Accra, April 27, GNA - Canada has pledged to invest about 55 million Canadian dollars (about 408 billion cedis) annually in Ghana as long as Ghana continued in her path towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
Mr Donald Bobiash, Canadian High Commissioner in Ghana, who announced this on Wednesday, said Canada had quadrupled its aid to Ghana since 2002.
A statement issued in Accra by the High Commission said the assistance was under Canada's new International Policy - "A role of Pride and Influence in the World" that had targeted Ghana as one of 25 development partners to receive a substantial portion of Canada's bilateral assistance.
"We are targeting Canadian aid to reach the people, who need it most, and focusing our efforts to ensure better results. Canadians want their aid dollars to make a real difference in Ghana and this is exactly what this new plan for development cooperation will do."
According to the statement, Mr Aileen Carroll, Canada's Minister of International Cooperation, who released the policy on April 19, said: "We are focusing two-thirds of CIDA's direct country-to-country assistance on 25 developing countries of which more than half are in Africa-that are among the poorest but have the capacity to use aid effectively."
The criteria used to select the development partners were the level of poverty, ability to use aid effectively and sufficient Canadian presence to add value.
To ensure that aid resources focus where the need is greatest, the Canadian International Development Agency's (CIDA) development partners were identified from among the poorest countries.
The UNDP Human Development Index ranks countries based on life expectancy at birth, adult literacy, school enrolment and standard of living measured by GDP per capita.
Another criterion is income and only countries below 1,000 dollars in average per capita annual income (measured at current exchange rates) qualify.
Others are economic management, structural policies, policies for social inclusion and equity, public sector management and institutions. Other African countries chosen as special development partners include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia.
Four Latin American countries, six Asian countries and the Ukraine were also chosen.