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Ghana Stretches Debt Swap Deadline

FILE: A man holds a 100 cedis, the Ghana currency, note in Accra, Ghana, on December 1, 2022. - Ghana is battling its worst economic crisis in decades.

Ghana has again extended the deadline to register for its domestic debt exchange to Jan. 31, in order to build consensus among stakeholders, finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta tweeted on Monday.

The deadline for the debt swap, initially set for Dec. 19, had previously been extended to Dec. 30 and then to Jan. 16.

The crisis-hit nation launched a domestic debt exchange at the start of December, days before clinching a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $3 billion rescue package.

The IMF has said that its board will approve the deal only if Ghana undergoes comprehensive debt restructuring.

The extension came after Accra and the nation's main unions on Thursday settled on a 30% increase to base pay across board, effective from Jan. 1, 2023.

Ghana's government increased a cost of living allowance for public workers by 15% in July, citing the impact of "global challenges" on citizens.

The local cedi dropped heavily against the dollar last year as government spending cuts and central bank interest rate hikes failed to tame inflation, which rose to a new high of 54% last month.'

The West African gold, oil and cocoa producer is battling its worst economic crisis in a generation.