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Danish government puts $2b into economic and social development in Ghana

Tove Degnbol – Danish Ambassador to Ghana

The Danish government has been one of Ghana’s development partners, supporting the country’s budget, in health, enhancing human rights and justice. And from 1999 to date, the European country has put in $2 billion to support Ghana.

At an event Thursday November 8, 2018 to launch an evaluation of the partnership between the two countries covering 10 years from 2007 to 2017, the Dutch Ambassador to Ghana, Tove Degnbol, answering questions said Denmark has spent $2 billion in supporting Ghana’s development efforts.

The evaluation covered the years from 2007 to 2017, and the main areas of cooperation have been general budget support, governance (including decentralisation and human rights), health, tax/customs and private sector development.

The Danish government has also supported business-to-business programmes, research collaboration and the Danish-Ghanaian Culture and Development programme, which have been managed centrally from Copenhagen.

However, the current Denmark-Ghana Partnership Policy 2014-2018 which envisages a transition of the partnership from primarily development cooperation to a strategic partnership, will mainly be based on political and commercial cooperation, the Embassy said in the evaluation document.

In her speech, the Danish Ambassador noted that while the last evaluation from 2007 was used to guide further development cooperation between the two countries, the current evaluation has had a different perspective and has instead attempted to assess if the development cooperation provides a good basis for commercial cooperation.

“In line with the President’s vision for ‘Ghana beyond Aid’, Denmark is in the process of gradually phasing out development cooperation and at the same time, the trade cooperation and efforts to attract Danish investments to Ghana are intensified,” she said.

The development cooperation, however, she said will continue till 2020, adding that during this time the Danish Embassy will be working to strengthen its business team and professionalizing the support to Danish companies and their Ghanaian counterparts.

Dr. Grace Bediako, the Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission acknowledged all the areas that Danish support has gone into.

“Overall, Danish support has gone towards private sector development, governance, tax reforms and the health sector. Danida’s main contribution at national level has been related to business advocacy, especially public-private dialogue to improve local and national business environments,” she said, and lauded Danida for being instrumental in the acceleration of the decentralization reform processes in Ghana over the past 10 years. This she says, “shows significant advancement on several fronts, including the institutional framework.”

Short documentary films on Denmark-Ghana cooperation were also launched.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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