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09.05.2005 Business & Finance

MCA: Gov’t Plans To Access About US$200m

By BUSINESS & FINANCIAL TIMES

Ghana is still awaiting the endorsement of its proposal submitted to the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to benefit from the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA).

Sixteen African countries eligible for the Millennium Challenge Account can access funds after a final compact agreement is reached with the MCC. So far, Madagascar has received about $110 million to start implementing its country programme from the MCC.

Mr Michael Ansah, leader of the MCA project at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning told the paper that Ghana has already submitted the initial proposals to the MCC for study last year and is still waiting for approval for the final compact agreement to be signed.

According to him, Ghana's proposals and the money involved is twice that of Madagascar. He revealed that Ghana will benefit from amounts ranging from between $200 million and $210 million since it is a broad base project, adding that there has not been any development as to when the final negotiation will start but was very optimistic that by the end of 2005 the MCA compact could be finalised.

He stated that Ghana has chosen Agro-base investment into high value crops as its main priority area by which a 4-year programme to allow private sector and infrastructural construction are the target areas selected.

Mr Ansah said that, as part of the financial support compact provision of business service to support small and medium scale farmers in educating them on export policies for smooth export of their products outside Ghana are targeted.

“Ghana could be the sixth country to sign the final compact agreement by the end of this year,” he added.

When asked about the possible challenges the project is facing, he stated that since the MCA programme is new, setting priorities to generate significant growth in the future was the only problem at a time.

The MCC expects that the form and content of initial proposals will vary depending on a number of factors, including the nature and complexity of the proposed country programme.

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