The Republic of Ghana is among about 34 African countries which are currently on World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) list.
The heavily indebted poor countries’ list is a joint initiative by the World Bank and the IMF which was launched in 1996.
On the World Bank’s website data.worldbank.org, the Africa countries listed include; Ghana, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros Islands, Democratic Republic of Congo and Republic of Congo.
Others include Ivory Coast, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Togo, Uganda and Zambia.
In a businessinsider.com report sighted by GhanaWeb, information obtained from the IMF fact sheet states that, the HIPC initiative aims to ensure that no poor country in the world ever faces a debt burden it cannot manage.
“This debt relief initiative works in such a way that multilateral financial organisations (including the IMF and the World Bank) work in partnership with governments across the world to lower external debts of impoverished countries to sustainable levels,” the report stated.
“It is, however, important to note that being poor is not the only eligibility criteria for being admitted on the heavily indebted poor countries’ list. There are a number of other requirements, including an established track record of the capability to grow out of poverty over time,” the report added.
The IMF listed the full criteria as follows:
1. Countries must be eligible to borrow from the World Bank’s International Development Agency.
2. Only countries facing an unsustainable debt burden that cannot be addressed through traditional debt relief mechanisms can be admitted.
3. The countries must have established track records of development reforms and sound policies.
4. They must also have an established poverty reduction strategy paper (PRSP) in place.
Meanwhile, Ken Ofori-Atta has denied reports that the Akufo-Addo led government will be seeking financial support from the IMF to help stabilize the economy.
“Absolutely not. We’ve gone to the Eurobond market, I guess 4 out of the 5 years since we came and those are always alternatives that we consider,” the Minister told Accra-based Citi FM in a recent interview.
The Minister is, however, expected to, on behalf of the President lay before Parliament, the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.
It is in accordance with Article 179 of the 1992 Constitution and Section 21 (3) of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016, (Act 921).