Ghana: Kamala Harris calls on external creditors to support debt restructuring efforts
The Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, has called on Ghana’s foreign creditors to provide support in meeting the country’s debt servicing obligations, which would facilitate successful negotiations for a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Ghanaian economy has been beset with challenges, including a painful domestic debt restructuring programme, which has led to the government seeking assistance from the IMF.
During her visit to Ghana, Harris expressed her support for the “engagement with the IMF,” stressing that the Biden administration “will continue to push for all bilateral creditors to provide meaningful debt reduction for countries that need it, including Ghana.” She added that “we must work together as an international community to ease the debt burden that is facing far too many countries.”
It is essential to note that Ghana’s external debt has increased significantly in recent years, which has led to the government seeking debt relief from foreign creditors. The country’s Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, recently returned from a trip to China, where he sought external debt forgiveness to enable Ghana to secure the expected $3 billion cushion from the IMF.
Harris’s call for debt relief is a welcome development for Ghana, which has been struggling to service its debt obligations. The US government’s commitment of $100 million to combat terrorism in some coastal West African countries, including Ghana, Guinea, Cote D’Ivoire, Benin, and Togo, is also a significant boost to the country’s security efforts.
President Joe Biden’s strategy to prevent violent extremism and promote stability in West Africa is commendable, and the commitment of funds to support the effort is an indication of the US government’s commitment to regional stability. Ghana’s inclusion in the list of countries to benefit from the funding is a recognition of the country’s strategic importance in the region.
Harris’s visit to Ghana is part of a one-week tour that will see her visit two other African countries, Tanzania and Zambia. The visit underscores the importance of Africa to the Biden administration’s foreign policy agenda, which is aimed at promoting democracy, human rights, and economic development on the continent.
Harris’s call for debt relief for Ghana and the US government’s commitment of funds to combat terrorism in the region are positive developments that will support the country’s efforts to address its economic and security challenges. It is hoped that other creditors will follow the US government’s lead and provide debt relief to Ghana, which would enable the country to focus on its economic development agenda.