Ghana’s total public debt rose in the first half of the year to 137.2 billion Ghana cedis or nearly 31 billion U.S. dollars, up from 27.6 billion dollars, central bank governor Ernest Addison disclosed here on Monday.
According to him, total stock of domestic debt stood at the equivalent of 14.4 billion dollars while external debt stood at the equivalent of 16.5 billion dollars.
“The increase in the debt stock was on account of issuance of long-dated domestic bonds in line with government’s debt management strategy of re-profiling the public debt as well as extending the yield curve,” he explained.
Among the external components, the governor explained was a facility from Brazil for the Eastern Corridor road project, and a Budget support facility of 49 million dollars from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
“Meanwhile Ghana’s external position at the end of June 2017 has improved in line with medium-term macroeconomic fundamentals. Developments in the trade account over the first half of 2017 reflected higher export receipts arising from increased production volumes in gold, cocoa and crude oil.”
“The recovery in exports combined with declining imports, resulted in an estimated trade surplus of 3.1 percent of GDP, compared with a trade deficit of 3.3 percent recorded last year,” Addison added.
The financial markets data shows that the government issued financial instruments for a total of 41.1 billion cedis or 9.27 billion dollars between January and June 2017.
Out of these 30.5 billion cedis or 6.8 billion dollars was issued to substitute some maturing short-term debts for longer-dated ones, while the 10.65 million cedis or 2.4 billion dollars were new issuances.
High public debts coupled with their high interest payments have been the biggest challenges facing the managers of the Ghanaian economy over the past three years.
An almost one billion dollars International Monetary Fund (IMF) Extended Credit Facility (ECF) program which draws to an end April 2018 is expected to help iron out those rough edges in the economy and restore the country on the path of growth. Enditem