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02.07.2004 Business & Finance

Three Governments signed $4.83 million grant with EC

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Accra, July 2, GNA - Three Governments, the Danish, Canadian and the British on Friday singed a Framework Memorandum covering the provision of

4.83 million dollars grant with the Electoral Commission. The contributions of the three development partners are, United Kingdom 2,928,000 dollars, Canada 1,515,152 dollars and Denmark 388,350 dollars.

The grant reflects a joint commitment between the countries to provide support for Election 2004 in a harmonised, efficient and cost-effective manner.

The fund would be disbursed directly to the EC as a pooled contribution towards the overall electoral budget. Speaking to newsmen at the signing ceremony at the EC, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, the Chairman, explained that the European Union, France and Japan were contributing towards the forthcoming elections through a separate arrangement.

Canada, the United States, the European Union and United Kingdom would also contribute towards the elections through a separate funding arrangement to be coordinated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

This support would be towards enhancing the capacity of civil society organisations pursuing election-related activities. Dr Afari-Gyan said donor support would cover about 40 per cent of the total election budget.

Speaking on behalf of the donor community, Mr Gordon Wetherel, the British High Commissioner described the grant as a vote of confidence in the capacity of the EC.

He commended the political parties and the EC for the constructive and open dialogue platform adopted through the Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC).

Mr Wetherel also commended the EC for involving its development partners in the planning and development of the electoral budget and donor support for Elections 2004.

"This grant to the EC testifies to our commitment to supporting Ghana's target, enshrined in its poverty reduction strategy, of promoting good governance and democracy.

"That in turn will serve as a continuing good Ghanaian example to the Sub-Region and more widely...Ghana has already made an important contribution to good governance in Africa by the conduct of and the peaceful transition of power after, the last elections."

The British High Commissioner said this year's elections offer Ghana the chance to further entrench and enhance its reputation as a leading reforming country in Africa.

The British and the Canadian High Commissioners as well as the Danish Ambassador and the Chairman of the Electoral Commission signed the relevant documents.