Benchmarking Ghana against other IDA graduated and Blend countries provides insights as to whether lessons from other recently graduated countries could be helpful for Ghana in the years to come. Although such benchmarking goes beyond the aim of the current Evaluation Study, Table 5 helps put Ghana’s external debt situation in perspective.
|Country||Graduation||Current||Lending||Credit ratings||Present value of external debt|
|Year||GNI per capita||Eligibility||S&P||% of Exports||% of GNI|
|Papua New Guinea||NA||Blend||BB||17.0||..|
Note: Zimbabwe is not included due to special circumstances (blend terms). Moreover, "Blend" countries under the Small Island Economies Exception have also been excluded. Under IBRD terms, the average repayment maturity is 20 years with 35 years to maturity. In addition, countries with loans under IDA repayment terms (Blend countries) face grace periods of 5 years with 30 years to maturity (under normal IDA eligibility, grace periods are 6 years with 38 years to maturity).
At the end of 2016, Ghana’s external debt was relatively large as percentage of GNI and of total exports. Also, as mentioned, the most recent debt sustainability analysis concluded that although a marginal improvement was seen in 2017 Ghana continues to be at high risk of debt distress (IMF, 2018). As shown in table 5, a high debt level is not unseen among other IDA graduates and Blend countries, and proactive debt management is a key to managing this challenge (World Bank, 2017, IMF, 2018).Top