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GDRM Program

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Supporting Ghana in transitioning from a low-income to a middle-income country

An Interview with Samuel D. Arkhurst, director of Debt Management Division at the Ministry of Finance, Ghana


Every country is different. How does World Bank customize the technical assistance according to countries’ needs?  Samuel D. Arkhurst, director of the Debt Management Division in the Ghanaian Ministry of Finance, explains how World Bank Treasury’s Government Debt and Risk Management (GDRM) Program team understood the contextual situation of Ghana and gave the technical assistance relevant to their specific requirements.

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The GDRM Program, a trust fund under the World Bank Treasury that is funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), provides expert, tailored technical assistance to middle income countries on public debt and risk management.

“We had a lot of challenges in our division. Ghana was transitioning from low income to lower-middle income. That created a big challenge especially within the risk management function of the division.” said Mr. Arkhurst. “Over the past times we had engagement with technical assistance. It had been more of a top down receiving element, like a typical class room environment. With the GDRM, the focus and approach was very different.”

TThe GDRM Program team catalyzed a south-to-south learning dialogue, engaging the head of the credit risk team of South African National Treasury to work with the Ghanaian Debt Management Division because Ghana needed technical advice on the pragmatic level.

With the support of the GDRM Program, country partners are sharing experiences and learning from international best practices to reduce their vulnerability to financial shocks through strengthening their debt/risk management capacities, their institutions and deepening their domestic debt markets.