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Celebrating a pillar of peace: Kufuor lauds Asantehene for facilitating Ghana’s exit from HIPC

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The timely intervention of Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II ensured Ghana’s swift exit from the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, leading to a debt relief of about $4 billion from the country’s external creditors, as revealed by former President John Agyekum Kufuor.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group’s International Development Association (IDA) agreed on February 22 and 26, 2002, respectively, to support a comprehensive debt reduction package for Ghana under the enhanced HIPC initiative.

However, according to the former President, Ghana would have missed out on the benefits of the program if Otumfuo had not intervened at the last minute

Speaking when a delegation from the E ON 3 Group and its key partners presented the Otumfuo commemorative gold coin to him at his residence in Accra on January 7, 2022, the former President explained that although his government worked hard to reach the completion point of the HIPC program, it faced a major challenge. The board of the IMF, meeting in Washington, USA, decided against the country’s exit because the government failed to observe the conditionality of not increasing wages and salaries.

As a result, the IMF decided to prolong the country’s exit for a year, which could have come with some grave consequences.

Asantehene’s intervention

Coincidentally, Mr. Kufuor said, the Asantehene was in Washington at the invitation of the then World Bank President, James D. Wolfensohn.

“At that point, I decided to send a message through the Juabenhene, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, who was travelling to the USA to join the Asantehene on his trip, to inform the King of the development and to ask his friend Mr. Wolfensohn to work something out with the IMF,” Mr. Kufuor stated.



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