The UK Government last Wednesday welcomed news that Ghana's external debt should be reduced as a result of its progress on poverty reduction. The Boards of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have approved Ghana's Completion Point in the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.
This means Ghana's external debt will be reduced by $2.2 billion (in net present value terms) if all donors provide the expected relief. To reach this point, Ghana has prepared and begun to implement a comprehensive Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy, maintained macroeconomic stability and undertaken key structural reforms and social measures.
Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for International Development, said: "I am delighted that Ghana has successfully reached HIPC Completion Point. Britain played a major role in encouraging the then new Government of President John Agyekum Kufuor to apply for HIPC in 2001, and we have been strong supporters of the country's reform efforts since. Ghana has made good use of the additional resources which were freed up by the reduction in debt repayments”.
I remember during my visit in March this year being shown a rural school building built with HIPC funds and sporting a bright "HIPC benefit" logo. Now Ghana has an opportunity to go further and faster with its development plans."