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#2023budget: Ghana’s Public Debt from Jan – Sept 2022 Is $48bn – Ofori-Atta



Ghana’s provisional debt data from January to September 2022 shows a significant increase in the country’s public debt largely due to exogenous factors, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has said.  

As at the end of September 2022, provisional figures indicate that total gross public debt stood at GH¢467,371.31 million (US$48,871.34 million), representing approximately 75.9 percent of GDP, Mr Ofori-Atta told parliament on Thursday, 24 November 2022, when he delivered the 2023 budget statement.  

The domestic debt component he disclosed is GH¢195,657.60 million, which is 31.79 per cent of GDP, whilst external debt is GH¢271,713.71 million, representing 44.15 per cent of GDP.

The increase in the domestic debt he explained is largely on account of rising interest costs adding “domestic debt as a share of total public debt reduced from 51.6 per cent in 2021 to 41.9 per cent as of the end of September 2022.”

Mr Ofori-Atta further noted that the external debt as a percentage of the total debt stock is 58.1 per cent as of the end of September 2022.

He said the sharp growth in the external debt stock is largely driven by the depreciation of the local currency as the depreciation of the Ghana cedi added GH¢93,855.15 million to the external debt stock.

Overall, he disclosed that debt accumulation increased from 20.7 per cent in 2021 to 32.7 per cent as of the end of September 2022, reflecting the impact of the depreciation of the Ghana cedi on the external debt side.

Touching on the outlook for the external sector in 2023 and the medium term, Mr Ofori-Atta said the external sector performance in the outlook will depend largely on the quick resolution of the Russia-Ukraine war and the outcome of recession fears in advanced economies.

“The thrust of the external sector will focus on rebuilding external buffers enough to cover at least three and half months of imports of goods and services to cushion the economy against adverse external shocks. This will be underpinned by, among others, bilateral support, and strong remittance inflows,” he stated.


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