EU plans €1.5b support for Ghanaian economy in medium term
The European Union (EU) is to support Ghana’s development agenda with 1.5 billion euros between this year and 2016.
The bulk of the fund will be for budget support, as well as programmes in various sectors of the economy in the medium term.
The EU Commission and about eight of its member states do joint programming in Ghana to harmonise their support, prevent duplication of projects and deliver targeted development assistance to priority areas the government identifies.
The Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation in Ghana, Mr Claude Maerten, told journalists in Accra yesterday that the commission alone had signed an agreement with the Ghanaian authorities to deliver a close to 400 million euros grant to support Ghana’s budget for a seven-year period (2014-2020).
The agreement with the Ghana government, which was signed by the Minister of Finance, Mr Seth Terkper, in Brussels last month identifies three priority areas for support.
They are governance, including ensuring sound public financial management and accountability; investments in infrastructure for agriculture in the SADA zone and job creation and social protection.
Mr Maerten explained that with the broad areas earmarked, what remained was to identify the actual projects.
“We’ll put a lot of funding into infrastructure for agriculture, looking at some growth poles put foward by SADA. These include energy production; warehouses, feeder roads, irrigation and all the things that will support the economic conditions of the farmer,” he said, stressing that Ghana had a lot of potential that needed to be unlocked.
Mr Maerten indicated that the EU would release its budget support funds for the 2013 fiscal year before the end of the year, after reassuring itself of efforts the government was making to achieve macroeconomic stability.
The government missed out on most of its targets last year, recording a 12 per cent fiscal deficit, deficits in the current account, among others. These slippages largely account for why some development partners, including the EU, held back the release of grants to support the economy.
“The government has announced medium-term plans to restore fiscal discipline and so I am confident that the EU will be able to disburse funds for this year,” Ambassador Maerten told a section of the media.
Source: Daily Graphic