Economy

Ghana secures $103m grant from AfDB for SMEs, agriculture and skills development

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Ghana and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have signed the indicative operations programmes outlining the projects to be implemented between 2024 and 2025.

The proposed projects encompass support for small and medium enterprises, agriculture, and skills development, including digitalisation for a total grant of US$103 million.

At a signing ceremony organized on the sidelines of the ongoing 2024 Annual General Meeting of the African Development Bank in Nairobi, Kenya, the Minister for Finance, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, commended the African Development Bank for its continuous commitment to the growth and development of African countries.

To ensure the effective utilization of the resources from the country’s development partners, the Minister highlighted the importance of effective monitoring and supervision of projects before certificates were signed for contractors to ensure value for money for the people of Ghana.

He bemoaned the inability of agencies to disburse project funds on time. This, he described as an unacceptable situation that needed to change.

“so I am committing to set up a monthly review on all project loans and funds that are to be disbursed and the reports will inform us on challenges we face in the execution of these projects. We will then engage the relevant MDAs to see how we can solve the challenges in order for disbursement to quicken up,” he said.

The African Development Bank Country Manager, Eyerusalem Fasika, who signed on behalf of the African Development Bank noted the Bank has been providing support to Ghana in the form of a grant under the African Development Fund.

According to her, the bank had a varied stakeholder consultation, including CSOs, MDAs, NDPC, private sector representatives, and other institutions, to solicit expert opinions for inclusion in the country strategy document, adding that, “we needed inclusive and expert views since the country strategy document is the people’s document, so their voices had to be captured.”

She assured the government of the bank’s commitment to building upon the earlier achievements of last year’s Country Strategy Document after this year’s document had been approved by the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank.

The approval of the document, she underscored, would lead to the subsequent release of funds in the third quarter of this year.

“This time around, we will be focused, selective and will be mobilizing resources from other partners for identified projects, and for the next five years we will benefit from the African Development Fund resources” the AfDB Country Representative indicated.

Ms Fasika also hinted at support from the Climate Action Window, the Climate Investment Fund for Transitional Support Facility Prevention Envelope, and other trust funds managed by the Bank.

“So, we will again work with the Ghana Investment and Infrastructure Fund and the Public Investment and Assets Division of the Ministry of Finance to come out with potential public sector partnership projects that can be presented at African Investment Forums” she noted.

In a related matter, the two parties also signed the Country Strategy Document (2024-2029) to support the building of a resilient and inclusive economy through private sector-led industrialization, enhanced connectivity, and job creation.

The CSP covers selected priority areas, which include human capital development, agriculture, transportation, energy, job creation, and climate change, among others.

Present at the signing ceremony were Dr Alex Ampaabeng, a Deputy Minister for Finance, Ghana’s Ambassador to Kenya, H.E Damptey Bediak Asare, 2nd Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Mrs Elsie Addo Awadzi, Officials of the Ministry of Finance, Bank of Ghana, and the Ghana Investment and Infrastructure.

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