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Ghana’s debt double up to GH₵575.5 billion

Bank of Ghana’s Summary of Economic and Financial Data has given the clear indication that, Ghana’s current public debt has risen to GH₵575.5 billion, swallowing a huge chunk of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), marking a slight increase from the GH₵569.2 billion recorded in April 2023.

This signifies a cumulative increase of GH₵6.3 billion in the country’s public debt since April 2023. In terms of US dollars, the total debt stock amounted to US$52.3 billion as of June 2023.

The breakdown reveals that external debt accounted for GH₵328.6 billion (equivalent to US$29.9 billion), while domestic debt stood at GH₵246.9 billion (approximately US$30.8 billion).

The external debt increased by GH₵7.3 billion compared to the April 2023 figure of GH₵321.3 billion, while domestic debt saw a slight decrease from GH₵247.9 billion to GH₵246.9 billion during the same period.

In contrast, the nominal GDP remained at GH₵800.9 billion as of June 2023, maintaining its level since January 2023 but showing growth from the GH₵610.2 billion recorded in June 2022.

Most Indebted Country

Ghana remains the most indebted country to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Africa, with its loan to the Fund increasing by 35.3% in the second quarter of 2023, according to the IMF’s Quarterly Finances report for July 2023.

As of July 31, 2023, Ghana’s outstanding loans to the IMF stood at Special Drawing Rights (SDR) 1.689 billion, equivalent to $2.227 billion.

This marks a significant increase of $451 million SDR compared to the figure of 1.246 billion SDR recorded on April 30, 2023.

Ghana has sought and received a $600 million bailout package from the IMF in June 2023 to address fiscal challenges and rejuvenate its economy.

The country’s outstanding loan to the IMF accounts for 9.55% of Africa’s total of SDR 17.68 billion.

Additionally, Ghana had made a repayment of SDR 8 million, approximately $10.55 million, to the IMF.

Ghana’s loan exposure to the IMF is classified as concessional lending, characterised by low-interest financing.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya have maintained their second and third positions, respectively, with the largest outstanding loans to the IMF as of July 31, 2023. DR Congo owed the IMF SDR 1.142 billion, while Kenya’s debt to the Fund amounted to SDR 1.008 billion.

Both countries received disbursements of SDR 153 million and SDR 77 million, respectively, to support their balance of payments.

Sudan and Uganda also retained their fourth and fifth positions, respectively, with their exposure to the IMF estimated at SDR 992 million and SDR 812 million.

Uganda received a disbursement of SDR 91 million to bolster its fiscal economy. In total, the rest of Africa collectively owed the IMF an amount of SDR 11.32 billion.

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