Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has debunked claims that Ghana has once again been ranked in the category of Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC). According to him, the numerous publications making rounds on social media purporting that the country has returned to HIPC is false and fake news.
Speaking at the Nation Building Updates on Tuesday in Accra, the Minister noted that because the country is approaching a general election in December, there is a deliberate attempt to discredit the work government has done since assuming office in 2017 to revive the economy.
He said “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 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,” he added.
The HIPC was a group of 39 developing countries with high levels of poverty and debt overhang who qualified for 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.
This the Minister emphasized that the HIPC was a programme limited to a particular point in time that Ghana and a number of African countries applied, benefited, exited, and was done with it.
“The publication out there list the countries that participated and qualified for it. Currently, there is no HIPC programme for any country to qualify for so if anybody is spreading that and adding to it a narrative that suggests that Ghana is now a highly indebted poor country and has been listed on an IMF or World Bank publication as such.
However, the Minister encouraged the general public to disregard such publications. He also admonished the media to be circumspect and thoroughly conduct background checks before publishing news items.