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US urges Ghana not to miss out on $500m MCC compact

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Ambassador Robert Jackson
Ambassador Robert Jackson

The United States Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson, has called for concerted efforts to ensure that the second Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact comes into force at the target date of June.

The nearly $500 million compact would directly strengthen the power sector by creating an enabling environment for investment and improving the creditworthiness of Ghana’s electrical utilities.

“Let’s not let this opportunity slip away,” he cautioned at the opening of the Partnership for Growth (PFG) Joint Steering Committee Meeting, in Accra.

“Let’s commit that everyone in this room will do whatever is necessary to ensure we hit our target date of June for the Compact’s entry into force.”

The PFG is an economic development partnership between the United States Government and a select group of countries, which aims at accelerating and sustaining broad-based economic growth through engagement with governments, the private sector, and the civil society.

It seeks to replace the traditional donor-recipient model of international development assistance with a partnership based on mutually-agreed upon actions and commitments.

Mr Jackson said significant progress had been made in the past three months, including Ghana’s Cabinet approval of the ECG Private Sector participation memo and the release of the request for the Qualification document.

However, he said, more still needed to be done, including the approval of the Gas Master Plan.

“The next time this group meets, I hope we’ll be talking about plans and actions for the ECG’s transition and preparing for a concession agreement in 2017,”Mr Jackson said.

Mr Seth Terkper, the Minister of Finance, said the focus of Ghana’s PFG initiative with the US was on addressing unreliable and inadequate supply of electric power and the high cost of borrowing reflected in high interest rates and collateral requirements that hindered private sector competitiveness.

“It is my earnest belief that our concerted efforts in the endeavor would yield the desired results and would in the medium to long term, engender increased private sector investments that would propel the economic growth of the country,” he said.

Source: GNA

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