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16.02.2005 General News

Ghana must lead Africa in development - UK Chief Treasurer

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Accra, Feb. 16, GNA - Mr. Paul Boateng, the visiting Chief Treasurer of the United Kingdom on Wednesday lauded Ghana's macroeconomic achievements, saying Ghana must be seen as the shining example of Africa's development.

"Ghana must take the lead to own Africa. Ghana is a shining example of good governance and its leadership in NEPAD and the AU is very real and important," he said.

Speaking at a meeting with some Ghanaian Ministers, Mr Boateng announced that the UK government would pay 79.9 million dollars of Ghana's multilateral debt between 2005 and 2015.

The ministers were, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Finance and Economic Planning, Profesor Dominic Fobih, Lands and Forestry, Mr Hackman Owusu Agyeman, Works and Housing and Mrs Elizabeth Ohene, Acting Minister of State for Tertiary Education.

Mr Boateng said the Commission for Africa and the UK's joint Presidency of the G-8 and EU would in 2005 set the context for continuing partnership in tackling the challenges facing Africa. He commended Ghana for the strategies put in place and said the UK would ensure that Ghana continued to make progress to realise the Millennium Development Goals.

Mr Boateng said the UK gained agreement at the recent G-7 summit in London to provide as much as 100 percent relief of the debts owed to multilateral institutions.

"The UK government has already stated that it will pay its share of the debt service for the World Bank and African Development Bank, and is taking immediate action on debt relief for an initial 19 countries," he said.

For growth to be achieved Mr Boateng said issues about stability and security should be treated as very paramount.

Mr Baah-Wiredu, the Finance Minister recounted achievements so far made from grants and debt reliefs enjoyed by the government and said all went to contribute to development of the nation.

He said the current enactment of laws such as the Financial Administration and the Procurement Acts were designed to further deepen transparency and efficiency in the system.

Prof. Fobih, Minister of lands and Forestry said the Ministry has so far received nine million dollar support from the British Government under the DFID He said, part of the money was being used to implement the Land Administration Project, which has seen the strengthening and building for the customary land secretariat. Prof Fobih said customary land demarcation to ease land disputes would soon start.

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