Ghana, the country that epitomized the 'Africa rising' narrative of strong economic growth and improved governance, is to seek help from the International Monetary Fund.
The reversal of fortunes underlines the challenges the continent still faces. The west African nation will turn to the fund for financial assistance after its currency plunged roughly 40 percent this year against the U.S. dollar, making the cedi the worst performing currency in the world in 2014. Ghana is the second sub-Saharan African country to turn to the IMF for help this year, after Zambia announced in June that it would seek talks with the Washington-based multilateral body.
Accra's request for a bailout is likely to shake some investors, as Ghana was seen as a model of economic and political development in the continent. In 2007, it become the first country in sub Saharan Africa, apart from South Africa, to tap the sovereign bond market, raising $750 million through a 10-year bond.
The IMF warned African countries this year that economic mismanagement risked "spoiling" the virtuous circle of rising growth and better governance that became known enthusiastically as "Africa rising". Although the continent is still home of some of the world's fastest-growing economies, issues including conflict, strikes, overspending and the slow pace of reforms have put a brake to expansion.
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