Ghana’s public debt reached 59.4% of GDP at the end of July this year, against 53.1% in July 2018, the Bank of Ghana’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) revealed.
The GHC205.6 billion ($38 billion) debt in July 2019 is 26.6% higher than the GHC159.7 billion ($30 billion) of July 2018. According to the Central Bank of Ghana, this debt is composed of external borrowing (31% of GDP) and domestic debt (28.4% of GDP).
Last year, Ghana ended its partnership with the IMF on a binding reform program that allowed it to reduce its debt level to 66.1% of GDP in 2017 from 71.8% in 2016, according to the Bretton Woods Institution. As soon as it ended the program, Ghana increased borrowing operations, mainly on the international debt market, to reduce its budget deficit and finance its development programs. During the first half of 2019, the country was the largest borrower in sub-Saharan Africa, raising about $3 billion on the international capital market.
According to the Central Bank’s statistics, this debt increase comes with a decline in income compared to planned targets. During the first seven months of the year, income reached GHC26.8 billion ($5 billion) or 7.7% of GDP, against a target of GHC31.8 billion ($6 billion) or 9.2% of GDP. The State budget deficit stood at 3.2% of GDP against a target of 3.9% over the period under review.