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Ofori-Atta to China: Grant us exemplary debt treatment solution

Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister for Finance/bonds/Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP)

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta

The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has urged China to grant Ghana an exemplary debt treatment solution.

The minister made this appeal to a Chinese delegation in Accra. The delegation is in the country to engage the Government of Ghana, following a request for the restructuring of the country’s US$1.9 billion debt owed to China.

A report on the Ministry of Finance website stated that the delegation is in Accra on a three-day mission, ahead of Ghana’s upcoming mission to China, all in line with ongoing negotiations for a sovereign debt treatment.

The report also highlighted that scheduled meetings were going well and discussions have been cordial and fruitful.

A highly placed source at the Ministry for Finance went further to share that there has been data sharing between the two governments, with discussions being held at the technical level, on the parameters of an effective debt treatment.

According to the source, the Ghanaian government is seeking among other reliefs, an extension of the moratorium on debt servicing; an extension of maturities; and lower interest rates.

Another source close to the Ministry of Finance, speaking on condition of anonymity, corroborated the report that technical discussions have been extremely positive so far. The source also hinted that plans are on course for the proposed high-level government mission to China, during the last week of March.

The Chinese delegation, as part of the three-day mission, has met with the Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the Minister for Finance and technical teams from the Ministry for Finance.

The Chinese ambassador to Ghana, Lu Kun, also hosted the delegation at a luncheon yesterday. In attendance were members of the Chinese delegation, the Minister for Finance; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey; Ghana’s Ambassador to China, Dr Winfred Nii Okai Hammond; and officials of the Ministry for Finance.

Speaking at the luncheon, Ofori-Atta thanked the Chinese government for their long-standing cooperation and support for Ghana. He emphasised the need to keep and strengthen that relationship, whilst working towards an exemplary debt treatment solution that could serve as a model for China’s future engagements with other African countries.

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