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Ghana remains Africa’s top IMF borrower in 2023

In the second quarter of 2023, Ghana upheld its position as Africa’s foremost debtor to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as its debt to the organization surged by 35.3%.

As of July 31, 2023, Ghana’s outstanding loans to the IMF, as per the Fund’s Quarterly Finances report for July 2023, stood at Special Drawing Rights (SDR) 1.689 billion, equivalent to $2.227 billion.

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This marked a $451 million increase compared to the $1.246 billion recorded on April 30, 2023.

In June 2023, Ghana received a $600 million bailout package from the IMF to resuscitate its economy, which was grappling with fiscal challenges.

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According to the report, Ghana’s outstanding loan to the IMF accounts for 9.55% of Africa’s total of SDR 17.68 billion. Notably, Ghana had also repaid $10.55 million (equivalent to SDR 8 million) to the IMF.

Ghana’s exposure to the Bretton Woods institution is categorized as concessional lending, featuring low-interest financing. Meanwhile, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya retained their positions as the second and third most indebted countries to the IMF in Africa as of July 31, 2023.

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DR Congo owed the IMF SDR 1.142 billion, while Kenya’s debt to the Fund amounted to SDR 1.008 billion. Both countries also received disbursements of SDR 153 million and SDR 77 million, respectively, to bolster their balance of payments.

Sudan and Uganda maintained their fourth and fifth positions, respectively, with their exposure to the Fund estimated at SDR 992 million and SDR 812 million.

Uganda also received a disbursement of SDR 91 million to support its fiscal economy. The remainder of African countries collectively owed the IMF a total of SDR 11.32 billion.

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