IMF deal in April: Ghana, China meeting keeps hope alive
Ken Ofori-Atta (3rd left), Finance Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey (3rd right), Minister of Foreign Affairs and Lu Kun (2nd right), Chinese Ambassador to Ghana after the meeting in Accra. With them are officials of the two nations

IMF deal in April: Ghana, China meeting keeps hope alive

The government, last Wednesday, concluded its first debt restructuring discussions with Chinese creditors in Accra, after earlier reports of the Chinese developing cold feet and postponing meetings to the latter part of this month.

This new development, however, according to experts, cast a shining ray of hope to the uncertainty emerging on the country’s bailout deal from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The meeting between officials of the Ministry of Finance and their counterparts from China examined Ghana’s indebtedness to China and the possible ways the Asian giant can support the government’s external debt restructuring – a precursor to a bailout from the IMF to resuscitate the economy. 

Ghana’s Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, led the meeting on the Ghanaian side while the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Lu Kun, represented his country.

At a dinner to climax the first round of talks, Ofori-Atta expressed optimism that both countries would come to a mutually agreeable solution that “will be exemplary of China’s leadership in dealing with its bilateral debtors.” 

Earlier, the Finance Minister’s delegation implored on China and its creditors to support Ghana’s debt restructuring through reliefs and extensions of the moratorium on debt servicing and maturities, as well as lower interest rates.

China is Ghana’s biggest bilateral creditor, with about a third of the country’s US$5.7 billion debt owed to sovereigns. 


The meeting in Accra last week followed the postponement of an earlier one in Beijing from the last week of February to the third week of March, which created uncertainty on the government’s self-imposed deadline of a deal in the first quarter.

At the wrap up dinner on Wednesday, the Finance Minister and Ambassador Kun took turns to share words of hope on Ghana’s debt treatment exercise. 

Also in attendance were the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey; Ghana’s Ambassador to China, Dr Winfred Nii Okai Hammond and officials of the Ministry of Finance.

Great strides

Although Ghana is using the G20 Common Framework in restructuring its debt, China always insists on individual negotiations, hence the strive for inter-governmental meetings to find a common ground. 

Mr Ofori-Atta said at the dinner that the two sides had made great strides in finding an amicable solution to debt debacle. 

“Indeed, the visit to our Chinese colleagues assures me that we are both focused on a quick resolution to the challenges that confront us. 

“I know we will come to a mutually agreeable solution that will be exemplary of China’s leadership in dealing with bilateral debts,” he said.

Key partner

Mr Ofori-Atta noted that China was a key partner for Ghana and it had consistently been a crucial part of the country’s socioeconomic development.

He said the Asian country had supported the country through vital projects that spurred growth and job creation nationwide. 

“This is a partnership we will keep for the long haul and deepen even further,” he said.

China’s support

On her part, the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana said her outfit would continue to help the country, having done so for the past 66 years.

Madam Kuu described the relations between the two countries as unforgettable, for which reason China responded quickly to Ghana’s situation by dispatching a delegation to Accra.

The ambassador said it was the evidence of close links and the spirit of mutual cooperation.

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