Ghana Maintains Top Spot as Africa’s Largest Borrower from IMF with 35.3% Increase in Q2


In the latest release of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Quarterly Finances for July-ending 2023, Ghana has solidified its position as the most indebted country in Africa to the IMF. The country’s loan to the IMF surged by a staggering 35.3% during the second quarter of 2023, painting a concerning financial picture.

As of July 31, 2023, Ghana’s outstanding loans to the Bretton Woods institution reached Special Drawing Rights (SDR) 1.689 billion, equivalent to a substantial $2.227 billion. This figure marked a notable increase of $451 million SDR since April 30, 2023, when Ghana’s debt to the IMF was at 1.246 billion SDR.

This surge in Ghana’s debt is attributed to a $600 million bailout package received from the IMF in June 2023. This financial lifeline was aimed at resuscitating Ghana’s economy, which had been grappling with fiscal challenges.

Remarkably, Ghana’s debt exposure to the IMF accounts for a significant 9.55% of Africa’s overall debt to the IMF, which stood at SDR 17.68 billion.

In a notable financial move, Ghana managed to repay SDR 8 million, equivalent to $10.55 million, to the IMF during this period. This repayment underscores the country’s commitment to servicing its debt obligations to the international financial institution.

It’s important to note that Ghana’s loan exposure to the IMF falls under the category of concessional lending, which typically features low-interest financing terms, intended to provide financial assistance to countries in need.

In a regional context, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya have retained their positions as the second and third countries with the largest outstanding loans to the IMF in Africa as of July 31st, 2023. DR Congo’s debt to the IMF amounted to SDR 1.142 billion, while Kenya’s debt stood at SDR 1.008 billion. Both countries also received disbursements from the IMF, with DR Congo receiving SDR 153 million and Kenya securing SDR 77 million to bolster their balance of payments.

Sudan and Uganda have also maintained their rankings as the fourth and fifth countries with significant debt exposure to the IMF in Africa. Sudan’s debt was estimated at SDR 992 million, while Uganda’s debt reached SDR 812 million. Uganda, like the others, received a disbursement from the IMF, with an allocation of SDR 91 million aimed at bolstering its fiscal economy.

The collective debt of the rest of the African nations to the IMF stood at a substantial SDR 11.32 billion, emphasizing the broader financial challenges faced by many countries on the continent.