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26.07.2005 General News

Cut-off date for debt cancellation should be this year - JAK


Accra, July 26, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Tuesday suggested that the cut-off date for debt cancellation should be this year.

He said: "The cut-off date for debt cancellation should be as recent as possible the day when the Finance Ministers of G-8 made the announcement on June 11 2005".

President Kufuor made the suggestion when the visiting World Bank Executive Director, Mr Sid' Ahmed Dib paid a courtesy call on him at the Castle, Osu.

Mr Dib, whose constituency of nations under the World Bank included Ghana, Pakistan, Morocco and Algeria, took office this year and is on a three-day visit to discuss development concerns with Government Officials.

He said the Bank had been very supportive of the Government since it assumed power and had received about 900 million dollars assistance from the Bank, which indicated that, "this is a serious Government that uses funds efficiently and judiciously.

"This is a Government that will not waste resources and opportunities", he said.

President Kufuor appealed to Mr Dib to ensure that Ghana's multi-donor budgetary support of about 125 million dollars was approved during the Bank's next meeting in August to enable the Government to implement its budget.

He briefed Mr Dib on the Government's agenda for its second tenure of office and said it believed in sound management practices by the private sector to create wealth for poverty alleviation.

President Kufuor said the Government's sound macro-economic management had been a hallmark and called for more assistance for Ghana to remain the haven for peace and stability in the West African Sub-Region.

He said the only problem was the price of crude oil since Ghana was not an oil-producing country, and yet "we came with a vision and are committed to realise our vision."

President Kufuor said another sector that had attracted the Government's attention was the Public Sector that had been traumatised, politicised and made to lose its leadership to become faceless and de-motivated.

He said the Government's concern was to give serious leadership to the sector to play its role in the vision being envisaged by the Government for the country.

President Kufuor gave the assurance that the Public Sector Reform report would be implemented with all seriousness for its good intentions for the public and the nation.

Mr Dib said the visit afforded him the opportunity to be well informed on Ghana and report effectively to the Bank at its next meeting.

The G-8 spearheaded by the United Kingdom on June 11, this year announced the cancellation of the debt owed it by 18 countries to the tune of 40 billion dollars with Ghana's portion estimated at 4.1 billion dollars. The amount represents about 80 per cent of Ghana's total debt. 26 July 05