Ghana says it will solve debt crisis without IMF help

STORY: Ghana is committed to managing its debt without assistance from the International Monetary Fund.

That’s according to the country’s Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta.

Ghana's total public debt stood at about 77% of its GPD at the end of 2021, according to government data.

It has pushed one of West Africa's largest economies to the brink of crisis.

In March the government announced a raft of spending cuts to tackle inflation, reduce the public deficit, restore a depreciating local currency and reassure spooked investors.

But it has consistently refused to ask the IMF for help.

The gold, oil and cocoa producer saw consumer inflation rise to an 18-year record of almost 24% in April despite efforts to contain price hikes and spur recovery.

Ofori-Atta said the priority would be to solve the country's domestic debt, which has interest rates that are three to four times higher than foreign debt.

The central bank in March raised its main lending rate by a record 250 basis points and is expected to review this at a Monetary Policy Committee meeting on May 23.

Ofori-Atta said another interest rate hike would be a "knee jerk reaction" to "imported inflation," noting that prices had continued to increase since the March increase.

Ghana's credit ratings have been downgraded over concerns about the government's ability to pass legislation to raise revenues.

There has been fierce opposition to a tax on electronic payments approved in April, with critics saying it will unfairly impact lower-income people and small business owners.

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