One of the initiatives the country established in 2022 was its Domestic Debt Exchange (DDE) program. The program, launched on the 5th of December, serves as an invitation for the voluntary exchange of approximately GHS137 billion of the domestic notes and bonds of the Republic, including E.S.L.A. and Daakye bonds, for a package of New Bonds to be issued by the Republic.
While lauded during its formation, this initiative has been slow to yield the desired results. So far, Ghanaian authorities have had to extend the deadline for bondholders to sign up for the DDE program several times. The current deadline is set at January 31st, and around 80% of bondholders are required to register for the program.
This DDE program was designed to help Ghana restructure its tremendous debt, which would help the country access the $3 billion loan it has been requesting from the International Monetary Fund for months.
On this note, some metric of success was recently realized. The Ghanaian government disclosed on Friday that it and the Ghana Securities Industry Association (GSIA) have reached an understanding of the terms of participation by capital market operators in the country's domestic debt exchange (DDE) program.
"GSIA believes this agreement is necessary to restore market normalcy and confidence in the economy," a statement released by the GSIA reads.
Based on terms agreed upon, the capital market operators within the country will participate in the exchange program on the same "improved terms" agreed with banks earlier this week.
The Ghanaian government on Monday 23rd of January revealed that it had agreed with banks to pay a 5% coupon on its 2023 bonds, which the original debt exchange plan had said would not pay interest.
Currently, bondholders who are concerned about the lack of clarity surrounding the terms of the deal have been skeptical about registering for the DDE program.