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Every Ghanaian Owes GHC 19,671, New Report Reveals**


A recent report has revealed that the average Ghanaian now owes GHC 19,671 due to the nation’s rising public debt. The report, published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), highlights the significant increase in Ghana’s per capita debt burden and raises concerns about the sustainability of the country’s fiscal policies.

According to the IFS, Ghana’s total public debt has surged to unprecedented levels, reaching GHC 500 billion. The report attributes this rise to a combination of factors, including extensive borrowing to finance infrastructure projects, social programs, and efforts to mitigate the economic impact of global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and fluctuating commodity prices.

Dr. John Kwakye, Director of Research at IFS, emphasized the gravity of the situation. “The current debt level translates to each Ghanaian, including children, carrying a debt of GHC 19,671,” he stated. “This is a clear indication that our fiscal policies need urgent reassessment to prevent further economic strain on the population.”

The report has sparked widespread debate among policymakers, economists, and the public. Many are calling for immediate action to address the growing debt and implement measures to enhance fiscal responsibility. “We need to prioritize sustainable debt management and explore avenues to boost domestic revenue without overburdening the citizens,” said Dr. Kwakye.

Opposition parties have seized on the report’s findings to criticize the government’s economic management. “This report underscores the mismanagement of our economy by the current administration,” said National Democratic Congress (NDC) spokesperson Felix Kwakye Ofosu. “The government must take accountability and present a clear plan to address this alarming debt situation.”

In response, the Ministry of Finance acknowledged the challenges but defended its borrowing strategy, citing the need to invest in critical infrastructure and social programs to stimulate economic growth. “While the debt levels are concerning, it’s important to recognize the investments made in essential sectors that will drive long-term growth and development,” a ministry spokesperson said.

Economists and financial experts are divided on the best course of action. Some argue for stringent austerity measures to reduce debt, while others advocate for policies that stimulate economic growth to increase revenue. “Balancing debt reduction with growth-promoting investments is crucial,” said Prof. Nana Asante, an economics professor at the University of Ghana. “We must avoid measures that stifle economic activity.”

The report has also sparked conversations among ordinary Ghanaians, many of whom express anxiety over the implications of such high debt levels. “Hearing that I owe nearly GHC 20,000 as part of the national debt is alarming,” said Ama Kusi, a local shopkeeper. “I worry about what this means for our future and the future of our children.”

As the government and stakeholders deliberate on the findings, the IFS report has undoubtedly brought to the forefront the urgent need for strategic fiscal reforms. The discourse surrounding Ghana’s public debt will likely influence policy decisions and shape the economic narrative in the coming months.

With elections approaching, how each party proposes to tackle this debt issue will be a significant factor in swaying voters. The challenge remains for the government to balance necessary economic investments with prudent debt management to ensure a stable and prosperous future for Ghana.

story filed by: Nana kwaku Duah


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