Rating agency, Fitch, expects Ghana’s public sector debt to reach 99% of Gross Domestic Debt at the end of 2023, from 88% in 2022.
This it says will be driven by a depreciation of the cedi against the US dollar. So far, the local currency has lost about 11.80% in value to the dollar on the retail market and 22% on the interbank market.
It said minus a Common Framework restructuring, public sector debt would decline to 95% of GDP in 2024 and 94% in 2025. This is amid continued fiscal consolidation and a stabilization of the cedi.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had projected a decline in Ghana’s debt-to-GDP ratio for 2023 to 84.9% from 92.4% in 2022.
According to its October 2023 Fiscal Monitor, the country’s total debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to fall consistently in the next five years.
Ghana’s public finances deteriorated last year which contributed to a prolonged lack of access to Eurobond markets and in turn led to a significant decline in external liquidity.
This triggered Ghana’s downgrade to ‘CCC’ last year by Fitch, which was followed by further downgrades that culminated in the country’s placement on restricted default (‘RD’) in early 2023. Fitch affirmed both the LTFC and the LTLC IDRs at ‘RD’ on July 28, 2023.
Despite this, Fitch said foreign-currency debt is less than 40% of Ghana’s total public debt, well below the ‘B’ median.
Again, Ghana has stronger levels of governance than the ‘B’ median, and a record of democratic elections, with peaceful transitions of power since 1992.
But it expressed concerns about the country’s weaknesses such as low international liquidity position, low per-capita income and human development indicators and the concentration of Ghana’s exports in oil, gold and cocoa, exposing it to volatility in commodity prices.
We’ll ensure there are enough funds for 2023/2024 cocoa purchasing season – COCOBOD
COCOBOD has assured that concrete steps have been taken to ensure it is able to secure enough funds to finance its annual cocoa purchases in the 2023/2024 crop season.
Against the backdrop of a reportage by Reuters that the firm had borrowed up to $200 million from cocoa traders to plug its funding gap, COCOBOD said it had adopted a two-prong financing strategy to ensure that it obtained the required funds for the purchasing season.
A statement from COCOBOD in response to the Reuters report indicated that it had had firm assurances from its bankers of making funds available in time for the purchasing season and that a “Cocoa syndicated Loan has been laid in Parliament for consideration and approval.”
Below is COCOBOD’s full statement.
FINANCING OF PURCHASES FOR 2023/24 CROP SEASON
There have been some recent publications in the news media in relation to funds for cocoa purchases for the 2023/24 Crop Season.
We wish to brief our stakeholders on this very sensitive national issue as follows:
COCOBOD planned a two-prong financing for the 2023/2024 Crop Season in an effort to diversify Its source of funding for the annual cocoa purchases.
The strategy was therefore, to use a prefinancing arrangement with the international buyers to raise an amount of US$400 million for purchases at the beginning of the Season in September 2023.
These initial funds were expected to be augmented by an additional US$800 million loan from a syndicate of lenders by the end of November 2023. After engagements with buyers for several weeks, the arrangement was however discontinued.
Thus, since the beginning of the Season, cocoa purchases have been financed with noncollateralized cocoa sales proceeds. COCOBOD is therefore still in the process of securing the syndicated loan for the 2023/24 Crop Season.
As a matter of fact, the Board has so far received firm response from our bankers in this regard, and the Cocoa syndicated Loan has been laid in Parliament for consideration and approval.
We wish to use this medium to assure our stakeholders that the necessary arrangements have been made to secure enough funding for cocoa purchases for the year under review.
ISSUED BY: PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
Ghana is a good place to do business – Bawumia tells Czech investors
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia is actively seeking Czech investors for the country.
Dr. Bawumia emphasized that Ghana remains the best country in Africa for investment due to its stability, peace, and growth opportunities for businesses.
He made these remarks during his meeting with the Czech Prime Minister, Peter Fiala, at the Jubilee House in Accra.
“Ghana is an excellent place for doing business. We are the most peaceful country in West Africa and the second most peaceful country in Africa. It is crucial for anyone looking to invest in Africa to consider Ghana as the ideal destination for business.”
“I am confident that this will open up opportunities for our respective business sectors,” he stated.
Mahama’s ’24hr Economy’ project will revolutionize Ghana – Dafeamekpor
South Dayi Member of Parliament, Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor, has said that the ’24-hour Economy’ project conceived by the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Former President John Dramani Mahama will turn the economy around if implemented.
Mr Mahama proposed the ’24hr Economy ‘ project when he met with officials of the country’s mother workers union on Tuesday, November 7, 2023 at the start of his engagement with key stakeholders in a quest to return to power.
Dubbed ‘Building Ghana Tour’, the interactions with the stakeholders is to apprise them of the policies the next NDC administration will implement to transform the economy.
At Tuesday’s engagement, he said “NDC was left alone as the solitary voice seeking to hold the government accountable and speaking up for the voiceless Ghanaian and we were often cast out as spoilt brats who were ranting just because we have lost power.
“Today, the chickens have come home to roost and we are all affected.”
Commenting on this in a tweet, Mr Dafeamekpor said “Some concrete Examples of John Mahama’s ‘24hr Economy’ Projects include Terminal 3 at Kotoka, Tema Port Container Terminal, New Ridge Hospital, Maritime Hospital, Tema, UGMC, Legon, Kejetia Market, Accra Data Centre, the TamaleTeaching Hospital. It’ll revolutionize the economy.”