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Why does the IMF include the debt of state-owned enterprises in Ghana’s public debt?

The IMF, in its debt sustainability analysis, includes the debt of Ghana’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs). The government of Ghana, prior to asking the IMF for support in July 2022, had excluded the debt of SOEs from public debt primarily on the grounds that such debt was not backed by the sovereign guarantees and/or were held by special purpose vehicles like ESLA Plc. This fiscal logic was evident in a response by the government to the NDC in November 2017. The NDC had claimed that ESLA bonds should be part of government debt. A part of the government’s response was that the “… claim that ESLA is government revenue and that an ESLA backed bond must be treated as sovereign debt is incorrect. ESLA proceeds do not commingle with the consolidated fund and thus, cannot be treated as government revenue affecting GoG fiscal.

J. Atsu Amegashie explores why the IMF includes the debt of state-owned enterprises in Ghana’s public debt. Find full article below.


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