Government has been urged to reconsider its position of not going in for the Debt Service Suspension Initiative from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to get some debt reliefs or forgiveness.

According to Economist, Professor Eric Osei-Assibey, that will provide some fiscal space to enable the government undertake adequate infrastructure and social projects.

So far, 31 African countries including Ivory Coast and Togo are currently participating in the DSSI.

Though some market watchers fear Ghana’s economy may be classified as risky to invest if it makes an attempt to go in for the DSSI, Professor Osei-Assibey who is also an associate professor at the Economic Department of University of Ghana believes the DSSI is the nation’s best bet to cancel some of its debt.

“I also think that government should retake its stands on the debt suspension initiative. I think that it’s something that comes in handy for government to take advantage of and to see to some kind of debt relieve to reduce physical pressures at this time and to allow for more expenditure into the social safety nets and infrastructure”

“Otherwise it definitely will hinder government’s ability to spend on the critical sectors of the economy, especially on infrastructure and on social sectors namely education and health”, he added.

Why DSSI

COVID-19 has dealt a major blow to world’s poorest countries, causing a recession that could push more than 100 million people into extreme poverty.

That is why the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund urged G20 countries to establish the Debt Service Suspension Initiative.

The DSSI is helping countries concentrate their resources on fighting the pandemic and safeguarding the lives and livelihoods of millions of the most vulnerable people. Since it took effect on May 1, 2020, the initiative has delivered more than $5 billion in relief to more than 40 eligible countries

Countries enjoying DSSI

In all, 73 countries are eligible for a temporary suspension of debt-service payments owed to their official bilateral creditors.

The G20 has also called on private creditors to participate in the initiative on comparable terms. The suspension period, originally set to end on December 31, 2020, has been extended through December 2021.

Some African countries enjoying DSSI are:

Benin

Burkina Faso

Burundi

Cape Verde

Cameroon

Central Africa Republic

Chad

Comoros

DR Congo

Congo Rep.

Ivory Coast

Djibouti

Ethiopia

Guinea

Guinea Bissau