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17.07.2004 Business & Finance

Ghana Formally Signs HIPC Agreement at World Bank

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Ghana on Thursday signed the Development Finance Agreement at the World Bank in Washington,DC to formally reach the HIPC completion point and the begining of cash-inflow from bilaternal and multilateral agencies.

Ghana's Acting Ambassador to the United States Mr. Isaac Aggrey signed for Ghana with Messrs Ernest Ako Adjei, Ghana's senior advisor to the executive director and Ivor Agyeman-Duah Minister Counselor for Public Affairs at the Ghana Embassy as witnesses.

Mr. Nils Tcheyan, Acting Vice President of the Africa Region for the International Development Association who signed on behalf of the Bank congratulated the country for its discipline in reaching the completion point. Mr. Aggrey in response said the Government of Ghana remained steadfast in its conviction that debt relief was in the very short term, the best way to move Ghana out of poverty into sustainable development and economic growth.

According to the Acting Ambassador,reaching the HIPC completion point within the short time ''is proof of the wisdom in the decision to adopt the initiative and, we are grateful to the Bank for its support.''

The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank's International Development Association earlier in the week agreed that Ghana had taken the necessary steps to reach its completion point under HIPC and therefore qualified for debt measures.

The IDA as a result will provide debt relief amounting to U.S.$1.4m in debt service to be delivered through a 67 percent reduction in debt services on IDA credits from 2002 to 2022. The IMF will also provide debt relief of U.S.112 in NPV terms on payments falling due to the IMF during 2002 to 2009.The remaining bilateral and multilateral creditors are also expected to provide their share of relief required under the HIPC initiative.