The current COVID-19 has affected new policies in almost every country in the world. The Ghana government led by His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo has taken measures to curtail the spread of the disease and contain it.
As of March 25, 2020, Ghana Health Service reported 68 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3 deaths. Starting March 16, the government adopted sweeping social distancing measures and travel restrictions to avert an outbreak, including (i) suspension of all public gatherings exceeding 25 people for four weeks; (ii) closure of all universities and schools until further notice; and (iii) mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for any Ghanaian resident who has been to a country with at least 200 confirmed cases of COVID-19, within the last 14 days. On March 23, Ghana closed all its borders to travelers for two weeks. As an oil exporter, Ghana is also significantly affected by the large decline in oil prices.
Key Policy Responses as of March 23, 2020
- The government committed US$100 million to support preparedness and response. Additional funds have been earmarked to address availability of test kits, pharmaceuticals, equipment, and bed capacity.
MONETARY AND MACRO-FINANCIAL
- The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) cut the policy rate cut by 150 basis points to 14.5 percent on March 18, and announced several measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic shock, including lowering the primary reserve requirement from 10 to 8 percent, lowering the capital conservation buffer from 3 to 1.5 percent, revising provisioning and classification rules for specific loan categories, and steps to facilitate and lower the cost of mobile payments. The committee also signaled it would continue to monitor the economic impact of COVID-19 and hold emergency meetings if necessary.
EXCHANGE RATE AND BALANCE OF PAYMENTS
- No measures.