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Ghana’s economic recovery threatened as IMF team’s staff-level agreement delays

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Ghana’s Finance ministry has revealed that the country’s economic recovery efforts could set for delay and complications.

An official the position known on Wednesday, adding that if a visiting team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) leaves without a staff-level agreement next week.

The country’s director of Treasury and debt management, Samuel Arkhurst told journalists that the IMF had “nothing to do” with Ghana’s decision to undergo a domestic debt restructuring.

Arkhurst revealed that the consequences for those who do not voluntarily participate in the domestic bond exchange were still being negotiated, but there were no plans to go to parliament to force domestic bondholders to participate.

“If the holdouts are large, we will be in trouble,” Arkhurst told reporters.

“The government reserves the right to ensure that non-tendered eligible bonds do not benefit from their non-participation to the Domestic Debt Exchange, including through additional regulatory measures or a more coercive approach,” said a slide presented at the briefing.

The country is currently battling debt, 20-year-high inflation, a weak currency, and rising inequality.

The country’s currency, Cedi was the world’s worst-performing in 2022 as investors continued to squeeze foreign capital into the West African country.

As part of its many initiatives to out of its current economic challenge, Ghana recently ordered all large-scale mining companies to sell 20% of their entire stock and asked the companies to pay the Bank of Ghana with refined gold at their refineries from Jan. 1, 2023.

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German finance minister calls out China, wants creditors to restructure debt for Ghana

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Germany’s finance minister, Christian Lindner has called on countries that have lent to Ghana to form a creditor committee quickly to help it restructure its debt.

Lindner made the position known during a news conference with his Ghanaian counterpart Ken Ofori-Atta on Friday, while singling out China in the call to have the country’s debt restructured.

“I would like to call on all creditors to join the efforts as swiftly as possible.

“And, to be frank, I remind China of its responsibilities as a very important bilateral creditor of Ghana,” he said, adding that he had done so “on the international level” at International Monetary Fund (IMF) meetings in October 2022.

“Ghana needs to return as fast as possible to the international financial markets. Ghana should keep its credibility,” Lindner said.

Ghana’s currency, Cedi is currently rated the world’s worst-performing in 2022 as investors continued to squeeze foreign capital into the West African country.

The country approached the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in July to ask for financial help after soaring prices and economic hardship spurred street protests. It secured a staff-level agreement with the IMF in December for a $3 billion loan, but the money’s approval is contingent on it restructuring its debt of 467.4 billion cedis ($39 billion).

The Ghanaian minister, Ofori-Atta told reporters, “Germany is being true partner” in helping Ghana through the debt restructuring process in “an accelerated way.”

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Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi, TotalEnergies, discuss over gas project

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Discussion on the humanitarian situation in the Cabo Delgado area in Mozambique is ongoing between The head of TotalEnergies and Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi.

TotalEnergies’ chairman and chief executive Patrick Pouyanne had visited the Cabo Delgado area to review the security and humanitarian situation, and Pouyanne had met the Mozambique President during his trip.

The multinational revealed that it has engaged Jean-Christophe Rufin, whom it said was an expert in humanitarian action and human rights, with an independent mission to assess the humanitarian situation in Cabo Delgado province.

Pouyanné said, “since 2021, the situation in Cabo Delgado province has improved significantly, thanks in particular to the support provided by the African countries that committed themselves to restore peace and security.”

“The mission entrusted to Jean-Christophe Rufin should enable Mozambique LNG’s partners to assess whether the current situation allows for a resumption of activities while respecting human rights,” he added.

A force majeure’ was declared in 2021 on TotalEnergies’ Mozambique LNG project, valued at $20 billion, due to regional unrest after an insurgent group linked to Islamic State attacked the northern town of Palma.

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