Concerns of retirees, opposition parties about the debt restructuring showed how strong Ghana’s democracy is – BoG Boss

Dr Ernest Kwamina Addison, Governor of Bank of Ghana

Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Ernest Addison, has stated that as part of the practice that reflects the democratic process of checks and balances in Ghana, the opposition parties voiced their concerns about the impact of debt restructuring on the economy.

It is recalled some pensioners picketed at the Ministry of Finance to protest their inclusion in the programme.

Dr Addison said that the concerns of citizens like retirees and domestic creditors served as valuable input into the debates and decisions of the Ghanaian parliament.

Dr Addison said these during a joint capacity-building initiative between the World Bank Group, Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), and West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) on parliaments and public debt management roundtable: transparency & accountability in public debt management, at the Eastern Premier Hotel in Koforidua on Monday Febraury 5.

Dr Addison told the gathering that Ghana successfully restructured $5.4 billion in loans with official creditors, an essential step in its debt relief and economic stabilisation efforts.

Also, as part of the debt restructuring programme, the country has executed a public offer to Ghanaian bondholders to trade their highyielding bonds for lower-yielding versions of much longer maturity periods, the added.

These actions were decisively implemented to alleviate the effects of the debt distress that has affected Ghana, he said.

“Now, Ghana focuses on deepening economic reforms to ensure long-term macro-fiscal stability and debt sustainability. The outcomes in terms of quantitative performance and indicative targets have been encouraging so far,” Dr Addison stated.

He further stated that the Ghanaian Parliament played a crucial and multifaceted role in the country’s debt restructuring efforts.

Their involvement included approving the 2023 budget and its debt restructuring and economic reforms components; the budget approval gave the government the green light to restructure its debt, he said, adding that scrutinising all aspects of the debt restructuring plans, ensuring transparency. This gave Ghanaian bondholders confidence to participate in the debt exchange program;  Ensuring that the debt restructuring followed due process and complied with constitutional provisions, especially given the international dimensions of these economic decisions, which includes approving international commercial transactions.

“Furthermore, as it is the practice which reflects the democratic process of checks and balances, the opposition parties voiced their concerns about the impact of debt restructuring on the economy and its citizens like retirees and domestic creditors, which served as valuable input into the debates and decisions of the Ghanaian parliament.

“Honourable parliamentarians, esteemed participants, ladies and gentlemen, As we embark on this journey of intense interaction over the next few days, let us engage actively, share our diverse insights, and forge a path towards robust and effective public debt management strategies tailored to our unique domestic economic contexts. Our policy recommendations and future directions should reflect a holistic approach, encompassing transparency, continuous capacity-building, regional collaboration, and adaptation to emerging challenges.

“I humbly urge you to make the most of this opportunity. Remember that our discussions here are not just for the present but will echo into the future, impacting generations in our respective countries.”