The German Finance Minister, Christian Lindner, has called on Ghana’s international creditors to support the country’s quest to restructure its economy.
That, he said, was important for Ghana to keep its credibility and turn around its economy.
Mr Lindner was speaking after holding a bilateral meeting with the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta on the International monetary fund (IMF) staff engagement, and structural reforms in the energy sector among others.
The meeting, which was held behind closed doors, discussed the broad areas that Ghana and Germany’s partnership would encompass including scaling up initiatives that build resilience and promote sustainable, inclusive growth. and safeguarding climate or environment and internal security in the two countries.
The discussions also focused on strengthening the capacity and governance of public sector institutions in both countries, strengthening Ghana’s anti-money laundering regime, digitalizing society and exploring avenues to support addressing fiscal imbalances and debt vulnerabilities.
Leading a delegation to Ghana for an official tour in Ghana, Mr Lindner interacting with journalists after the meeting advocated the immediate formation of an international credit committee under the common framework.
“We need a creditor committee as soon as possible. I would like to call on all creditors to join the efforts as swiftly as possible” he said and reminded China, which is not a member of the G-20, of its responsibilities as an important bilateral creditor of Ghana to participate in such an effort.
The German Finance Minister said the German government was familiar with the situation of Ghana and its challenges as it has “a vital interest in the success of the Ghanaian economy and we want to see West Africa as a whole stay stable. We are interested in the economic well-being and progress of Ghana.”
He said “we know that there are opportunities for this country. It has dynamism and we really appreciate the efforts the government has made by expanding its human capital and focusing on improving social mobility but due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation and the impact of the Russian and Ukraine invasion the situation, unfortunately, is getting worse.”
He said Germany, which was Ghana’s second largest bilateral creditor, was ready to support Ghana’s effort to bounce back economically.
In fostering policy reforms, he said three measures comprising balancing the fiscal measures in Ghana’s budget, ensuring macroeconomic recovery and debt operations were needed to bring Ghana back to sustainable economic development over the next few years.
Support of friends
Mr Ofori-Atta, for his part, said Ghana was in the middle of an IMF programme that required the support of Germany in a number of ways.
He said forming a creditor committee at the Paris Club to accelerate the decision making process and supporting the IMF fund board to make sure that Ghana got approval in March 2023 was very essential.
“Germany has always been strong with their support for us in terms of energy, financial and governance sectors and these are all critical components of our growth programme,” he said.