Ghana’s public debt stock stood at ¢575.7 billion at the end of November 2022, about 93.5% of Gross Domestic Product, the Bank of Ghana’s January 2023 Summary of Economic and Financial Data has disclosed
The debt stock increased by ¢108.3 billion between September and November 2021, indicating that the country’s debt was unsustainable. This triggered a debt restructuring in which the Domestic Debt Exchange is expected to end on January 31, 2023.
According to the data from the Central Bank, the external component of the total public debt shot up to $29.2 billion (¢382.7 billion) in November 2022, equivalent to 62.1% of GDP. This was from $28.4 billion (¢271.7 billion) in September 2022 and $28.3 billion in December 2021.
From the figures, the about 37% depreciation of the cedi to the dollar in 2022 was the main cause of the significant jump in the cedi component of the external debt.
In terms of the domestic debt, it stood at ¢194.7 billion at the end of December 2022, about 31.6% of GDP. This is against ¢195.7 billion recorded in September 2022 and ¢193.1 billion in November 2022. About ¢170 billion of the domestic debt is being restructured for a period of 12 years.
The report however did not provide data for the financial sector resolution debt and other liabilities such as the energy sector debt.
Meanwhile, the government’s fiscal deficit to GDP stood at 9.8% in November 2022, from 7.4% recorded in September 2022.
World Bank projected debt-to-GDP ratio of 99.7% for Ghana in 2023
The World Bank in its October 2022 Africa Pulse Report projected a debt-to-GDP ratio of 99.7% and 101.8% for Ghana in 2023 and 2024, respectively.
It has also classified Ghana as a high debt distress country as it estimated the nation’s debt to GDP of 104.6% by the end of 2022.
“Debt is expected to jump in Ghana to 104.6% of GDP, from 76.6% a year earlier amid a widened government deficit, massive weakening of the cedi, and rising debt service costs. The country’s debt is expected to remain elevated at 99.7% and 101.8% of GDP in 2023 and 2024, respectively”.