French Development Agency rolls out new format to support Ghana

Nicholas Sarkozy - French President

The French government, through the French Development Agency (AFD), on Tuesday said a new format has been developed for developmental support for Ghana to revamp the economy.

The support, under the new format, would be channelled through various instruments including AFD grants, French Global Environmental Fund and the Trade Capacity Building Programme to finance development programmes and offer technical assistance.

Mr Bernard Botte, the Deputy Head of Missions at the French Embassy in Accra, stated this during a business meeting with Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development in Accra to discuss the local government component of the format.

He said AFD had over the last years focused its activities in three main sectors – agriculture and rural development, urban development and support to local governments which include urban transport, water and sanitation.

Mr Botte said the current portfolio covered about 17 projects amounting to about 256 million euros.

Projects under the Agricultural and Rural Development programme include Perennial crops, Rubber and Oil Palm Development, Natural Resources and Environmental Governance Budget Support, Rubber Outgrowers Plantation and the Amansuri Estuary/Mangrove Swamp Forest Conservation.

The Projects under the Urban Development and Support to Local Governments are the Kumasi by-pass, Urban Environment and sanitation, Urban Transport, District Development facility, Awoshie-Pokuase road and other Community Development programmes.

Mr Botte said to enhance government private sector partnership, a private sector component had been developed focusing on individual and portfolio risk-sharing guarantees with some local banks, up and down scaling to Meso-finance projects and businesses as well as the French Training Project.

He said besides those financial tools, AFD was also in charge of implementing the Debt Reduction and Development Contract on behalf of the French state within the framework of France’s additional effort towards debt reduction.

Mr Ofosu Ampofo said the government would sign a 40.5 million euro financial agreement with the French government to finance the Ghana Urban Management Pilot Programme (GUMMP) to improve development projects in Kumasi, Sekond-Takoradi, Tamale and Ho.

He said the facility would improve the local government system as the impact of basic infrastructure at the local level.

He said the project would improve the local economy “as you cannot talk about national economy without developing the local component”.

The Local Government Minister noted that the geographical location of the four projects was strategic to ensure that it impacted positively through job creation throughout the country.

Mr Ofosu Ampofo said “the government and people of Ghana deeply appreciated the efforts of France in the building of “our infrastructure and I will personally like to commend the French government for the cooperation so far.”

Source: GNA

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