This rescheduling is linked to significant progress in debt restructuring negotiations, particularly with China, according to sources from the Official Creditor Committee (OCC).
The OCC has reported substantial advancements in talks with China, a major player in the restructuring process. Recent discussions have resulted in positive developments, leading to the IMF adjusting the board meeting date.
A draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) from the Official Creditor Committee is anticipated, but a concern from one member has caused a slight delay.
The initial board meeting was scheduled for November 2023, but challenges in reaching an agreement with China on debt restructuring prompted rescheduling twice, first in early December 2023 and later on December 21, 2023.
China's concerns over the “Test Date” for restructuring Ghana's debts, along with internal developments in China, initially delayed the process.
However, sources indicate that these issues have been resolved, paving the way for the Official Creditor Committee to issue the required MoU on Ghana's debt restructuring.
There is optimism that the January 11, 2024, date will not face further rescheduling, given the fresh commitment from China to address outstanding issues. China has reportedly resolved to resolve all concerns before the new board meeting date.
The IMF Board is not seeking a full agreement but expects a “Letter of Comfort” or MoU from the Official Creditor Committee, expressing openness to discussions with Ghana on restructuring bilateral debt.
Additionally, assurance of full participation from bilateral creditors in providing financing for Ghana's program is a key consideration.
There are indications of a high-level visit to China by Ghanaian authorities to address lingering issues and secure political support for initial agreements reached by the Official Creditor Committee.
Government officials remain confident in securing a deal, emphasizing that delays do not stem from non-compliance with IMF program conditions.
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta expressed confidence in reaching a deal with all bilateral creditors, affirming ongoing engagements to resolve concerns before the January 11, 2024, board meeting.
Ghana is expected to receive about $3 billion under the IMF program, with an immediate disbursement of $600 million approved in May 2023, and the remainder expected in tranches every six months following IMF Executive Board reviews.