The British High Commissioner in Ghana, Mr Gordon Wetherell, has announced that the World Bank is due to release a sum of US$50 million to Ghana to resolve the energy crisis.
He stated that subject to the approval of the Bank's Board, “the World Bank would release US$50 million for Ghana's energy sector under its Africa Catalytic Growth Fund (ACGF).”
Mr Wetherell said this at a special reception he hosted in his residence to mark the birthday of the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II.
He noted that over the past 50 years Britain had and continued to be Ghana's largest bilateral donor and development partner, contributing 70 million pounds sterling a year directly through the Department for International Development (DFID).
This is besides the over 120 million pounds sterling Britain contributed to multilateral agencies such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund European Commission and the United Nations from which Ghana also benefited.
Mr Wetherell recalled that in 2006, Britain signed a 105 million pounds sterling 10-year agreement with Ghana for the support of primary education, saying it was the first of its kind in Africa.
He said the 50 million pounds sterling grant given to Ghana during the recent historic State Visit of President John Agyekum Kufuor to the Buckingham Palace was a follow-up to the agreement in 2006 and it was to specifically help Ghana to tackle the issue of child and maternal mortality.
Mr Wetherell said: “…our latest figures show that bilateral trade between the UK and Ghana rose by 25 per cent to 340 million pounds sterling.”
Mr. Wetherell assured Ghanaians that Britain would continue to remain Ghana's largest donor in future. He said: “Just as Ghana can look forward to the next 50 years of its existence as a free, sovereign country with confidence, so can our bilateral relationship.”
He touched on climate change, saying that Britain was committed to ensuring that countries like Ghana and others in the developing world were properly positioned to adapt to the inevitable change going on.
He acknowledged that British-Ghana relations had over the years been strengthened through people-to-people contact and through Ghana's commitment to the principles of democracy, good governance and the rule of law.
The Minister of Ports and Harbours, Prof. Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, who led the Ghana Government delegation to the reception, expressed government's gratitude to the UK for hosting President Kufuor and for sending the Duke of Kent, Prince Edward to participate in the Golden Jubilee on March 6, 2007.
He also thanked the British government for the cancellation of Ghana's debt under the HIPC initiative and expressed the hope that the UK would continue the kind gesture towards Ghana even after the tenure of office of British Premier Tony Blair.