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13.09.2005 General News

Ghana can reduce cost of aid - Researcher

GNA

Accra, Sept. 13, GNA - Ghana could do better and reduce the cost of aid if more donor countries would get into the Multinational Donor Budget Support Programme (MDBSP).

Dr Anthony Tsekpo, Research Fellow of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana, who made the remark on Tuesday, therefore, appealed to all donor countries to get into the Programme, which pooled resources. Dr Tsekpo, who was reviewing the aid aspect of the Global Human Development Report for 2005 at a workshop in Accra, said some countries had stayed out of the MDBSP with the excuse that national systems were inefficient.

The workshop comes before the launch of the Report on the theme: "International Cooperation at Crossroads, Aid, Trade and Security in an Unequal World".

Dr Tsekpo said the result of such isolation, and "tied aid", which did not allow recipient governments a free hand in the choice of projects that would give their nations the desired development, attracted seven per cent additional cost.

Africa losses between 1.6 dollars and 2.3 billion dollars annually for such tied aids.

Dr Tsekpo called for better coordination of aid, improvement and information gathering for an effective marketing of projects to attract enough and good quality and relevant aid to developing countries. This, he said, would close the financing gaps in Ghana's Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) to attain the ideals in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Mr Tetteh Homeku of the Third World Network, a civil society group, who reviewed the trade aspect of the report, said there were still unfavourable trade conditions between the developed and developing countries.

He said developed countries still did not follow laid down policies that facilitated smooth trade.

"They say this and do the other. They always expect developing countries to follow conditions but they (developed countries) will not," Mr Homeku said.

Mr Emmanuel Bombade, a security expert, said security was well captured in the Report.

He said conflicts in the 21st century stemmed from the breakdown in relationship between States as a result of damaged trust. He called for open discussion of looming conflicts even in their perceptive stages and also for the nation to incorporate conflict in its development agenda.

"We should not live in a fool's paradise; we must be bold to discuss conflict even if they are far. Ghana cannot afford to be complacent."

Mr Bombade called on Ghanaians to reject any political party member, who crossed carpet to another when he lost an election, saying that was a sign that such a person would not be tolerant when elected as a leader.

The Deputy Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Mr Christophe Bahuet said the report indicated an increase in inequality in the world. He explained that inequality in terms of income distribution, access to education, basic health and social justices were still very high.

Despite the consensus among nations to attain development there was little or no action for the implementation, with trends of improvement rather slowing down.

Mr Bahuet said Ghana featured prominently in the Report and was commended for her effort in poverty reduction and exchange rate stability, but was criticised for the high rural-urban divide. 13 Sept. 05

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