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06.11.2008 Business & Finance

Ghana, Saudi Arabia Sign Agreement

By ISD (Zakari Musah)

The Government of Ghana and the Saudi Fund for Development of the Saudi Arabia Kingdom, yesterday in Accra signed a soft loan agreement of GH¢ 14.16 million, totaling GH¢ 109 .08 million being loans that have been extended by the Saudi Fund to Ghana.

The loan is to assist in the financing of rehabilitation and expansion of the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital Project in the Upper East Region to enhance quality health care delivery.

A Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, who signed on behalf of the Ghana Government, said the objective of the project is in fulfillment of the government's policy under the Health Sector Programme of work, rehabilitation, expansion and mobile facilities through cost effective means in the deprived regions especially in the wake of implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme.

According to him, the government is determined to improving the quality and equity of access to essential health care and to ensure that the health sector continues to play an essential role in the reduction strategy in the country.

He expressed the government's gratitude to the Saudi Arabian Government for their continue support and hoped for a deepening relationship between the two countries.

Mr Yousef AL-Bassam, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the Saudi Fund for Development, who signed on behalf of the Saudi Arabia Government, said the loan is to help increase capacity, efficiency and effectiveness of the facilities at the hospital in order to provide quality health care delivery to the people in the Upper East Region. 'It will contribute to the socio-economic development in the country,' he added.

On his part, the Deputy Minister for Health, Mr Abraham Dwuma Odoom, observed that when the project is completed, the hospital will serve as a referral point for the district hospitals in the region, adding that it will go a long way to ameliorate some of the challenges in the hospital.