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Ken Ofori-Atta to present details of Debt Exchange Programme to Parliament

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Finance Minister is expected to furnish Parliament with details of the ongoing debt restructuring.

This was after the Minority succeeded with a Private Members’ Motion for Ken Ofori-Atta to present the House with details.

The motion was moved by the Minority Leader, Cassiel Ato Forson, Minority Chief Whip, Governs Kwame Agboadza, Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga, Bolgatanga Central MP, Isaac Adongo and MP for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor.

“This Honourable House requests of the Hon Finance Minister to present to Parliament, Government’s Debt Restructuring Programme for consideration,” the order paper indicated.

The Order Paper, however, fell short of highlighting the day the Minister will be demanded to appear before the House.

Mr Ofori-Atta in February appeared before Parliament to brief the House on the exchange programme.

Already, President Akufo-Addo is making another clarion call on friends of Ghana to put in a word of support as talks between Ghana and the Paris Club – especially China – for debt cancellation enter a crucial stage.

The Paris Club is a group of officials from major creditor countries whose role is to find coordinated and sustainable solutions to the payment difficulties experienced by debtor countries.

Ghana hopes to appear before the International Monetary Fund (IMF) board to seek approval for a bailout.

But the government will first have to get confirmation that the over $4 billion debt owed to the Paris Club members will be forgiven or restructured.

This came on the back of the Finance Ministry’s assertion to have met its target of over 80% participation in the programme, a crucial requirement in the steps to secure the needed bailout.

In a statement, it said the “Government’s Domestic Debt Exchange Program (DDEP) closed on Friday February 10, 2023 with over 80% participation of eligible bonds. The government wants to thank the people of Ghana for their forbearance and support throughout these very difficult times”.

The Minister is expected to expand on this situation and the subsequent modalities for restructuring the external wing of the bonds.

The German government says it is willing to assist Ghana push through its proposal with its external creditors, especially China, but first, some conditions must be met.

In February, President Akufo-Addo called on German Finance Minister, Christian Lindner, to “encourage” China to accept Ghana’s proposal for debt relief with its largest external creditor, China.

The Asian country claims about $1.7 billion of the entire external debt portfolio of $5.7 billion which Ghana is seeking to restructure.

German Ambassador to Ghana, Daniel Krull said that his country is willing to help only if certain conditions are met.

“First of all, we insist that those measures that can be taken here in this country have to be taken. The second condition is that, yes, we are willing to take our share of responsibility as one of the major bilateral donors to Ghana.”

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