Ghana hopes to confirm a $600 million loan deal with the IMF this week ©Getty Images

Ghana, the host of next year's postponed African Games, is expecting to confirm a first loan of $600 million (£480,000/€550,000) from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this week as it battles a crippling economic crisis.

The country was due to host the African Games in capital Accra this year but extreme debt and a dispute over marketing rights have pushed the multi-sport event into 2024.

People in the West African nation have witnessed 50 per cent inflation, growing debt and a sharp decline in the country's credit currency.

Protests have called for the removal of President Nana Akufo-Addo and the IMF has pledged billions in a bailout.

A deal for the first loan tranche could be rubber-stamped as soon as Wednesday (May 17), Reuters has reported.

Ghana is hoping for $3 billion (£2.3 billion/€2.7 billion) from the IMF in all, but even with this help there are many who think holding the African Games would be irresponsible in this context.

IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva said Ghana's creditors had provided the necessary financing assurances so they could look at signing off the first loan.

"We expect a deal on Wednesday," said Ghana's Finance Minister Mohammed Amin Adam to Reuters.

"With the disbursement, there is going to be $600 million as a first tranche just immediately after the approval."

Ghana has been hit by protests over the dire economic situation ©Getty Images
Ghana has been hit by protests over the dire economic situation ©Getty Images

Another loan of $600 million (£479 million/€551 million) could be approved in November or December, Adam said.

This would be three or four months before the new dates for the African Games in 2024, March 8 to 23.

Even with the postponement, some doubt that the Games will go ahead at all.

Twenty-four sports are on the African Games programme with most of them due to be held at the Borteyman Sports Complex.

Games chairman Kwaku Ofosu Asare believes that it is still worth holding the event, despite the difficult circumstances.

"We are asked why the money is not used for other things," he said.

"But the problem is that if we don't do it now, these facilities will never be created for us.

"They will never be built for us."

COVID-19 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have been blamed for Ghana's economic crisis, which has seen cost of living prices soar.