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29.06.2004 Business & Finance

Ghana and Saudi Arabia sign loan agreement

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Accra, June 29, GNA - Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, on Tuesday told Ghana's development partners of her continuous effort to implement prudent economic policies to further enhance her macroeconomic performance.

He said such efforts would also help to build a modern and resilient economy by moving the economy to a higher level of growth. The Minister said this after signing a loan agreement of 10.5 million dollars between Ghana and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Accra to co-finance the construction of part of the Tetteh Quarshie-Mamfe Road Project.

Engineer Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al-Shawi, Deputy Managing Director of the Saudi Fund for Development, leading a three-member delegation from Saudi Arabia, initialled for his country.

The concessionary loan to be paid within 20 years with a five-year grace period is to be used to financed the construction of an urban dual carriageway with a total length of 4.6 kilometres including three traffic lanes in both directions which begins at Madina Junction and ends at Pantang Junction.

Mr Osafo-Maafo said the Government adopted the Multi Donor Budgetary Support Strategy (MDBS), which sought to harmonise policies and procedures in mobilizing funds for implementation of Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) to help to improve the Government of Ghana - Donor co-ordination and enhancement of synergy.

He, therefore, urged the Saudi Arabia Government to join Ghana's Development Partners already providing resources through the MDBS mechanism.

On the road project, the Minister explained that the Tetteh-Quarshie-Mamfe Road Project valued at 21.45 million dollars would significantly improve the traffic flow and ease congestion on that route.

He said substantial savings in terms of vehicle operating and maintenance cost would also be derived on completion. He commended the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for her support so far to Ghana and expressed the hope for further strengthening of "our bilateral cooperation for our mutual benefit".

Engineer Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al-Shawi said his country had so far spent a total amount of 7.12 billion cedis on development project in Ghana, which was the outcome of the fruitful cooperation between the two countries.

He expressed satisfaction and delight for the cordial relationship between Ghana and his country and pledged to help to improve infrastructure in Ghana.

The Saudi Fund has in the recent past provided 93 billion cedis for the construction of 50 health centres in rural communities. As at now, 35 of the rural health centres have been completed while the remaining 15 in the Greater Accra, Central, Western, Eastern, Volta, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions are scheduled for completion by June next year.