Ghana’s development partners have pledged to scale up the level of support to the country from $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion annually over the next four years.
That will sum up to some $5.7 billion between 2007 and 2010, according to a communiqué issued on Wednesday at the end of the two- day Ghana Consultative Group Annual Partnership Meeting in Accra.
Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Finance and Economic Planning Minister and Mats Karlsson, the World Bank’s Country Director, jointly chaired the meeting, which brought together representatives of the development partners, Ministers, Members of Parliament, private sector and civil society.
The communiqué said the Government confirmed that spending on the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy Two (GPRS II) priority programmes from domestic sources was expected to reach at least $5.8 billion over the next three years.
The development partners expressed satisfaction with Ghana’s achievements related to poverty reduction and hope that the coming years would see even stronger progress in meeting the aspirations of the people.
The partners, however, noted that significant challenges remained if Ghana was to consolidate its gains and further accelerate economic growth and these, they said, included closing the major infrastructure gaps especially in energy, water and sanitation and rural roads.
The Group would convene again in June 2008 to take stock of the evolving Ghana Partnership, it added.
In an earlier statement, President John Agyekum Kufuor had asked Ghana’s development partners to do more to support the drive towards attracting the needed business investment inflows to launch the country into the mainstream of the global market.
He noted that it was through a high inflow of profit-driven business investments that more job openings could be created to reduce poverty among the people.
Participants at the two-day meeting included representatives of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Union (EU) and other development partners, Ministers of State, Members of Parliament (MPs), the private sector and civil society.
Their deliberations covered a broad range of issues, starting with constraints and opportunities for accelerating growth and poverty reduction, and progressing to a discussion of economic results achieved in 2006, resources available for development programmes and how effectively the aid partnership was working.
The meeting also examined the Government’s strategy for scaling up its achievements in line with the middle-income aspirations, the resources likely to be available over the next five years, initiatives to secure value for money and how partnership arrangements were evolving priority programmes and to reduce transaction costs.