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Ghana signs $210m World Bank funded projects to sustain middle income status

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Dr. Kwabena Duffuour – Finance Minister

Ghana’s Finance Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffuor has signed three World Bank funded projects worth $210 million, the bank announced in a statement September 25, 2012.

The projects are the Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project worth $100 million, West African Agriculture Productivity Programme ($60 million) and the Urban Water project (Additional Financing of $50 million).

The Washington-based lender explains that the projects aim to support Ghana’s “efforts to sustain economic growth, and maintain its middle income status.”

The World Bank detailed the three projects as follows:

1. The Commercial Agriculture Project ($100 million)

The Commercial Agriculture Project seeks to facilitate access to land, strengthen Ghana s investment promotion infrastructure for attracting agri-business investors, and promote public private partnerships and small-holder linkages in the Accra Plains and the SADA Zone.

The Government of Ghana is currently implementing a nation-wide Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy (FASDEP II – 2010 2015) focusing on six priority themes: Food Security and Emergency Preparedness; Increased Growth in Incomes; Increased Competitiveness and Enhanced Integration into Domestic and International Markets; Sustainable Management of Land and Environment; Science and Technology Applied in Food and Agriculture Development; Improved Institutional Coordination.

The Commercial Agricultural Project, which is designed to support the implementation of above priorities, is made up of four main components:

Component 1: Strengthening investment promotion infrastructure and facilitating secure access to land ($11.8 million; to be complemented by USAID co-financing of $5.9 million) – This component will promote a secure investment climate that clarifies and strengthens the rights and obligations of investors, government and affected communities, and support an improved mechanism for facilitating access to land by reducing the search costs to potential investors through an expansion of a database of land suitable and available for investors and by building on nascent mechanisms for actively matching potential investors with suitable land owners.

Component 2: Securing Public Private Partnerships (PPPS) and small-holder linkages in the Accra Plains ($45.4 million) – This component will conclude transactions for PPPs in an irrigation investment in the Accra Plains. The project area includes the existing Kpong Irrigation Project as well as an expansion of an additional 7,000ha under a PPP arrangement, inclusive of commercial anchor farms and associated out-growers.

Component 3: Securing Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) and small-holder linkages in the SADA Zone ($29.3 million; to be complemented by USAID co-financing of $35.0 million) – This component will involve support to the identification and realization of private investments in inclusive commercial agricultural arrangements in the agricultural value chain through PPPs, complementary public investments, and technical assistance concentrated in the SADA zone.

Component 4: Project management including M&E ($14.3 million; to be complemented by USAID co-financing $7.2 million) – This component finances the operations of the project implementing agencies. It will also finance the various monitoring and evaluation and community engagement and communications functions.

2. West African Agricultural Productivity Programme ($60 million)

The West African Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP) is a regional project designed to to scale-up the generation, dissemination and adoption of improved technologies in Ghana s priority agricultural commodity areas aligned with the sub-region s top agricultural commodity priorities. In order to reach this objective, the Project will strengthen regional cooperation in generation of technology, and scale-up dissemination and training programs focused on regional and national priority commodities. It is made up of four components, realigned to support the implementation of country specific Agricultural Investment Programs, such as Ghana s Medium Term Agricultural Sector Investment Program (METASIP).

Component 1: Enabling Conditions for Regional Cooperation in the Generation, Dissemination and Adoption of Agricultural Technologies ($7.9 million of which $7.2 million IDA). This component finances the strengthening of mechanisms and procedures for the exchange of technologies, so as to allow participating countries to benefit fully from the regional cooperation in technology generation and exchange.

Component 2: National Centers of Specialization – NCoS ($28.4 million of which $27.4 million IDA). This component aims at strengthening regional cooperation in technology generation by aligning national priorities with the regional ones. It will support the upgrading of the National Centers of Specialization (NCoS) into Regional Centers of Excellence (RCoE). It will also strengthen relevant national research centers associated with NCoS in the development of the value chain and facilitate synergies with relevant Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and other international research centers.

Component 3: Support to Demand-driven Technology Generation, Dissemination and Adoption ($84.7 million of which $75.1 million IDA). This component involves the strengthening priority-focused demand-driven agricultural Research and Development, scale-up technology dissemination and adoption within participating countries and facilitating access to improved genetic material.

Component 4: Project Coordination, Management and Monitoring and Evaluation ($10.8 million of which $10.3 million IDA). This component will continue to be coordinated: at the national levels by existing national coordinating units, which successfully coordinated the implementation of WAAPP-1A).

3. Urban Water Project (Additional Financing $50 million)

The additional financing of $50 million to Urban Water Project, is to support the ongoing Urban Water Project, being financed by the Bank with a $103 million grant. It will allow the completion of the original project activities that have suffered from unanticipated cost overruns and financing gap ($42 million) and implement additional activities that would scale up the project s impact ($8 million).

The additional funds will be allocated for the expansion and improvement, in the Central Region, to the Winneba water distribution network that serves several surrounding communities, including: Apam, Ankamu, Mprumem, Mankoadze, Ankaful, Pomadze and Okyereko.

The additional works will consist of the rehabilitation and extension of water distribution pipes and the construction of a new elevated water tank and a booster pump station.  Increasing access to improved water supply remains a priority for the Government of Ghana.

While significant efforts have been made over the past decade to make potable water more accessible and affordable to Ghana s ever growing urban centers, much more remains to be done to provide water to people, particularly those in low income areas who usually buy it from vendors at a very high price.

By Ekow Quandzie

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