Eswatini Daily News

By Jorgelina do Rosario, Christian Akorlie and Rachel Savage

LONDON/ACCRA (Reuters) – Ghana’s official creditors are poised to grant financing assurances and form a committee co-chaired by France and China – key steps for the nation to secure a $3 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan, sources told Reuters.

The country’s bilateral lenders are expected to formally grant financing assurances as soon as Friday – confirmation that they will then start talks to give Ghana the relief needed to make its debt sustainable, said the sources with direct knowledge of the process speaking on condition of anonymity.

The assurances could pave the way for the IMF executive board to approve the $3 billion loan next week, one of the sources said.

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IMF spokesperson Julie Kozack said in a Thursday news briefing that the Fund is hopeful its executive board can quickly consider the Ghana program once enough official bilateral creditor assurances have been secured. The package was agreed upon at the staff level in December.

“We have seen strong progress toward creditors delivering on these financing assurances and we’re hopeful that they can be delivered very rapidly,” Kozack said.

Ghana’s finance ministry and China’s finance ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment. The Paris Club declined to comment.

The West African nation is struggling through its worst economic crisis in a generation, defaulting on most of its external debt in December and completing a domestic debt exchange in February.

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IMF staff agreed to the $3 billion support package in December, but financing assurances from official creditors are needed before the fund’s board will approve disbursements.

Like other smaller, riskier emerging market countries including Sri Lanka and Zambia, Ghana faces a debt overhaul after its already strained finances buckled under the economic fallout from COVID-19 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The country is negotiating its international debt rework under the Group of 20’s Common Framework platform, with $5.4 billion debt to official creditors eligible for restructuring, according to government data. The nation is also in talks to rework $14.6 billion of debt to private overseas creditors.

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