John Mahama likely to win 2024 polls – EIU Report

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The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has predicted a likely victory for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2024 general elections.

In a report titled ‘Africa Outlook 2024’, the EIU noted that Ghana is likely to experience a transfer of power from the ruling New Patriotic Party to the opposition National Democratic Congress.

According to the EIU, this will largely be driven by declining living standards, limited job opportunities and poor public services.

The report also added that more African nations will feel the financial squeeze created by excessive debt and a heavy debt-repayment burden in 2024, which will weigh on economic growth and stability in some countries. The financial pressure created by elevated external debt has been compounded by the fallout from multiple external shocks in recent years, including the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and adverse weather conditions linked to global climate change.

“Softer economic growth, higher inflation, weaker currencies and more costly international capital have exposed Africa’s debt frailties in 2023, and risks are likely to mount in 2024 without external debt restructuring. Kenya’s biggest financial event in 2024 is the June 24th deadline to redeem a US$2bn Eurobond in a single bullet payment, on top of other debt-servicing commitments. Using a combination of tactics, Kenya will strive to avoid a default and the consequent damage to its reputation, and will prioritise a timely Eurobond redemption in 2024.

“The sum is large enough to generate legitimate concern, but not so large as unmanageable. If Kenya clears the barrier in 2024, external debt pressures will ease, as the next Eurobond repayments (US$1.9bn) are not due until 2027-28.

“Zambia, which has been in external debt distress since 2020, secured a debt-restructuring deal with official creditors and private-sector creditors in October. Zambia thus seems likely to secure a complete resolution with its external creditors by early 2024, over three years after first entering default.

“Dragged-out negotiations make Zambia’s experience a cautionary tale for other sovereigns, and those heavily indebted to China in particular. Countries will be hesitant about embarking on a debt restructuring unless necessary, but we do expect negotiations in Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Somalia, Sudan and Zimbabwe.”

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