in Accra recently, Mr. Anaba appreciated the fact that the funds are allocated based on a country’s contribution capacities.
He, nevertheless, argued that the disbursement defied equity, as the US$33 billion allocation to Africa, with Ghana receiving not more than US$1.04 billion, was just a drop in the ocean.
He contended that most of the major contributing countries do not even need the SDR to support their development, adding that “all is for the unutilised SDRs to be reallocated to countries, but the IMF is currently considering the Resilient and Sustainability Trust (RST) Fund modality.
Mr Anaba strongly holds the view that countries like Ghana, which are debt distressed, can make headway with the RST, albeit with the slow consideration of the RST conditions.
“The RST can support debt restructuring efforts to countries that request for it by providing collateral to guarantee [the] restructured debt. This may be helpful for countries that are not ‘low-income’ but may be interested in debt restructuring options-like Ghana,” he stated.
He suggested that while the government must work towards cutting down the importation of non-essential commodities to keep the country afloat, the citizens are under the obligation to use this IMF bailout to demand accountability and responsible use of public funds.
The Acting National Director of Caritas Ghana, Thomas Awiapo, on his part told the journalists attending the workshop, which was under the theme, “The role of the Media in Securing an Inclusive Economic Recovery and Debt Relief” that the earlier African leaders come to the realisation that greed is the elephant in the room, destroying the continent and causing it excruciating pain, the better.
Mr. Awiapo noted that greed and political supremacy were some of the challenges pushing the continent against development.
Idi Yiri, a Media Analyst, on his part, urged the inky fraternity to exercise some level of circumspect with regard to the kind of information they put out in the public domain.
He contended that negative explicit judgments pertaining to high unemployment or the instability of financial markets may provoke a climate of fear and apprehension, deterring people from seeking employment or investing in the country’s financial markets.
Meanwhile, he said, “the media can influence a financial crisis either by provoking and sustaining a longer economic recovery, because media have a tendency to produce negative images of a crisis or by initiating recovery through the distribution of positive images, thereby stimulating and encouraging government action to solve the problem; this range of options provides a fertile ground for misinformation.”
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