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27.05.2004 General News

Let us examine our development strategies - Osafo-Maafo

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Munyonyo (Uganda), May 27, GNA - Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning on Wednesday raised the stakes of development pattern in Africa when he called on African economists to examine their development strategies closely and take ownership for its solutions.

He has therefore, called on the African Development Bank (ADB) Group and the United Nations Economic Commission (UNECA) to provide the intellectual and analytical leadership necessary for the Bank to put its growing financial resources to effective use in the service of African development.

Mr. Osafo-Maafo said this at the Governors' Presentation at the on-going ADB Annual General Meetings in Uganda.

Present at the session was Mr Omar Kabbaj, President of the ADB, Governors of ADB and Governors of Central and Commercial Banks across Africa as well as non-regional members of the Bank.

He urged the Bank to utilise its unique advantage as the premiere African Development institutions and seek to shape and strenghten the modalities of its collaboration with other international financial institutions and partners.

"It should be more proactive and assertive in bringing to the development debate, the voice, perspective and true sense of ownership of the region."

The Finance Mininster said he believed that the sort of collaboration displayed by the Bank with the ECA in organizing the 2004 Symposium on Closing the Gender Gap, shows how as one people, we could tap the synergies of our existing institutions in our search to transform the continent through effective intellectual and analytical leadership.

Mr Osafo-Maafo said it was becoming increasingly clear that African economies are showing highly improved macro-economic indicators and should be supported to come out of their various stages of predicament. He explained that in Ghana, the declaration of the 'golden age of business' has provided a shift in focus to the private sector as the right engine of growth.

He said prudent public expenditure management has restored macro stability in the last three years, adding that government has improved transparency and accountability of public finance management drastically by enacting and implementing three new laws.

These are the procurement Act, Financial Administration Act and the Internal Audit Act.

"These provide a statutory framework for early detection of possible abuses and combating corruption in public resource management."

Mr Osafo-Maafo mentioned the multi-donor budget support system saying it is a way of coordinating donor disbursements and reducing the bureaucratic burdens and costs entailed in our extensive dialogue with development partners.

"This has improved the predictability and reliability of donor in flows," he added.

Mr Osafo-Maafo called for effective ways of improving on earnings from raw materials on the continent through value addition and competing successfully in the global, marketplace.

"We should also look at ways to provide incentives to train scientists and technologists and retain them in our countries while transforming our economies through science and technology."

The quality of governance in Africa which leaves much to be desired and corruption must be a thing of the past, he added.