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Former President John Dramani Mahama Goofed on IMF Assistance to African States


NDC 2020 flag bearer John Dramani Mahama


Former Ghanaian president and 2020 flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) John Dramani Mahama seems not to be on top of issues when he claimed during his recent virtual encounter with his supporters on Facebook that "Togo, Rwanda and Côte d’Ivoire have not quickly run to the IMF for financial assistance to fight the coronavirus pandemic " .


According to checks from the IMF , Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and Rwanda, have all in fact applied to the IMF and have been given financial assistance from the Fund . The findings might mean that , either the former Ghanaian leader was uninformed about issues in those mentioned countries with regards to receiving assistance from the IMF or he just lied to score a political point.


The former President, during the live session which was viewed on his social media accounts and on TV, suggested that some African countries, specifically Togo, Rwanda and Ivory Coast have not ‘run’ to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial assistance to deal with the COVID-19.


Checks

The IMF is providing emergency financial assistance and debt relief to member countries whose economies have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fund is deploying USD 1 Trillion to member countries. With over 102 countries calling on the fund for emergency financing, the asks by some 21 Sub-Saharan African countries have been approved. Among these 20 countries are Ghana and the other three countries mentioned by the former president — Côte d’Ivoire, Rwanda and Togo. It is important to note that these countries applied for different forms of financial aid from the IMF.


Rwanda was the first African country to secure an emergency coronavirus funding from the IMF. The IMF announced on April 2 that its executive board had approved the disbursement of US$109.4 million to be drawn under the Rapid Credit Facility to the country to address COVID-19 impact. Rwanda was the first sub-Saharan African country to enforce total lock-down after it recorded its index case on March 8.


Togo has also received support from the IMF to address the impact of coronavirus on its economy. The executive board of the IMF on April 3 allowed the immediate disbursement of US$131.3 million to Togo to help address the economic and human implications posed by the pandemic. Togo was the eighth African country to record the coronavirus disease with its first case registered on March 6.


Côte d’Ivoire confirmed and announced its first case of the coronavirus on March 11 after many suspected cases between January and March. The country was the eighth in Sub-Saharan Africa to confirm the coronavirus. On April 17, Côte d’Ivoire was approved for a Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and a Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) to the tune of USD 295.4 million and USD 590.8 million respectively.


Ghana also received approval for a Rapid Credit Facility to the tune of USD 1 billion on April 13.

Conclusion

Many countries have sought financial assistance from the IMF in their bid to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Contrary to Mr Mahama’s claim, Togo, Rwanda and Cote d’Ivoire have received financial assistance from the IMF to address the impact of COVID-19 on their economies.

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