Ghana to soon conclude external creditors negotiations

Ghana would soon complete negotiations with its external creditors under the ongoing $3 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced.

This would ensure that outstanding debt restructuring processes are completed on schedule to unlock funding for the country’s critical development projects and overcome the current economic crisis.

President Akufo-Addo said this during the delivery of the 2024 message on the State of the Nation to Parliament in Accra on Tuesday.

“We have intensified our engagement with our external bondholders on the principles of transparency, fair treatment, consistency with the IMF debt sustainability analysis, and good faith.

“We are committed to concluding the external debt restructuring process as soon as possible, so we move past the crisis. This will enable us to complete projects that have been constrained due to financial challenges,” he said.

The President noted that some of the priority projects had been transferred onto the government of Ghana budget within the same fiscal space to ensure their completion.

These include the completion of the Kumasi International Airport by May 2024, the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) Maternity Block in the Ashanti region, and the University of Environment and Sustainable Development Project at Bunso in the Eastern Region.

Others are the Takoradi Interchange, the Obetsebi-Lamptey Interchange, phase two of the construction of roads in Tamale, and the construction of the 84-kilometre kilometre railway line between Tema and Akosombo.

The President reiterated the government’s commitment to ensure that “the poor and vulnerable do not bear the brunt of the sacrifices that have to be made.”

He stated that programmes like the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), School Feeding and Capitation Grant had been protected and enhanced to continually safeguard and give respite to the poor and vulnerable.

The President expressed confidence in Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, the new Finance Minister who has taken over the implementation of the IMF programme from Mr Ken Ofori-Atta.

“It is important to underline that the recent change in the leadership of the Finance Ministry will not affect government’s commitment to implementing the terms agreed with the IMF to ensure that we restore the economy to healthy growth as soon as possible,” he said.

Last Wednesday, Dr. Amin announced a meeting with official creditors in Paris to stress the urgency of Ghana’s negotiations, “so that we can have the money to complete the stalled projects across the country.”

Already, the Fund has pledged to remain fully engaged and supportive of Ghana’s efforts under the ongoing program and the debt restructuring negotiations.

“We have been in continuous dialogue with the Ghanaian authorities, including with the Minister when he served as Minister of State for Finance, and our commitment to assisting Ghana remains steadfast and we look forward to continuing our fruitful cooperation with the new minister,” Julie Kozack, Director of the IMF Communications Department said last Thursday.

Ghana has received the sum of $1.2 billion in two tranches from the IMF for the implementation of its loan-support Extended Credit Facility (ECF) programme.

Backed by the country’s post-COVID-19 Programme for Economic Growth (PC-PEG), the three-year $3 billion facility is expected to restore macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability, build resilience, and lay the foundation for stronger and more inclusive growth.

Source: GNA

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