Recent data released by the Bank of Ghana put Ghana’s total public debt stock, as of March 2022, at US$ 55.1 billion or GH¢391.9 billion.
In Dollar terms, the debt dropped by over $3 billion in the first 3 months of the year, from $58.4 billion in January to $55.1 billion in March.
In Cedi terms, however, the total debt stock within the first 3 months of this year increased by about GH¢ 40 billion, from GH¢351.7 billion in January 2022, to GH¢391.9 in March 2022.
The March 2022 debt figure brings Ghana’s debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio to 78%, using a projected GDP for 2022 of about GH¢502 billion.
A look at the data from the Central Bank shows that year-on-year, from March 2021 to March 2022, the debt stock rose by about 30% from GH¢304.6 billion to GH¢391.9 billion.
A further breakdown of the debt numbers shows that the component of debt secured locally rose by GH¢8 billion from GH¢ 181.9 billion in January to GH¢ 189.9 billion in March, which represents about 38% of the projected GDP for 2022.
The external component of the debt, increased significantly by about GH¢ 32 billion in the first 3 months of 2022, from GH¢169.8 billion in January to GH¢201.9 billion in March.
Impact of Cedi depreciation
The overall surge in the debt figure in Cedi terms came largely from the over 15% depreciation of the cedi against the dollar from January to March 2022.
Data from the Central Bank showed that the US Dollar sold at GH¢6.02 at the end of January 2022 and at GH¢7.11 at the end of March 2022.