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Ghana offers local debt swap as part of IMF talks

Ghana is in talks with the International Monetary Fund for about $3 billion in credit to help shore up its public finances.

Reports indicate that Inflation is at its highest about 40 percent and the cedi has lost 50 percent in value this year, helping push up debt by $6 billion in 2022.

As part of IMF negotiations, Ghana’s government is seeking to make its debt more sustainable after facing warnings about the risks of it defaulting on obligations.

Finance Minister Kenneth Ofori-Atta said in a statement late on Sunday says the debt exchange starting Monday will swap current debt for four new bonds maturing between 2027 and 2037.

Ghana, a top cocoa and gold producer, has oil and gas reserves but its debt payments are high and its revenues weak.

Ofori-Atta said the government had worked to minimize the swap impact on investors holding government bonds, especially small investors and other vulnerable groups. 

President Nana Akufo-Addo and his economic team have been under pressure over the crisis, after the government earlier this year did a U-turn and said it would go to the IMF for help.

Lawmakers have moved to censure Ofori-Atta over his economic performance and parliament is still reviewing that motion.

Last month, Akufo-Addo fired the government’s junior finance minister, Charles Adu Boahen, over corruption allegations after he appeared in a documentary on illegal gold mining.

Writing by Tersoo Nicholas, Editing by Annabel Nwachukwu