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Ken Ofori-Atta heads to China to seek debt cancellation

The government of Ghana will this week start actively engaging external debtors with the view to getting debt cancellation, especially 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 will be 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.

Ken Ofori-Atta according to a Joy News report told Svenja Schulze, the 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.

Akufo-Addo meets German Minister

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, recently expressed optimism that Ghana will conclude talks with the IMF by March 2023.

He made this known when the German Federal Minister of Finance, Christian Lindner, paid him a visit at the Jubilee House.

“We have already taken one important step forward in concluding a staff-level agreement with the IMF. One of the steps was the domestic debt exchange programme which encountered a lot of difficulties, but it has now been virtually concluded…

“We are now looking towards going the full hog and concluding the agreement. We’re hoping that will be done by the middle of March,” President Akufo-Addo said.

He also called on Germany to encourage China, an ad hoc member of the Paris Club to support Ghana’s external debt restructuring efforts.

In January, Ghana became the fourth nation to apply to the common framework platform, an initiative of the Group of 20 major economies launched in 2020 to streamline debt restructuring efforts for poorer countries.

China is Ghana’s single biggest bilateral creditor with $1.7 billion of debt, while Ghana owes $1.9 billion to Paris Club members, according to data from the Institute of International Finance (IIF).

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