Accra, January 30, 2017 …. The Government of Ghana and the European Union (EU) have signed four financing agreements under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF)/National Indication Programme.
The agreement commits a total of Euro175million, bringing the accumulative commitments to Euro269.6 million to support four programmes namely: Production investment for sustainable agricultural development in the northern Savannah Ecological zone of Ghana; Decentralization in Ghana Programme; Resilience against climate change; and Public Finance Management and the Stepping Stone Economic Partnership Agreement.
At the signing ceremony were EU Partners comprising Denmark. France, German, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and United Kingdom who jointly committed Euro1.25 billion envelope, to support priorities and objectives identified by the Government of Ghana in the Long-Term National Development Plan, under the European Joint Co-operation Strategy (2017-2020).
In his brief remarks, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta, thanked the European partners for their immense support to Ghana over the years. He cited the support offered to Parliament, Ghana Audit Service, Public Procurement Authority, and Internal Audit, all in the effort to deepen accountability and ethics of those public institutions.
“The support comes at a good time as Agriculture, Public Financial Management (PFM), decentralization, and climate change are priorities areas for the Government of Ghana in terms of job creation, service delivery and better financial management”, he said.
The Minister touched on the programming of donor aid, and cited the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA), which he noted, required government to be in charge of most of its resources. He indicated the need for both parties to agree to build up towards achieving the AAA in order not to undermine efforts to control public financing and achieving the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda.
The Head of the EU Delegation, Ambassador William Hanna, indicated that, “the EU shares in the Ghana’s effort to move beyond aid agenda and has been part of a long term effort to improve the way of work”. Ambassador Hanna indicated that the EU shares in the aspirations of supporting Ghana’s key objectives, that is, to build an industrialized, inclusive and resilient economy; and to build effective, efficient and dynamic institutions.
Ambassador Hanna also added that the EU had also made a decisive shift away from its traditional aid approach to a more comprehensive approach, including trade, competitiveness, and focusing also on global issues such as migration, and climate change.
He disclosed that, Ghana’s development cooperation landscape had changed, with a net Overseas Development Assistant (ODA) disbursement to Ghana as a percentage of Ghana’s Gross National Income falling from 16.3% in 2004 to 2.2% in 2013, a significant downward trend. He attributed this development to the positive change in Ghana’s income status, as well as a change in the political orientation of development partners.
He further added that reduction in ODA support would require Ghana to look for innovative financing instruments and an increased role for the private sector.
The Minister of State at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Nurah Gyeile, on his part expressed gratitude to the EU for their support to the Upper West in the area of infrastructure and support to mitigate the harsh climate, as well as providing market oriented projects.
The Minister for Local Government, Hajia Halima Mahama, who was also present, expressed appreciation to the EU for their support to the national decentralization programme which would ensure that MDAs are equipped with the needed funds and legal framework for efficient delivery of their mandate.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Deputy Minister of Finance (B), Honourable Abena Osei-Asare, French Ambassador, Francois Pujolas, German Ambassador, Christoph Retzlaff, Netherlands Ambassador, Ron Stricker and representatives of the EU, the Auditor General, Parliament Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of Finance. END