Ghana’s debt stock hits $37.3 billion (GH¢208.6 billion), here's how much every Ghanaian owes

Data from the Bank of Ghana has shown that the country’ total debt stock has hit GHS208.6 billion,

Ghana's finance minister Ken Ofori Atta

This means that the stock rose by GHS3.1 billion between July and September.

The current debt stock represents 60.3 percent of Ghana’s GDP.

The figures are captured in the central bank’s Summary of Economic and Financial Data.

Ghana’s total debt stock as of November 2018 was GHS170 billion, representing a 57.2 percent of GDP.



The GH¢208.6 billion total debt stock puts the country’s Debt-to-GDP Ratio at 60.3 percent ending September. GH¢107.2 b of the debt came from loans taken from outside the country by government, this is about $20.1billion.

This constitutes about 31.1 per cent of the total value of the economy.

Domestic debt stands at GH¢101.4 billion representing 29.4 percent of the total value of the economy.

Rate of increase since last year September 2018


The latest figure from the bank represents an increment of GH¢3.1 billion compared to the July debt stock of GH¢205.5 billion. However, when you look at the year-on-year, September 2018 to September 2019 it went up by GH¢37.8 billion.

Reasons for the debt stock increase

The increase in the debt stock over the last two months can be attributed to the cedi’s marginal depreciation and recent funds advanced towards the cleanup of the banking and non-banking sectors of the economy.

The data shows that the domestic debt component, from July 2019 to September 2019, went up from GH¢98 billion to GH¢101.4 billion.

Based on estimates outlined in the 2019 Supplementary Budget, the cost the total cost of the financial sector cleanup could reach GH¢21billion by the end of 2019.


This was after the finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta projected in the budget that the clean-up could reach $3 to $4 billion by the end of 2019.

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori in the 2020 Budget presentation updated the numbers. He noted that the total estimated cost for the government’s fiscal intervention, excluding interest payments from 2017 to 2019 was estimated at GH¢16.4 billion.

The country’s debt in ‘context’

The country’s total debt has witnessed some significant increase over the last two years. The total public debt stock on a nominal basis increased from GH¢142.6 billion as at end of December 2017 to GH¢173.1 billion as at end of December 2018.

How much every Ghanaian owes


Based on the GH¢208.6 billion debt, every Ghanaian should owe about ¢6,950 if the debt is shared among the population size of 30 million.

Some analysts have even argued that Ghanaians could be paying for this cost in the form of taxes.

Impact of rising debt stock on the economy

For some, the impact would be on Ghana’s debt servicing bill. According to the 2019 Budget government is planning to set aside GH¢18.6billion just to pay for the interest of funds borrowed.

In the 2020 Budget, the finance minister Ken Ofori is projecting that interest payment would hit GH¢ 21.7 billion.


Again, if the economy does not expand to accommodate these rising debts, it could impact negatively on the country Debt-to-GDP Ratio, which currently stands at almost 60%.

Some analysts have also warned that if these funds are not being invested in sectors that would pay back for itself in the future, then the country could be sitting on a time bomb.

Some economists have also argued that since Ghana has not defaulted on its debt’s commitment in recent times, then investors may not react negatively to these debt numbers.

The current administration on the other has also argued that in discussing these numbers, we should look at how they have been able to grow the economy to absorb this debt by looking at the Debt to GDP ratio.


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