Exempt individual bondholders; focus on G20, others for debt relief – Economist to govt

A lecturer at the Department of Economics at the University of Ghana, Dr. Adu Owusu Sarkodie has advised government to be soft on individual bondholders and pensioners and seek other avenues to deal with the country’s debt issues.

He said government could fall on the G20 Group to help make its debt sustainable to meet the International Monetary Fund’s conditionalities for a financial bailout.

Speaking on Eyewitness News, Dr. Sarkodie admonished “the government to focus on the common framework by the G20 Group because that will bring much relief to this debt restructuring that we are talking about. Ghana owes about $28 billion in external debt and the common framework can get us $15 billion because we own about $1.7 billion from China, $1.9 billion from the Paris Club, and $3.2 billion from the other international banks, and 8.3 billion multinational corporations and so if the government is able to do anything domestically, they will not even be needing anything from the individual bondholders and the pension funds.”

He said the positive perception of international bodies and agencies about Ghana makes it easier for the country to get help from any of the Bretton Woods institutions which must be explored to the latter.

“Ghana seems to have some favourable conditions in terms of the geopolitics of the country and the Bretton Woods institutions seem to be very intentional with Ghana and they don’t want the country to sink judging from the interviews that they have granted.”

“If the individual bondholders and the pensioners are not willing to partake in the programme, they can exempt them and probably talk to the commercial banks and other institutions to see if they can buy Ghana’s debt voluntarily, and then they can pursue the external debt relief,” Dr. Sarkodie added.