Ghana has emerged as the African country with the highest external debt owed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), according to recent reports. This revelation has prompted discussions about the nation’s fiscal policies, its economic stability, and the measures needed to address its debt burden.
Ghana’s debt to the IMF increased by 35.55% over the time period under consideration, per data from the IMF’s Quarterly Finances for July-ending 2023.
This accounts for 9.55 percent of the 17.68 billion (Special Drawing Rights) SDR in total loans still owed by the Fund to African countries.
Out of the five categories of largest outstanding loans as of July 31, 2023, Ghana’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR) stood at $1.689 billion, higher than the $1.246 billion SDR recorded as of April 30, 2023.
Ghana had repaid SDR 8 million to the IMF as SDR 1 equals US$1.34294.
As of July 31, 2023, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo held the second and third-largest outstanding loans to the Fund positions in Africa, respectively.
Kenya owed the IMF SDR 1.008 whereas the Democratic Republic of the Congo owed the Fund SDR 1.142 billion.
Sudan and Uganda, whose exposure to the Fund is projected at SDR 992 million and SDR 812 million, respectively, kept their positions of fourth and fifth.
The remaining 11.32 billion SDR were owed to the IMF by the rest of Africa.
However, the debt situation also underscores the importance of careful fiscal planning and the need to balance development initiatives with sustainable debt management. Experts emphasize the importance of implementing policies that ensure debt remains at manageable levels and does not jeopardize the nation’s financial stability.
The IMF, in collaboration with the Ghanaian government, continues to work on strategies to manage the debt burden effectively. This includes measures to boost revenue generation, enhance public financial management, and prioritize investments in critical sectors that promote economic growth.
AMN | Reporters | Accra.