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20.05.2008 General News

11 Dev Partners Renew Support For Ghana

By Kwadwo B. Donkor - newtimesonline.com
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ELEVEN of the country’s development partners yesterday renewed their support for Ghana with the second signing of the Multi-Donor Budgetary Support (MDBS) framework memorandum.

They include the African Development Bank, Canada, Denmark, European Commission and France.

They rest are Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the World Bank.

The number is an improvement on the first MDBS which was signed in May 2003 with only nine development partners.

At a brief signing ceremony yesterday, the Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, said the MDBS has proved to be a prudent aid alternative.

He said that by using existing country systems, 'it has contributed immensely to strengthening the public financial management structures.

It has also contributed to the successes government has chalked in the implementation of the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy – GPRS II.

He mentioned health, education, water and sanitation, private sector development and governance as some of the sectors in which the government is making progress.

According to the minister, many development partners and the international community 'are now beginning to appreciate the role of General Budget Support in aid of architecture.

He said General Budget Support is the most efficient way of providing development assistance as various studies and reports have rated it 'as the most aligned, predictable and cost effective aid modality which supports the principle of national ownership.'

Over the past five years since the inception of the first MDBS, the country’s development partners have contributed about 300 million dollars in loans and grants to the national budget.

Joachim Schmitt, Counsellor of the German Development Cooperation, who led the delegation to sign the agreement said the disbursements from the country’s development partners this year 'will total about 350 million dollars, adding up to the total MDBS contributions since inception to close to two billion dollars by the end of the year.'

He said the commitment of all MDBS partners is in line with the objectives of the Paris Declaration on Donor Harmonisation and the Ghana Joint Assistance Strategy.

Mr Schmitt also reiterated the progress being made by the country to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

'Ghana is the first country in Sub-sahara Africa that is about to, or may already have actually achieved the first MDG of halving poverty and now strives to reach middle-income status by 2015,' he said.

He further commended the country for its public finance management system, which have been strengthened to enhance efficiency, effectiveness and accountability in the use of public monies, adding, 'Overall achievements have been many and impressive.'

Though the UNDP and USAID are not signatories to the memorandum, they are observers in the MDBS Ghana Group.

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