Economy

Ghana and World Bank sign $570 million agreement

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Ghana and the World Bank on Friday signed four agreements, totaling nearly $570 million aimed to transform the economy, boost education, improve sanitation and fight flooding in Accra as well as reduce forest losses.

Out of the total commitment for the four projects, $557 million is in loans and just over $12 million in grants.

The Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development project is a $200 million, multi-sector and transformative urban project which aims to support Greater Accra to become a cleaner, safer and more resilient city.

It focuses on reducing flood risk along the Odaw urban river basin and three selected low-income communities: Nima, Alogboshie and Akweteman.

Ghana Accountability for Learning Outcomes Project is $150 million for 6 years, which has the development objective to improve the quality of education in low performing basic education schools and strengthen education sector equity and accountability in Ghana.

The objective of the $200m Ghana Economic Transformation Project is to promote private investments and firm growth in non-resource-based sectors of the Ghanaian economy. The project will work towards improving the business environment to facilitate firm growth and investments.

The final project is the Additional Financing for the Ghana Forest Investment Programme, which is a $12.4 million grant and $7 million loan project. It seeks to reduce forest loss and degradation in selected landscapes in Ghana’s High Forest Zone, where deforestation is at the highest.

Finance Minister Mr Ken Ofori-Atta and Mr Pierre Laporte, the World Bank Country signed the deal on behalf of Ghana and the World Bank respectively.

In his address Mr Ofori-Atta commended the World Bank for its support, saying the projects would help to advance government’s quest for inclusiveness and transformation.

He said since the government came into office some three years ago, the goal has been to accelerate the pace of development and ensuring that no one was left behind.

However, this could not be done without focus on wealth creation, which is key to ensuring sustainability.

He said government has proven to Ghanaians its desire of inclusiveness through flagship programmes such as the one district one factory and the free SHS programme.

Mr Ofori-Atta urged development partners not to slow down the process because of an election year because the government was desirous to move forward development.

On his part, Mr Laporte said the event affirmed the bank’s commitment to the government and Ghanaians through the signing of the legal Agreements of the four important and potentially transformative projects.

“We have a longstanding and strong partnership with the Government and the people of Ghana. The World Bank is committed to strengthen our partnership even further going forward,” he said.

“We will work with you hand in hand to ensure that these projects, as well as others already ongoing, are implemented timely and effectively. This will in turn result in efficient use of resources, achieve the projects’ objectives, and most importantly positively impact the lives of the people, communities and institutions,” he added.

He said project delays were costly, and encouraged the teams to identify implementation challenges and work collaboratively with other government organizations as well as with the Bank teams to resolve them.

“One important aspect of the implementation process is feedback from beneficiaries. Implementing entities thus need to ensure there are functional grievance redress mechanisms and strong citizens engagement for all projects as they contribute to effective, efficient and sustainable delivery and outcomes,” Mr Laporte.

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