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Parliament to approve $127.5m China loan to accelerate e-Governance

Parliament would in the coming days approve a resolution for a Buyer’s Credit facility between the government of Ghana and the Export/Import Bank of China for an amount of $127.5 million that would accelerate the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as the engine for social-economic transformation and wealth creation in the country.

The facility, to finance the Ghana e-Government Platform project, would facilitate a comprehensive nation-wide approach to government service delivery through electronic application.

The purpose of the agreement is to obtain funds from the China Exim Bank to enable Huawei Technologies of China to supply and construct the network for the Ghana e-Government platform project.

Under the project, government is expected to provide a down payment of $22.5 million representing 15 per cent to add up to $127.5 million-loan representing 85 per cent of the entire facility programmed for the platform project.

There is a 15-year repayment period for the loan, a grace period of five years and a maturity period of 20 years.

A Parliamentary Finance Committee report states that Ghana is yet to launch electronic applications such as e-health, e-cabinet, e-tourism and therefore there is the need to implement the e-Government platform to provide the space for such electronic applications.

On the scope of the project, the Committee said it would entail an expansion of the current e-Government network, coverage of 46 additional cities and towns,  1,600 institutions all over the country including government departments, judicial service departments, hospitals, universities, training colleges, secondary schools, tax institutions, social insurance fund institutions, post offices, police stations and banks.

By Eunice Menka

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