IMF says Ghana's $13 bln Chinese loan 'good'

Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:05pm GMT

By Helen Nyambura-Mwaura

NAIROBI (Reuters) - A $13 billion Chinese loan to Ghana is good for the African country and does not contravene any agreements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a senior IMF adviser told Reuters on Monday.

Roger Nord, a senior adviser to the IMF's African department, also said the continent would become the recipient of massive capital flows and challenges would include using the funds productively and managing currency and interest rate volatility.

Ghana's loan deal, signed during a visit by President John Atta Mills to China, involves $3 billion from the Chinese Development Bank to finance Ghana's oil and gas infrastructure and agricultural development.

A second deal for $9.87 billion was signed with Chinese Exim Bank for road, railway and dam works.

"Investment from China is a big opportunity for sub-Saharan Africa. It is a good thing," Nord told Reuters.

"Of course as with all such deals, they involve potentially debts that need to be repaid so you need to make sure that this debt is productive, and the investment will generate economic return to repay the debt. The challenge now for Ghana and other African countries is to use these resources wisely."

He said the agreement did not go against any agreement the IMF has with Ghana.

"The Ghanaian programme has particular objectives in terms of getting both fiscal deficits and debt under control and provided those benchmarks are met, I think Ghana will be on the right track, but it is precisely there that the challenge lies."   Continued...

<p>A bank employee poses holding U.S. one hundred dollar notes during a photo opportunity at a bank in Seoul November 19, 2009. REUTERS/Choi Bu-Seok</p>
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