Ghana Seeking To Suspend $8.5 Billion In Interest Payments
As part of restructuring Ghana’s external debt, government is aiming to restructure US$8.5 billion in payment of interests owed to development partners for a minimum of three years.
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has therefore pleaded with bilateral and multilateral creditors to support government’s effort in that direction.
He is seeking partners over the three-year period that will support development efforts with grants whiles government is unable to borrow from the international capital market.
Ofori-Atta made the appeal, according to a government source, at a meeting on February 22 between ambassadors and high commissioners of the country’s top creditor nations and representatives from international development agencies.
Curiously, China and its agencies, which hold over 30 percent of the country’s bilateral debt, were not in attendance.
Ofori-Atta heading to China
The government of Ghana has started actively engaging external debtors with the view to getting debt restructuring from the Paris club of creditors.
The first stop of a government delegation seeking debt restructuring will be in China with Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta leading the team expected in Beijing.
China holds a third of Ghana’s external debts amounting to $1.7 billion out of a total of $5.7 billion.
Government only recently concluded a Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) as part of efforts to secure an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout by March 2023.
Ofori-Atta according to a Joy News report told Svenja Schulze, a German Development Minister that China has committed to a bilateral negotiation.
“The big elephant in the room is China as in how they will comport themselves in the comparability of treatment because China wants to do bilateral. We would be visiting China by the end of the week to really discuss how they can envelop as quickly as possible,” he said.
Svenja Schulze on her part assured of German support in helping Ghana to get fair treatment at the Paris club.