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15.12.2009 Business & Finance

Ghana consults development partners on aid policy

By gna
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Accra, Dec. 15, GNA - Ghana on Monday dialogued with stakeholders to fine-tune the country's Aid Policy, intended to guide engagement with her Development Partners (DP's) to finalize the policy.

The consultative workshop under the theme: "Putting Ownership into Action for Development Results", advanced debates and sharing of experiences on best practices to improve the aid policy to enhance the quality of aid and its development impact on the country.

It was also aimed at developing a detailed implementation strategy and plan.

Mr. Seth Terpker, Deputy Finance and Economic Planning Minister addressing the opening session of the meeting, said for the past decade, the focus in development co-operation had increased towards enhancing aid effectively, ensuring accountability and managing results because aid delivery had not provided the results that both partner countries and DP's had desired.

He attributed this to lack of ownership of partner countries of their development agenda, saying: "As long as partner countries remain unassertive and do not take concrete steps towards owning their development agenda, the tangible development results that we all so desire, will only remain a mirage".

"Nevertheless the good news is that we, in Ghana, and some other partner countries are determined to let aid make a difference. We will do everything within our power to ensure that this change is a reality," Mr. Terpker said.

He stressed the need for Development Partners to support Ghana's endeavour and use the country's system as the first option for aid programmes to ensure swift development results.

Mr Terpker said government was committed to strengthening Ghana's systems and would periodically organise self-assessment to improve these systems.

The policy is to ensure that aid programmes are geared towards supporting government's objective of attaining middle-income status by 2020 set out in the country's long-term development plan.

Ghana like other developing countries relies on external aid for budgetary support as well as capital projects. Over the last two decades, external aid has constituted an important source of financing for the country.

In recent years, external aid has averaged below 30 per cent of the total annual government budgetary resources though it has served as the major financing anchor for Ghana's infrastructure development.

It has also provided critical support for the balance of payments and budgetary support financing which to a large extent has contributed significantly to sound macroeconomic management and stability in Ghana.

External aid has been a vital source of funding for local and international NGOs, and civil society organizations (CSOs) in Ghana.

The activities of these groups have aided the poor and vulnerable groups in the society and complemented governments' efforts to reduce poverty.

The policy defines clear structures on how government will engage its development partners and stakeholders to produce development results.

It provides the policies and programmes to be used as a handbook to guide government and development partners in the sourcing and channelling of aid and the implementation of national policies and programmes towards the realization of a middle income economy by 2020.

GNA

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