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We’ll Instil Discipline In Economy — Prez

President Kufuor (right) interacting with Dr Donald Kaberuka, President of the ADB.President Kufuor (right) interacting with Dr Donald Kaberuka, President of the ADB.

President J.A. Kufuor yesterday received three separate delegations at the Castle, Osu, and affirmed his government's determination to continue to submit itself to discipline in the management of the economy.

That, he said, was to ensure that the country's vision of attaining a middle-income status could be attained.
The delegations were from the African Development Bank (ADB), the United States (US) Treasury and the Gabonese government.

At the meeting with the ADB delegation, which was led by its President, Mr Donald Kaberuka, President Kufuor expressed the willingness of the government to welcome any support from the ADB towards infrastructural development, particularly in the road sector and the railway system.

He recounted a meeting he had with the US Secretary of Treasury, Mr Henry Paulsen Jnr, who had led the US delegation earlier in the day, and said during discussions, it came to light that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had decided to set aside a $750 million investment fund to support sub-Saharan Africa.

President Kufuor said one of the policies of the government was to support private-public sector partnership, adding that he was hopeful that such a fund by OPEC would enhance private sector development in Ghana and other African countries.

Mr Kaberuka said he was impressed with Ghana's economic performance and commended President Kufuor for his leadership.

He said the achievement made by the government in reducing poverty, stabilising the economy and particularly the currency was encouraging.

President Kufuor said Mr Kaberuka's visit to the Castle shortly after a similar visit by the US Secretary of Treasury, was testimony of the confidence the ADB had in the economy, and that that should clear any doubt in the minds of Ghanaians about the successes which had been registered in the economy.

Earlier, during a courtesy call, the US Secretary of Treasury, Mr Paulsen Jnr, had said his presence in Ghana underscored President Kufuor's outstanding leadership and that of the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu.

Mr Paulsen is in the country for a two-day visit to discuss the positive economic changes taking place in Ghana with the government and business leaders.

He will also use the trip to discuss the underpinnings of Africa's recent growth and explore ways in which the international financial community could further support Africa's development.

He is expected to join Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Alitair Darling, and the President of the ADB, Mr Kaberuka, to discuss infrastructural investment during a tour of the Akosombo Dam.

Mr Paulsen said Ghana had enormous opportunities for investment and there had been good returns on investment at the Ghana Stock Exchange over the last two years.

He said Ghana's venture into the international financial market was important, since it would speed up investment and development in the country.

Mr Paulsen said OPEC was initiating a programme under which the organisation would support sub-Saharan Africa with substantial funds but advised Africa to explore other avenues for sourcing funds beyond donor support.

Responding, the President said private sector development was one of the pillars of the government's policies and expressed the hope that the visit to the stock exchange would encourage its stakeholders.

The delegation from Gabon was led by the Gabonese Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ms Laure Olga Gondjour, who delivered a special message from President Omar Bongo.

The contents of the message were not disclosed but they were believed to centre on the expression of solidarity and felicitation to the President after escaping unhurt in an accident in Accra last week Wednesday.

Receiving the message, President Kufuor expressed his gratitude to the Gabonese people and their leader for their concern.

Story by Nehemia Owusu Achiaw