German Ambassador to Ghana, Daniel Krull, has cautioned that if China does not agree to Ghana’s debt relief deal, the $3 billion loan requested from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may not be approved.
In a statement to the media, Mr. Krull stated that China has so far refused attempts by Ghanaian officials to persuade them to commit to the formation of a creditors’ committee in order to reach an agreement on a debt deal.
On Friday, February 3, Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo requested Germany to “encourage” China, an ad hoc member of the Paris Club, to support Ghana’s debt restructuring efforts.
The President made the call when German Finance Minister Christian Lindner paid him a visit at Accra’s Jubilee House.
On Thursday, 17th February 2023, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta announced that the government’s planned high-level meeting with Chinese creditors to discuss Ghana’s debt restructuring has been pushed out until late March 2023.
According to Mr. Krull, this is due to the approaching National People’s Congress of China, which is set for early March.
But, Mr. Krull has stated that other creditors will only play a role and help if China, Ghana’s largest creditor, agrees to the debt relief package.
“We are prepared to live up to our responsibility as one of the major bilateral creditors to Ghana, but we are only ready to implement our solidarity only if specific requirements are met.
In the first place, it must be done in an internationally coordinated manner, which is why we have the G20 common framework.
The G20 has agreed on how to deal with these kinds of crises, and we believe it is critical that this framework is respected”.
“The second condition is that we are ready to take our part when others are willing to do that thus all major creditors must be ready to help Ghana.
China is the elephant in the room.
China is Ghana’s largest creditor, and so far [China] is opposing to the formation of a creditors’ committee, in which creditors will get down and agree on an aid package for Ghana.”
Mr. Krull also urged MPs and politicians with commercial ties to China to encourage their Chinese colleagues to support the aid package designed to help Ghana’s economy.
“The President and the Minister Of finance have appealed to Germany to assist Ghana in convincing China to come to the table, and we are ready to do that but at the same time, I want to appeal to all Ghanaians who have strong connections to China, who are doing nice business with China to also start engaging them and convince them that it is time to sit down with all the creditors and agree on a package.
Timing is of the essence. Without this agreement, the IMF deal is in danger.”