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Business News of Friday, 24 April 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Negotiate with World Bank on a debt standstill – Akufo-Addo tells ECOWAS heads


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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has asked African Finance Ministers within the ECOWAS assembly to negotiate a debt standstill in order to cushion against external shocks in the wake of the coronavirus.

He made the recommendation when he joined his West African counterparts for a virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit on the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Akufo-Addo, the issue of debt relief must remain a public debt but private debts must also be looked at during negotiations with the World Bank.

“I am 100% the view of President Macky Sall about the public debt. In the case of Ghana that debt standstill means that US$500 million in interests and principles this year.”

“We need to go beyond the debt standstill, we need actual debt relief. Therefore, the efforts that are being made should get the wholehearted support of all of us. I believe that the issue of debt relief should not just stay at public debt. The private debts also should be looked at,” President Akufo-Addo said.

He added that efforts are being made by Ghanaian and South African Finance Ministers to negotiate with the World Bank a debt standstill for countries of the International Development Association.

Prior to this development, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has called for a debt relief package from China to ease the economic burden on Africa after the pandemic.

“My feeling is that China has to come on stronger. Africa’s debt to China is US$145 billion or so with over US$8 billion of payments required this year so that needs to be critically looked at.” Ofori-Atta earlier indicated.

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