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On Ghana, IMF Tells ICP $918M Program Will Be Transparent - But Will It?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 3 -- Less than an hour after the International Monetary Fund announced that its Executive Board had approved a $918 million program for Ghana, IMF Mission Chief Joel Toujas-Bernate held a media conference call.

  Inner City Press asked Toujas-Bernate what role there will be for civil society in evaluating the program, about access to information and oversight of Ghana’s National Petroleum Company.

 Toujas-Bernate replied that "transparency in public finance" was, in fact, a focus "in particular to respond to need for better access to data on budget preparation and execution [to] broaden support for reform program of authorities."

  He said, "we have engaged during negotiations with civil society representatives and we signaled that transparency will be increased to all of Ghana's society." He said that Ghana has signed on to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). He said, "All program documents will be published soon."

  But why were at least some of the program documents made available during this process? If it wasn't transparent then, will it be in the future?

  Joy FM asked about the upcoming elections -- the IMF said it got commitments from the president himself -- and Bloomberg asked about the impact of interest rates in the US. And that was it.


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