01.08.2006 General News

Ghana, US Sign MCA Pact Today

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Ghana and the United States (US) will, at 2:00 p.m. today, sign the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) compact which will pave way for the African country to access $547 million from the US Treasury.

President J. A. Kufuor and his entourage arrived in the US capital, Washington, DC, on Sunday for the event.

The obviously elated President, accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Co-operation and NEPAD, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and the Press Secretary to the President, Mr Andrews A. Awuni, was met by US officials on his arrival at the Dullies Airport, Washington, on Sunday afternoon.

The signing ceremony, which will take place at the US State Department, will attract a high profile gathering, including 20 VIPs.

President Kufuor and the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, are slated to make some remarks on the MCA package and its impact.

Chairman of Ghana's Millennium Developpment Authority, (MiDA) Dr Paa kwesi Nduom and Ambassador John J. Danilovich, Chief Executive of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), will sign two sets of documents at the ceremony.

Briefing journalists, Dr Nduom and Ghana's Ambassador to the US (Washington), Mr Fritz Poku, said $10.2 million would be released immediately after signing the compact, while the rest of the $547 million allotted to Ghana would be lodged into the country's account.

Mr Poku said from October 1, this year, the compact would come into force.

Dr Nduom said details on the various components had already been worked out for the early take-off of projects under the MCA.

He said out of the $2.1 billion earmarked for nine countries under the MCA, Ghana alone was taking $547 million.

Dr Nduom said options were being examined to leverage the funds to grow so as to expedite development in Ghana.

President Kufuor will later join a panel discussion being hosted by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies and address the US Chamber of Commerce.

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