Ghana’s debt stock has risen to GHS255.7 billion, as of June 2020. Some GHS50 billion has been added to the debt stock in the last 12 months. Provisional figures from the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, indicated that the current debt stock is 66.36 percent of GDP.
“The increase was mainly as a result of a Eurobond issuance of US$3.0 billion in February 2020, exchange rate depreciation, frontloading of expenditures and the COVID-19 effect which increased the cedi equivalent of the outstanding debt stock,” Mr. Ofori-Atta explained during the mid-year budget review.
The total debt stock was made up of GHS134.9 billion of external debt and GHS120.8 billion domestic debt. These accounted for 52.7 percent and 47.3 percent of the total public debt stock, respectively. As a percentage of GDP, external and domestic debt represented 35 percent and 31.36 percent, respectively.
In the first quarter of 2020, Ghana added GHS16.9 billion to its debt stock, taking it to GHS 236.1 billion. This means Ghana added almost GHS20 billion to its debt stock in the subsequent three months, which coincided with the harshest periods of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The debt figures have been a point of attack for the opposition National Democratic Congress. It claims the Akufo-Addo administration has been adding over GHS 3 billion monthly to Ghana’s public debt stock over the last three years.
Former Finance Minister Seth Terkper also used to argue that Ghana’s total debt stock published by the Bank of Ghana was downplayed and not reflecting the true debt of the country.