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The Finance Minister of Ghana is set for a trip to China to discuss the country’s debt

Ken-Ofori-Atta
  • The Finance Minister of Ghana Ken Ofori-Atta has left Accra for China to discuss debt restructuring with their East Asian lenders. 
  • The Minister made a pit stop in Addis Ababa over the weekend in order to attend the UNECA High-Level Ministers Meeting on Global Financial Architecture.
  • Ghana has already restructured its domestic debt as part of the common framework initiative supported by the Group of 20 major economies.

In order to hold talks with Chinese officials about debt restructuring, the Finance Minister of Ghana Ken Ofori-Atta left Accra for China.

According to sources, the Minister traveled to Addis Ababa over the weekend in order to attend the UNECA High-Level Ministers Meeting on Global Financial Architecture.

Mr. Ofori-Atta is anticipated to travel to China following that meeting, possibly on March 22, 2023. In addition to requesting financial guarantees for Ghana's program with the International Monetary Fund, the Minister who is leading the government delegation is anticipated to pursue bilateral discussions with China.

Due to the trip's scheduling conflict with the National People's Congress of China meeting in early March 2023, it was postponed to the end of March.

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Ghana, which is going through its worst economic crisis in a generation, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reached a staff-level agreement in December for a $3 billion loan, but the IMF's board must first approve the program before lenders can be asked to provide financing assurances.

With about $1.7 billion in debt, China is Ghana's largest bilateral creditor. A source who spoke to the American news agency, Reuters said that the government's current top priority is getting IMF board approval, with the specifics of debt treatment operations coming later. On Thursday and Friday, there will be meetings.

"The talks are expected to focus on ways to reduce Ghana's debt burden and secure additional financing assurances for the country's economic program," the source said, asking not to be named because the talks are private.

Initial debt negotiations between China and Ghana this month were "cordial and fruitful," according to the finance ministry. Ghana effectively defaulted on the majority of its external debt last year and is still in need of resolution negotiations with its private international bondholders.

Ghana has already restructured its domestic debt, and as part of the common framework initiative supported by the Group of 20 major economies, it has asked to rework its bilateral debt. A formal committee of creditors to hold negotiations with sovereign creditors is still not in place.

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