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Celebrating a pillar of peace: Kufuor lauds Asantehene for facilitating Ghana’s exit from HIPC in record time & securing $4 Billion debt cancellation

Local News

17 days ago
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The timely intervention of Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II ensured Ghana’s exit from the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative in record time, leading to debt relief of about $4 Billion from the country’s external creditors, former  President John Agyekum Kufuor, has revealed.

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.

But, according to the former President, Ghana would have lost out on the benefits of the programme, had Otumfuo not made a last-minute intervention.

Challenge 

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 programme, it faced a major challenge, as the board of the IMF, which was meeting in Washington, USA, decided against the country’s exit because the government failed 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 on 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 get the King informed of the development to get his friend Mr Wolfensohn to work something out with the IMF on the development.

“Nana Juabenhene stepped out of my office and phoned Otumfuo who immediately called me and we had a conversation and I pleaded with him to get Mr Wolfensohn to talk to the IMF on the assurance that we will correct the anomaly. Otumfuo did that leading to the debt relief,” Mr Kufuor stated.

Dagbon conflict

The former President also mentioned the laudable role the Asantehene played in resolving the Dagbon crisis.

He said when the Dagbon disturbances broke out in 2002, he, as President, set up the Wuaku Commission to go into the criminal aspect of the incident, but he realised that the problem was deeply rooted in tradition.

“I decided that, apart from the criminal aspect,  the traditional aspect should also be tackled using our traditional leaders. So, I appealed to three traditional rulers of high repute - Asantehene,  Nayiri and Yagbonwura - for help which they readily accepted leading to the realization of the peace process during the Presidency of Nana Akufo-Addo,” Mr Kufuor stated.

Therefore, the former President said it was appropriate for the Asantehene to be honoured with the gold coin.

Delegation 

The delegation to the former President’s residence was led by the Executive Chairman of E ON 3 Group, Richard Adjei Mensah Ofori Atta.

source: Theannouncergh.com