The World Bank has approved a total loan and grant amount of US$569.39million to the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to undertake four different development projects.
The fund, which includes US$12.39million in grants and US$557million in loans, is to be used to embark on projects aligned with government’s priorities for improving the private sector space, supporting human capital, and ensuring sustainability of its natural resources.
The first project for which reason the fund was secured by government is the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) project, worth US$200million and focused on reducing flood-risk along the Odaw River Basin. It is a six-year project to be implemented by multi-sector collaboration among four ministries: including Works and Housing, Sanitation and Water Resources, Inner City and Zongo Development, and Local Government and Rural Development.
The direct beneficiaries of the project will be families, businesses and offices located within the Odaw River basin, as well as selected communities benefiting from improved service delivery.
Second is the Ghana accountability for Learning Outcomes Project (GALOP). It is a US$150million credit project targetted at improving the quality of education in low performing basic schools and strengthening education sector equity and accountability in Ghana. It is to be undertaken by the Ministry of Education and is estimated to benefit 3.8 million people.
Under the agreement the third project is Ghana Economic Transformation Project (GETP), worth US$200million for six years. The project objective is to promote private investments and firm growth in non-resourced sectors of the Ghanaian economy. Given its multi-faceted approach, it is to be implemented by the Ministry of Trade and industry, Ministry of Finance, Business Development, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, and Trust Fund among others.
The fourth project is the Ghana Forest Investment Programme (FIP)-Enhancing Natural Forest and Agroforest Landscape Project (ENFAL). Its source of fund is a US$12.39million grant and US$7million loan for three years. It seeks to reduce forest loss and degradation in selected landscapes of Ghana’s high forest zone.
World Bank Country Director, Pierre Frank Laporte, in his address at the agreement-signing ceremony, reiterated that the World Bank is committed to strengthening its partnership with Ghana even further going forward. “We will work with you hand-in-hand to ensure that these projects, as well as others already ongoing, are implemented timely and effectively,” he said.
However, he emphasised that one important aspect of the implementation process is feedback from beneficiaries; hence the need for implementing entities to ensure there are functional grievance-redress mechanisms and strong citizens’ engagement for all projects, as they contribute to effective, efficient and sustainable delivery.
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta, expressed his profound gratitude to World Bank Group on behalf of government and the various project implementing agencies, noting that the US$200million Economic Transformation Project is something government is really looking forward to because it is going to open up the private sector and create more jobs for the youth.
“The Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) project, which is about how to make Accra safer, cleaner and more beautiful, is very welcome. The Odaw River floods have been going on since 1955, and hopefully this will bring an end to them.
“We also have learning, accountability and outcome projects to make sure that the quality of teaching we have matches the quality of people that are coming into the job market, and the ministry of education is very happy about that – and we are all happy about it too,” he said.