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27.02.2009 General News

Implement measures in “State of the Nation” address - EU ambassador advises


Mr. Filiberto Ceriana Sebregondi, Head of the
European Union Delegation to Ghana, Friday noted that that it was important

that government implemented the “laudable” austerity measures prescribed in

the President's State of the Nation address in order to keep the country on the track of economic stability to court increased donor confidence in the nation.

“With the global recession, there would be a couple of difficult years to come for Ghana until it starts receiving revenue from its oil. And we share in the commitment of government to establish some austerity measures in revenue collection, cutting government expenditure and the Salary Bill,” said Mr Sebregondi in Accra.

“It is important that Ghana implements these austerity measures to maintain the political and economic stability it has enjoyed in the last couple of decades to keep the country on the right track so that donors would confidence in committing more funds here,” he said.

“These are really the right things to do at this time”, he told journalists at a farewell brief to give account of his stewardship in Ghana. Mr Sebregondi's tenure as the Head of Delegation expires next month.

“Ghana has always been a shining example for the developing world with its track record of performance and good governance and with its latest electoral success, we believe the country would do well,” he said.

The EU Delegation Chief said the EU was encouraged by the part in the President Mills' address in Parliament, prescribing institutional reforms that EU deemed as critical to the functioning of good governance, like the strengthening and stronger funding of democratic institutions like the EC, CHRAJ and the Media Commission.

He said the EU was also happy about the push President Mills wanted to give to decentralization, saying, “when the system is decentralized the country can push more for development”.

Mr Sebregondi also noted that in order for Ghana to maximize benefits from the oil revenue, some level of transparent measures like the one for other extractive industries in the country should be promulgated to foster accountability.

“I believe that any choice in new policy should be done in consultation with stakeholders.”

Mr Sebregondi said he was satisfied with his tenure in Ghana because the period had marked an increase in the level of development assistance and relations between the EU and Ghana, particularly during the country's 50th independence anniversary and the AU summit.

He expressed appreciation to the government, his colleagues and the media for the support given him and the cordial relations that characterized his term in the country.