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Nana Addo is burying Ghana in debt — American economist Prof Hanke

American economist and professor of applied economics at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, Professor Steve Hanke has criticized President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, accusing him of leading Ghana into a debt crisis.

Steve Hanke and Nana Addo

In an X post, he said Ghana is wallowing in debt due to deliberate actions taken by the President.

Despite a GH¢14.2 billion reduction in public debt from June to September 2023, the country's total debt remains high at GH¢567.3 billion ($51.0 billion), constituting 66.4% of GDP.

The fluctuation is attributed to minor currency gains and a pause in international borrowing.

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The November 2023 Summary of Economic and Financial Data reported the revised debt at GH¢581.5 billion in June, rising to GH¢584.4 billion ($53.0 billion) by August 2023.

However, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revealed in its Staff Report on Ghana dubbed "2023 Article IV Consultation" that Ghana remains in debt distress with its current position assessed as unsustainable.

Ghana is set to engage in a crucial meeting with its external creditors to conclude a plan for restructuring an estimated $5.4 billion in external debt.

The Official Creditor Committee (OCC), co-chaired by the governments of China and France, holds a significant portion of Ghana's $20 billion external debt earmarked for restructuring, while the government asserts ongoing negotiations, there remains an unresolved matter regarding the cut-off date for including external debt in the restructuring process between the government and the Official Creditors Committee.

As of October 2023, the Ministry of Finance urged bilateral creditors to swiftly reach an agreement on debt relief terms to facilitate Ghana's access to the second tranche of the $3 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout package.

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The initial $600 million was received from the IMF in May 2023, marking the first tranche of the package. However, the disbursement of the remaining funds hinges on the outcome of Ghana's discussions with its bilateral creditors.

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