Ekow Dontoh

Ghana sees debt levels slowing as growth outpaces borrowings

Ghana’s growth in government debt will slow in 2016 as economic expansion outpaces borrowing, Finance Minister Seth Terkper said.

The West Africa nation’s debt, which measured 71 percent of gross domestic product in 2015, “will improve on account of positive growth,” Terkper told journalists in the capital, Accra.

The economy in the world’s second-biggest cocoa grower expanded by 4.9 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, compared with a revised 4.1 percent in the preceding three months. President John Dramani Mahama pledged to tighten the fiscal gap which the International Monetary Fund said last month could reach 4.8 percent of GDP, lower than the government forecast of 5.3 percent.

Plans to raise as much as $1 billion this year in Eurobond sales will only proceed if rates are affordable, Terkper said. Ghana will delay some debt sales if the market is not conducive, he said.