In its ‘Positive Shift in Ghana’s Political Risk Profile Following IMF Programme Approval’ analysis, the UK-based firm said: “The rapid deterioration of economic conditions in 2022 and slow progress in the fight against perceived corruption – in a July 2022 Afrobarometer study, 85.0% of Ghanaians believed the government was doing a poor job in tackling corruption – will exacerbate anti-incumbency sentiment among the electorate”.
In addition, Fitch Solutions said “the IMF has voiced concerns over President Nana Akufo-Addo’s flagship Free Senior High School programme (introduced in 2017), labelling it as ‘poorly targeted'”.
It added: “Potential modifications to the programme in order to rein in spending could weaken the NPP’s campaign agenda, increasing the chances of an NDC win”.
Fitch, however, said: “We believe that risks to Ghana’s IMF programme are limited”, noting: “Previous NDC governments have requested IMF loans (Ghana’s 2015-2019 IMF programme was started under an NDC government) and current NDC leadership has expressed support for Ghana’s re-engagement with the IMF”.
Fitch revised Ghana’s ‘policy continuity’ score in Short-Term Political Risk Index (STPRI) to 70.0 out of 100, from 62.5 previously.
It said while the government has raised taxes including income taxes and VAT in first half of 2023, “a more stable exchange rate, easing inflation and a stronger external position will gradually normalise economic conditions”.
“We believe that this will lower protest activity in the second half of 223, after the number of protests and riots increased by 17.2% year-on-year in first-half of 2023. To reflect this, we have revised up the ‘social stability’ score in our Short-Term Political Risk Index (STPRI) to 47.5 out of 100, from 40.0 previously (a higher score implies lower risk)”.
Ghana’s headline STPRI score now stands at 63.1, from 59.4. The country remains a regional outperformer, with the average Sub-Saharan Africa STPRI score standing at 50.3, implying that political risks remain relatively contained in Ghana.
NDC’ll win 2024 polls, gain small majority in parliament – EIU report
Fitch’s prediction ties into a similar one made two months ago by the Economist and Intelligence Unit (EIU).
According to the EIU, the NDC will not only win the presidential poll but also gain a small majority in the legislature.
The EIU, despite predicting an NDC victory, stated that for the NDC to revitalise its prospects of winning, it needs a fresh candidate despite the fact that its 2020 flagbearer, Mr John Dramani Mahama, was, at the time, considering to run again.
“The next parliamentary and presidential elections are due in 2024. Under the constitutionally mandated term limits, Mr Akufo-Addo cannot run for a third term. Mr Mahama is reportedly considering whether to run again, but we expect the NDC to seek to revitalise its prospects with a fresh candidate,” the report said.
“After two terms of NPP government, we expect the NDC to win the 2024 presidential election and to gain a small majority in parliament,” it added.
Meanwhile, the NPP is seeking to win power again with the #Breakthe8 campaign.
The president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is confident of handing over to an NPP president-elect in January 2025.