Seeking constant bailouts from IMF threatens nation’s democracy -Mahama


Former President John Dramani Mahama has said that any government that comes to office must ensure the country never seeks a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) again.

That, he said, was because constantly seeking bailouts from the organisation creates instabilities thereby threatening the country’s democracy. 

“This should be the last time because going and coming to the IMF creates a certain instability in the whole system and reduces the faith that people have in our democracy,” he said.

He made the statement in a television interview on the Voice of America (VOA) Straight Talk Africa programme in Washington DC.

Home-grown policies

Mr Mahama said engaging in an IMF programme would bring the country’s debts back to sustainable levels and help to achieve policy credibility which would motivate investors to do business in the country.

However, he urged the government to also develop home-grown policies aimed at transforming the economy to ensure investor confidence.

Mr Mahama also said the government must make reducing the budget of the Office of the President a key aspect in the negotiations with the IMF which, according to the former president, was necessary to show the government’s commitment to reduce expenditure.

“They have to cut the budget to the Office of the President to show the way because if the president himself is cutting the budget of government machinery, then it means everybody must be prepared to make a sacrifice,” he explained.

The former president therefore stated that the next National Democratic Congress (NDC) government would strengthen stated-owned institutions and undertake a constitutional review as part of their strategy to sustain the economy.

“We have been operating it for more 26 years and I think the time has come to look at it again and do some tweaking so that we can have a proper constitutional environment in which to grow the economy,” he added.

Opportunity for Africa

Mr Mahama also stated that the current global economic crisis had presented Africa with a unique opportunity to trade internally.

“It is an opportunity for us to look within and see why we can go better in terms of trading with ourselves.”

Happily, we’ve passed the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and as I speak the first commodities are beginning to be exchanged and that is good news”, he said.

Mr Mahama was hopeful that the initiative would increase Africa’s internal trade which would create opportunities for its citizens particularly the youth to realise their full potentials.


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