Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Information Minister has rubbished claims which purports that Ghana has sunk into a quagmire of being declared as a Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC).
Addressing participants at the weekly Nation Building Updates held on Tuesday, October, 27, 2020, Mr. Nkrumah noted that, the assertions smacks of an attempt to ground the works achieved by the incumbent government, particularly as Ghana prepares for the December elections.
“There are suggestions being spread particularly on social media that Ghana has been declared HIPC again and I am sure you would have noticed that a lot of persons are sharing materials on social media that the IMF or World Bank has declared Ghana HIPC or listed Ghana as one of the HIPC countries and it is a suggestion that the economy is not as good a shape that we claim it is”.
Further condemning the act being perpetrated on social media, the Ofoase Ayirebi legislator emphatically derided the comments by stating the country is nowhere close to being tagged as HIPC.
According to the Information Minister, HIPC was a programme limited to a particular point in time that country and a number of African countries applied, benefited and the programme.
“The publication out there lists the countries that participated and qualified for it. Currently, there is no HIPC programme for any country to qualify for, so, if anybody is spreading that and adding to it a narrative that suggest that Ghana is now a highly indebted poor country and has been listed on an IMF or World Bank publication as such…”
“…for the avoidance of doubt and because we have also mentioned that we are aware that some persons in the weeks ahead of the elections will seek to spread a lot of false information and fake news, it is important to quickly respond to it right here and right now.
“Categorically we say to you it is not true that Ghana has been declared HIPC or has been added to the list of HIPC countries”.
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah further encouraged the general public to disregard such publications. He also admonished the media to be circumspect and thoroughly conduct background checks before publishing news items.
In 1996, the World Bank and the IMF jointly launched the initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs), which aimed at reducing the external debt burden of qualified and eligible countries. The enhanced HIPC targeted promoting more debt relief for countries pursuing a comprehensive country specific poverty reduction strategy programme.
In 2002, Ghana received debt relief amounting to US$275.2 million. In 2003, the country enjoyed debt relief of US$290.8 million and US$318.3 million as at November 2004.
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