Government announces the resumption of development projects across Ghana

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Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah
Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

The government has announced the resumption of all temporarily suspended development projects across the country immediately after an agreement with External Creditors on debt treatment.

Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Information Minister, made this announcement in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at the 2023 International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank Group (WBG) Annual Meetings in Marrakech.

He explained that only infrastructure projects that were funded with external loans that the government halted because of the suspension in external debt servicing.

“Once we’re done with restructuring the external debt those [development projects] can resume as quick as possible,” the Information Minister explained.

“I’m not going to put timelines on it, but the feedback we’re getting is pretty positive and we can even start getting some Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) very soon,” he said.

He noted that once those MoUs were reached, government would be clear on how quickly it could get back on track with those projects to boost economic activities and create more jobs, especially for the youth.

Ghana has secured financing assurances from China and France for an MoU for the country’s external debt restructuring, following “tremendous progress,” Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister said on Friday.

The two countries are Co-Chairs for Official Creditors Committee under the Group of Twenty (G20) common framework for debt treatment, with China being the largest holder of Ghana’s external debt, accounting for some US$1.7bn.

Mr Ofor-Atta noted that engagement with China and France had seen no reluctance or opposition in getting the MoU for external debt restructuring signed by the third week of November 2023.

During this same period, the IMF Executive Board would meet over the approval of the country’s second tranche of US$600 million.

“The Chinese government within the past months is close to reaching a similar deal with Zambia, Sri Lanka, and Suriname, so, following that trend, we expect some similar cooperation from them to come to Ghana,” the Minister said.

Ghana suspended all debt servicing payments on some external debt in December 2022, as part of debt restructuring process and an interim measure to support financial stability.

It included Eurobonds, commercial term loans, and some bilateral debts, but excluded payments of multilateral debts.

Some government projects, including the completion of the Obetsebi Lamptey road extension, La and Shama General hospitals, and the Adomi bridge, have been affected as a result of such decision.

All these and other important infrastructure projects are expected to resume once the MoUs for the external debt treatment were signed.

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