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01.06.2003 Business & Finance

Finance Minister Leaves For Addis Ababa

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The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Yaw Osafo-Maafo left Accra on Friday for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to attend meetings of the Economic Commission of Africa (ECA) and the session of African Ministers of Economic Planning and Central Bank Governors.

He was accompanied by a five-member delegation, which included Dr Paul Acquah, Governor of the Bank of Ghana and officials of both the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank.

Mr Osafo-Maafo told reporters that in addition to the two meetings, they would take part in the annual general meeting of the African Development Bank (ADB), which would review the operational effect of the relocation of the Bank's headquarters in Tunis, Tunisia.

Mr Osafo-Maafo said he would take advantage of the meeting to negotiate with the bank for a budgetary support of between 50 and 100 million dollars for this year. He said Ghana would also review ADB sponsored projects in the country, which include the roads linking Kumasi and Aflao to Accra, the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange, as well as tertiary education.

The Minister noted that the ECA meeting would examine in detail the African, Caribbean Pacific (ACP) trade relations with the European Union and strategise for the impending trade negotiations with the World Trade Organization.

He said extensive discussions would also be held on the HIPC initiative adding that whereas the initiative was favourable towards social development, it was less friendly with economic growth.

The delegation is expected to return on June 6, 2003.

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