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11.11.2004 General News

Swiss govt contributes to Multi Donor Budget Support

By GNA

Accra, Nov. 11, GNA- The Swiss government on Thursday provided Ghana with a 68.2 billion cedis grant towards the Multi Donor Budgetary Support (MDBS) programme.

The gesture was also to affirm the renewal of the country's assistance to Ghana in 15 years.

At the signing ceremony in Accra, Mr Georg Zubler, the Swiss Ambassador in Ghana, said Switzerland renewed assistance to Ghana in 2002 when it gave out 84.14 billion cedis for the MDBS.

Mr Zubler said the present agreement covered the financial years from 2004 and 2005 and that the amount was earmarked for poverty reduction programmes.

Switzerland is one of the joint groups of nine countries and international organizations contributing towards Ghana's Multi Donor Budgetary Support programme.

Mr Zubler said his country was supporting Ghana because of her willingness to undertake economic reforms, ensure macro economic stability and fight poverty.

"My government has seen substantive development in the last few years and we therefore consider Ghana as one of the priority countries to support in economic development.

"We have so far seen some growth in the economy, inflation has decreased, the exchange rate of the cedi has stabilized and the government has generally been successful in the implementation of economic reform strategies," he said.

He added that if the government continued to show political willingness in this direction, it would no doubt be fruitful with its current policies.

Mr Zubler said his government was interested in giving support in some other areas such as the implementation and monitoring of the Public Procurement Act, financing of the energy reforms with respect to sourcing investment to extend power from the national grid to the peripheral or poor areas in Ghana.

Switzerland is also interested in assisting Ghana in the area of internal resource mobilization. Ghana is already undertaking a joint programme with The Trust Bank to provide funds for Small Scale Enterprises.

Mr Yaw Osafo Marfo, Minister of Finance, who signed for Ghana said Switzerland had embraced the MDBS as an efficient channel to offer assistance and that government was committed to the judicious use of all resources mobilized under the programme.

He said: "To this end, the public financial management system is being enhanced and the Controller and Accountant General's Department is also being strengthened to ensure efficient and timely budget reporting system".

The Minister mentioned the passage of the Financial Administration Act, the Public Procurement Act and the Central Internal Audit Agency Act as some of the efforts taken to ensure transparency in government procurement, prudent expenditure management and minimization of corruption.

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