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Business News Wed, 15 Dec 2004

Norway cancels Ghana's debt

Accra, Dec. 15, GNA - The Norwegian Government on Wednesday cancelled Ghana's debt of 11.04 million dollars as HIPC relief under the framework of the Paris Club.

Signing the bilateral agreement on the cancellation, Mr Egil Andhoey, the Norwegian Ambassador to Ghana who is based in Cote d'Ivoire said the cancellation of the debt under the HIPC initiative was linked to the Norwegian Plan of Action on debt relief.

He said the debt relief of 100 per cent cancellation of Ghana's bilateral debt to Norway would serve as a supplement, rather than result in a reduction in other assistance to developing countries.

"The Norwegian Government hopes to see that the elimination of the debt will stimulate Ghana to fight against poverty to which Norway is strongly committed."

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Dr Nii Noi Ashong, Minister of State of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning signed on behalf of Ghana.

Dr Ashong commended the Norwegian Government for the assistance in support of Ghana's development effort.

He explained that by the cancellation of the total debts, Ghana had received more debt service savings that would contribute towards the financing of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) Under the Paris Club Agreement of May 16, 2002, participating creditor nations were to cancel 90 per cent of Ghana's principal debt and interest obligations falling due from February 1, 2002 to march 31, 2004. The remaining 10 per cent is to be rescheduled over a period or 22 years, including six years grace.

According to Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, 90 per cent of the debt amounts to 9.94 million dollars. But Norway has cancelled 100 per cent of the principal and interest obligations, which is above the requirements of the agreed minutes of the Paris Club.

Source: GNA
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