Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has accused the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of pressuring the Ghanaian Parliament to pass several bills, including the Affirmative Action Bill, under a certificate of urgency.
Speaker Bagbin suggested that these bills are being pushed by the IMF as part of the conditions for the disbursement of the remaining $3 billion credit facility for Ghana.
Speaking at the Speaker’s Breakfast Meeting, Mr Bagbin on Monday, November 20, asserted that Parliament would not be coerced by the IMF into passing the bills.
“Even in this budget, you can see the arm of the IMF in a lot of provisions in the budget. A critical bill like the Affirmative Action Gender Equality Bill has come to Parliament under a certificate of urgency. Please, it won’t happen; we won’t pass it under a certificate of urgency.”
“There are critical stakeholders we must consult and make sure we go together. We will not be dictated by the IMF; that one, you can be assured. This is a very critical bill that the IMF should know that we need the buy-in of the stakeholders to be able to implement it,” Alban Bagbin said.
The Affirmative Action Bill aims to promote gender equality and increase the participation of women in decision-making roles.
The Affirmative Action Bill is a proposed legislation that seeks to provide gender parity in Ghanaian politics. The bill aims to increase women’s participation in decision-making positions by proposing that at least 40% of public offices be reserved for women.
The bill has been in parliament for over a decade but has not received the needed attention for it to become law.
The IMF Executive Board approved, on May 17th, 2023, an SDR 2.242 billion (about US$3 billion) 36-month Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement for Ghana.
This decision enabled an immediate disbursement equivalent to SDR 451.4 million (about US$600 million). The rest is expected to be disbursed in tranches every six months, following program reviews approved by the IMF Executive Board.
According to the IMF, its programs in general seek to boost social spending to improve socioeconomic outcomes and help promote inclusive growth.