DDEP was transparent, efficient and expedited to alleviate debt burden, says Ofori-Atta

The minister extended his gratitude to the overwhelming number of bondholders who participated in the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP)

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has hailed the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) as one that was transparent, efficient and expedited to alleviate Ghana’s debt burden.

In an address to Parliament on Thursday (16 February), Ofori-Atta said, “when the government decided to implement the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme, our aim was to alleviate the debt burden in a transparent, efficient, and expedited manner while minimising its impact on investors holding government bonds.”

He added, “with great relief and immense gratitude, the government is pleased to announce that as of February 14, 2023, approximately 85% of holders eligible to participate in the Invitation to Exchange tendered in the Exchange.”

The Finance Minister also expressed his appreciation to Ghanaians for their patience and support throughout the country’s challenging economic times.

He also extended his gratitude to the overwhelming number of bondholders who participated in the program, calling it an all-important effort to pull the economy back from the brink of crisis.

“The success of the DDEP will build momentum for the external debt restructuring programme, which has also commenced,” Ofori-Atta said. He noted that the government has officially asked bilateral creditors for a Debt Treatment initiative under the G-20 Common Framework.

The Finance Minister also indicated that negotiations have started with commercial creditors, with two preliminary discussions and exchange of information already underway. He expressed hope that the commercial creditors would understand the government’s desire to negotiate softer terms with bilateral creditors to pave the way for discussions with private creditors.

“The government recognizes the continued importance of the DDEP in closing the financing gap and enabling the government to meet the debt sustainability target of 55% of debt-to-GDP in present value terms by 2028,” Ofori-Atta added.

With Ofori-Atta leading the effort, the government has, inspite of the odds, managed to secure an IMF staff level agreement and a domestic debt restructuring in record time.

The Minister for Finance reiterated that it was his hope that Ghana would obtain IMF board approval by the end of March, as part of efforts to restore the country to macro-economic stability.

Wilberforce Asare

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