27.04.2004 Business & Finance

Government will not manipulate APRM to its advantage -Apraku

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Kumasi, April 27, GNA - Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, Minister of Regional Co-operation and NEPAD, has debunked the notion in certain quarters that the government is going to use the outcome of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) which will soon be carried out in the country to promote itself during the electioneering campaigns. He said the outcome of the review exercise would be made known by the African Union (AU) after a thorough study and recommendations and not the government, adding that, the results of the exercise might not even be ready before the December elections.

Dr Apraku stated these at the launching of the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) and the APRM projects in Kumasi on Tuesday.

He explained that because the government believed in democracy, good governance and accountability to the people, Ghana was going to be the first country in Africa to be subjected to the APRM.

Dr Apraku said the APRM did not seek to review the government but the country as a whole including private sector and civil society activities, adding that, to avoid government intervention and manipulation, the APRM was being managed by an independent body of eminent persons.

Dr Apraku said NEPAD had identified specific sectoral priority areas to facilitate human development, growth, business and investment opportunities.

He called on civil society organisations, community-based organisations, opinion leaders, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the private sector to demonstrate commitment and take advantage of the opportunities NEPAD offered to better their communities. On the West African Monetary Zone, Dr Apraku said the second common currency would help promote trade and investment among the people in the sub-region.

He said the use of the common currency would also help improve the management of fiscal policies in the sub-region.

Dr Apraku said the government was committed to achieve all the necessary criteria to enable Ghana join the zone when it became operational in July 2005.

Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister, said the world was now moving towards regional integration to promote trade and investment.

He said the introduction of the Eco would promote business transaction in the sub-region and urged the people to embrace it. Mr Maxwell Kofi Jumah, KMA Chief Executive, said Kumasi had been the nerve centre of business activities in the sub-region and as such had already embarked on sister city relationships with some neighbouring cities as a way of promoting trade and cultural activities among its people, adding that, the implementation of NEPAD protocols would help strengthen trade and investment activities in the sub-region. 27 April 04

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