Ghana faces its worst economic crisis

Ghana’s finance minister Kenneth Ofori-Atta on Thursday said that Ghana is at high risk of debt distress and has agreed on a debt management strategy with the International Monetary Fund (IMF),.

Ofori-Atta has faced calls for dismissal from both the governing party and opposition who accuse him of economic mismanagement. Last week, he apologized  for the country’s economic hardship but defended himself against their claims.

Ofori is in the middle of negotiating a relief package with the IMF as the West African country faces its worst economic crisis in a generation.

Economic growth is expected to slow to 3.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022 from 6.7 percent last year, and to slow further to 2.8 percent in 2023, he said.

“The current debt sustainability analysis conducted reveals that Ghana is now considered to be in high risk of debt distress,” the minister told lawmakers during his presentation of the 2023 budget.

“Government and the IMF have agreed on programme objectives, a preliminary fiscal adjustment path, debt strategy and financing required for the programme,” he said, adding he hopes to reach a deal “very soon”.

The depreciation of the Ghanaian cedi was “seriously affecting” the country’s ability to manage its public debt, which has increased to $48.9bn this year, he told parliamentarians, saying the currency has lost more than 50 percent of its value.

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