ACCRA, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Ghana on Monday announced a further extension of the deadline for its proposed domestic debt exchange program, seeking to rein in the country's debt levels to achieve sustainability.
The Ministry of Finance announced this in a press release, extending the deadline from Jan. 16 to Jan. 31 for further engagements. This announcement is the third extension granted in the badly-needed voluntary exercise after the first extension from Dec. 30 to Jan. 6 and again to Jan. 16.
"We will use this period to further engage with stakeholders, especially individual bond-holders, to mitigate any adverse impacts, while we all contribute to overcoming our economic challenges," read the press release.
The announcement also came after parliament's majority leader Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu called on the finance minister last Friday to carry out broad consultations with all relevant stakeholders on the debt exchange program to allow bondholders better understand their options.
The West African country has been buffeted by severe debt overhang, soaring inflation, and continuous currency depreciation since the beginning of last year.
Early last month, the government announced a domestic debt exchange program to swap 137.3 billion Ghana cedis (about 11.45 billion U.S. dollars) existing debts with new ones at a zero percent annual coupon rate in 2023.
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta had explained that the debt exchange program was one of the conditions for securing a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.