President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has appealed to the German Finance Minister, Christian Lindner, to convince China to participate in the Credits Committee under the Paris Club Common Framework to deal with Ghana’s debt restructuring efforts.
Speaking with Christian Lindner at the Jubilee House last Friday, President Akufo-Addo told him that “you have good relations with China. We would like you to convince China to participate in this programme as quickly as possible.”
According to the International Institute of Finance, Ghana owes about $13 billion of Eurobonds and $4 billion to bilateral loans as of September 2022, of which $1.7 billion is owed to China alone.
With Ghana’s relations with the Paris Club under the Common Framework, Ghana is looking forward to a Credit Committee being established where it can formally engage it “to bring those discussions as quickly as possible.”
The German government has expressed its willingness to assist Ghana to deal with its difficult economic challenges, amidst the country’s unsustainable debt levels which have necessitated the debt restructuring efforts.
President Akufo-Addo said Ghana’s main concern right now was to conclude its arrangements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and specific assistance that would be useful to fast-track the process.
Ghana’s target to fully complete the IMF deal, according to President Akufo-Addo, is by the middle of March 2023.
One of the steps towards the completion of the process, the President stated, is the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme, which unfortunately went through some difficulties but is now concluded.
A Very important consideration for Ghana also, President Akufo-Addo indicated, was the financial stability fund that has been promised as one of the key outcomes of the Ghana/IMF negotiations.
He told Christian Lindner “definitely once again your voice in trying to bring that into being is something that government would appreciate very much.”
The reasons for Christian Lindner’s visit to Ghana are primarily the stability and security in the West Africa region, which is linked to the security in Europe.
“We see economic challenges in Ghana but also opportunities for bilateral trade and that is why we are here in Ghana,” the German Finance Minister told President Akufo-Addo.
Mr Lindner and his delegation also met with some Ghanaian businesses and entrepreneurs and the banking sector and had constructive and fruitful engagements.
The German Finance Minister said the team also met Ghana’s Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to discuss ways Germany could help Ghana overcome its current economic challenges.
With the Jihadist insurgency in the West Africa region, President Akufo-Addo expressed Ghana’s appreciation and gratitude to the German government for the immense support to the security initiatives in Ghana and the region in general.
He said though Germany “deliberately” remained low-key in matters of supporting those security initiatives, its support had been “concrete and highly acceptable.”
The President said he was privy to the support Germany had been given to the Accra Initiative and encouraged the country steadfastly supported the initiative.
Ghana, Present Akufo-Addo stated, was directly in the line of fire with the Jihadist and violent extremist groups, adding: “we have to find a way to bring the insurgence and the Jihadist in the region to a close.”
Burkina Faso is Ghana’s neighbour at the north and to have a Jihadist menace there…which in the last six (6) weeks, some 4,000 Burkinabe’s had crossed over to Ghana to take refuge officially.”
There are some unaccounted-for Burkinabe’s who had trooped southwards to Ghana as a result of the insecurity situation in that country.
President Akufo-Addo said an unaffordable great deal of resources which hitherto could have been channelled to productive ventures to raise the living standards of the people had to be diverted to providing security for the people as a result of the insurgency.
“We have a direct interest and important strategic interest in doing whatever we can to help bring this insurgency to an end and stabilise the government of Burkina Faso,” the President stated.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD
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