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Ghana, EU sign €26m agreement

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The government and the European Union (EU) on Wednesday January 13, 2011 signed four agreements, totalling 26 million euros, to support four projects in the country.

Nine million euros out of the amount will be used to stimulate trade-led pro-poor growth to specifically improve the trade­ related capacity and perfor­mance programme of the Min­istry of Trade and Industry and its related agencies.

It will also be used to support the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) and the Ghana Standards Board (GSB) to train their staff and upgrade their laboratories.

Eight million euros will be used to support civil society organisations (CSOs) to increase their influence in the governance of public goods and service delivery.

Seven million euros will be used to reinforce the democratic environment and create condi­tions conducive for peaceful, transparent, all-inclusive and credible elections in 2012.

The three institutions targeted to benefit from the programme are the Electoral Commission (EC), the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the National Media Commission (NMC).

The remaining 2 million euros will be used to support and facil­itate the implementation of EU-­funded projects and programmes.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, signed for Ghana, while the head of the EU Delegation in Ghana, Mr Claude Maerten, signed for his organisation.

Present at the ceremony were representatives of some of the beneficiary institutions, namely, Ms Hanna Tetteh, the Minister of Trade and Industry; Mr David Adenze Kanga, a Deputy Chair­man of the EC; Mr Laary Bimi, the Chairman of the NCCE, and Mr Kabral Blay-Amihere, the Chairman of the NMC.

Dr Duffuor noted that the 26 million euros represented about eight per cent of the 10th European Development Fund Country Strategy Paper and National Indicative Programme (CSP/NIP) for the period 2008-­2013.

He said under that pro­gramme, the EU had extended to Ghana nearly 50 per cent of 367 million euros in the form of general budget support and added that the arrangement facilitated better predictability of funds to enable Ghana to implement its development agenda.

Mr Maerten for his part said the money would ensure, among other things, that goods exported out of Ghana met international quality standards.

He noted that the roles of the NMC, the EC and the NCCE were important in the country’s democratic process and the EU was glad to offer its support in that area.

He said the EU would contin­ue to support the country in its forward march towards develop­ment.

Source: Daily Graphic

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