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Ghana’s eligibility for second MCC compact due to democratic culture, stability

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Ghana is touted as a beacon of democracy in the West African sub-region. The country’s democratic practice and stability is a source of inspiration for many nation-states. These credentials are what recently won the country another Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) eligibility.

The MCC Board selected Ghana as eligible for another compact on Wednesday January 5, 2011 and the country would have to submit a proposal to access the funds.

The Ghana Country Director of the MCC, Katerina Ntep tells ghanabusinessnews.com that the Board is pleased with Ghana’s leadership and happy with the implementation of the first compact.

She indicated that Ghana’s democratic culture, press freedom and stability were taken into account. According to her, the country’s pursuance of the MDGs and the successes it has achieved were also factors that were looked at in choosing the country for a second eligibility.

In accordance with section 608(a) of the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003, as amended, 22 U.S.C. §§7701, 7707(a) (the “Act”), eligibility is among others considered under the following factors:

The countries that will be eligible for MCA assistance for fiscal year 2011 must have just and democratic governance, economic freedom, and investments in its people.

Eligible countries must also be seen to be considering the opportunity to reduce poverty and generate economic growth in the country.

Commenting, The CEO of the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), the institution that manages the funds in Ghana, Mr. Martin Esson-Benjamin says the selection of Ghana for a second eligibility is a recognition of the country’s significant progress.

He said the country has made progress in managing the MCC funds well.

“Compared to many donor funds, this is one fund that has been used efficiently,” he told ghanabusinessnews.com.

He believes that with experience gained with the first tranche, Ghana will do a good job with the second.

These second compacts are contingent on successful completion of first compacts, continued good policy performance, development of proposals that have significant potential to promote economic growth and reduce poverty, and availability of funding, the MCC said on its website.

Ghana received the first compact in February 2007. The country received a total of $547 million. Projects under the MCC compact are managed by the Ghana Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) and should be completed in February 2012.

MiDA projects operate in 30 districts. There are five in the Northern zone, 16 in the Southern zone and nine in the Afram Basin zone.

MiDA has made investments into road construction, agricultural transformation, transportation, rural development, water provision, electricity expansion and construction and rehabilitations of irrigations dams.

Some of the roads being constructed under MiDA include the Tetteh Quarshie-Mallam road and the Tetteh Quarshie-Apenkwa Dual Carriageway.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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