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11.08.2005 Business & Finance

Canada supports Ghana's Budget

GNA

Accra, Aug. 11, GNA - Canada on Thursday honoured her promise to support Ghana's Multi Donor Budgetary Support Programme for the budget year 2005 with the provision of 13.4 million Canadian dollars, approximately 97.8 billion cedis.

Madam Aileen Carroll, Minister of International Cooperation, who is on a five-day tour to Ghana, said the amount represented two instalments of Canada's total five-year donor commitment for the implementation of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS).

Madam Carroll who called on Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, in Accra on the last day of her visit said Canada had pledged a total of 93 million Canadian dollars, approximately 651 billion cedis for the budgetary support programme. The visit was to enable the Minister to assess at first hand the development priority needs of the country and also to inspect some Canadian supported projects in Ghana.

She told the Finance Minister that she was impressed with progress made in the implementation of the projects some of which were located in the Upper East and Upper West Regions.

She said the implementation of projects at the regional and district levels indicated a sign of internal growth, which was good for the economy.

Madam Carroll said it was necessary to undertake such assessments because opinion polls in her country indicated that 80 per cent of citizens were willing to contribute in the form of taxes to support development programmes in Africa including Ghana. The same number of people also wanted to know whether the contributions were utilised for the purposes for which they were given, she said.

Madam Carroll urged the Government to assess the impact of the private sector on the economy to know its actual contribution to the economy.

She said, "we feel that Ghana's implementation of its policies and priorities to support growth and poverty reduction has gone well this year.

"We are looking forward to more progress and to stronger financial management and public sector reform."

Ghana is one of 25 African countries that Canada has chosen to continue with support.

Ms Carroll also touched on food security and said Canada was concerned about the preservation and conservation of food and was committed to assist development partners to meet food requirement needs. The Minister of Cooperation passed through Niger to assess the state of famine reported in that country before coming to Ghana. Mr Baah-Wiredu said Ghana was sending a delegation to Burkina Faso next Tuesday to study that country's irrigation programme for adaptation in Ghana.

Burkina Faso currently has about 2,000 water reservoir under its irrigation projects and Mr Baah-Wiredu said such a project if implemented in Ghana would enable the nation to engage in all year round farming and also be able to assist sister nations that faced famine such as Niger.

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