President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has tasked Ghanaians to be patient in the midst of the current economic downturn.
Government is seeking a programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with the view to salvage the economy which suffered a torrid 2022 characterised by a rapidly depreciating currency, galloping inflation and general increase in the cost of living.
Akufo-Addo while addressing some traditional leaders at the Jubilee House on January 30, 2023 identified Ghana’s debt as the main reason for approaching the IMF.
Speaking in the local Twi language, he said: “One of the reasons we sought assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to streamline our finances was all borne from our debts.
“And having reached a Staff-Level Agreement, the first step of our engagement with the IMF; shows that we must restructure our debts, both domestic and external.
“It is the reason we must protect certain things so that we can have a more secured source of funding for the future,” he said.
He assured the delegation of chiefs from the Western Regional House of Chiefs that capital projects being undertaken by government may delay but that they would be completed in due course.
“It is very important to emphasize this, the arrangements are not aimed at stopping ongoing works but to allow us to complete projects. So, these are temporary dislocations but I have faith in these talks,” he added.
Ghana’s public debt stock hits 93.5% of GDP in November 2022 – BoG report
The total public debt stock of Ghana was pegged at GH¢575.7 billion recorded at the end of November 2022.
The figure, according to the Bank of Ghana’s January 2023 Summary of Economic and Financial Data, represents about 93.5% of Gross Domestic Product for the period.
The data from Central Bank showed that Ghana’s public debt stock rose by GH¢108.3 billion between September and November 2021, further depicting an unsustainable debt situation.
The report explained the rise in the debt stock can be attributed to government’s debt restructuring exercise which has an expiration deadline of January 31, 2023 for participation.
The BoG Summary of Economic and Financial Data however pointed out that the external component of the total public debt increased to $29.2 billion (GH¢382.7 billion) in November 2022 which is equivalent to 62.1 percent of GDP.
This was from $28.4 billion (GH¢271.7 billion) in September 2022 and $28.3 billion in December 2021.