Ghana is not in HIPC -Oppong Nkrumah
The Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has debunked news on social media outlets purporting that Ghana had been ranked in the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) once again.
HIPC was a programme designed for some 39 developing countries with high levels of poverty and debt overhang, including Ghana, to benefit from financial assistance from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and other multilateral, bilateral and commercial creditors, between 1996 and 2001. It was designed to ensure the reduction in the debt levels of poor and indebted countries.
According the Minister of Information, the news is fake and should be treated with disdain.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah noted that there was a deliberate attempt to discredit the work the government has done since assuming office in 2017 to revive the economy, because the country is approaching general elections in December, hence, the spread of the false news.
“There are suggestions being spread, particularly on social media, that Ghana has been declared HIPC again, and I am sure you would have noticed that a lot of persons are sharing materials on social media that the IMF or World Bank has declared Ghana HIPC, or listed Ghana as one of the HIPC countries, and it is a suggestion that the economy is not in as good a shape that we claim it is.
“For the avoidance of doubt, and because we have also mentioned that we are aware that some persons in the weeks ahead of the elections will seek to spread a lot of false information and fake news, it is important to quickly respond to it right here, and right now. Categorically, we say to you it is not true that Ghana has been declared HIPC, or has been added to the list of HIPC countries.”
Mr Oppong Nkrumah was speaking at the Nation Building Updates on Tuesday in Accra. The National Building Update is a weekly event organised by the government to provide accounts of its projects, policies and interventions since it assumed office in 2017.
This the Minister emphasised that the HIPC was a programme limited to a particular point in time, and that Ghana and a number of African countries applied, benefited, exited and was done with it.
Currently, there is no HIPC programme for any country to qualify for, so if anybody is spreading that information and suggesting that Ghana is now a Highly Indebted Poor Country, and has been listed on an IMF or World Bank publication, then it is false, Mr Oppong Nkrumah noted.
The Minister encouraged the general public to disregard such publications, and admonished the media to be circumspect and thoroughly conduct background checks before publishing such news items.