Ghana Mortgages its Future With Debt, Opposition Leader Says

  • Main opposition leader says he'll review IMF loan if elected
  • Opposition party criticizes president's economic performance

Ghana’s main opposition leader said the government has accumulated excessive debt and he may review an almost $1 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund if he’s brought to power in elections next year.

“The appetite of this government for borrowing is a major problem,” Nana Akufo-Addo, the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, said in an interview Wednesday in the capital, Accra.“The future of our country is being mortgaged.”

The NPP will argue in its campaign for elections in December 2016 that it can run the economy better than President John Dramani Mahama. Under his government, economic growth reached its slowest pace in two decades in 2014 while the country faces power cuts, declining revenue from the oil-price slump and a 16 percent plunge in the value of the cedi against the dollar this year.

The currency fell 0.5 percent to 3.8500 per a dollar at 10:10 am in the capital, Accra, on Thursday.

“The economy is going be the major issue of this election,” Akufo-Addo said. “We are going to let Ghanaians know that we can manage this economy in a much better manner than they have seen.”

Eurobond Sale

Ghana raised $1 billion of 15-year Eurobonds on Oct. 8 at a higher yield than it wanted. The government may issue $500 million more in debt this year, Deputy Finance Minister Mona Quartey said Wednesday.

The government took out an emergency loan from the IMF in April to help stabilize its economy. If his party wins the election, Akufo-Addo said he’ll consider making “amendments to the program if necessary when we have all the data.”

Akufo-Addo, a lawyer and former foreign minister, got 48 percent of the votes cast in 2012 elections, the second presidential vote he contested. The NPP has petitioned the electoral commission to create a new voter registry after it found errors in the one used in 2012.

“We will do whatever is necessary within the limits of the law to be able to influence the electoral commission to come to a good decision for the country,” Akufo-Addo said. His party ruled West Africa’s second-biggest economy from 2001 to 2008.

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