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13.09.2005 Business & Finance

Ghana, France sign 11 million Euro agreement

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Accra, Sept. 13, GNA - The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and the French Government on Tuesday signed two financing agreements for 11 million Euros.

Finance and Economic Planning Minister, Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu and Mr Jean-Francois Arnal, Resident Manager of the Agence Francaise de Developpement initialed for their respective governments. The first agreement is a concessionary loan of 10 million euros for the co-financing of the Community-Based Rural Development Project (CBRDP), a follow up project to the Village Infrastructure Project (VIP), which ended in 2004.

It is meant to provide direct support to the National Decentralisation Action Plan (NDAP), which aims at supporting the decentralisation process at the local, regional and national levels. The project, co financed by the World Bank, has five years duration and would be managed by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development on a nation-wide scale.

The second agreement, a grant of one million euros, is for the implementation of a business training programme, which focuses on the training of personnel of Ghanaian private enterprises and public institutions, who have commercial relations with French speaking countries.

The programme would finance the teaching of French to 320 people selected from priority executive profession such as marketing and administration.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said the grants would help to improve the quality of lives, reduce poverty and reinforce the capacity of public and private stakeholders.

He said it would also assist in integrating Ghana into the West Africa Sub-Region; improve upon the competitiveness of Ghanaian enterprises exploring new market within the Sub-Region, which is dominated by French-speaking countries.

The French Ambassador in Ghana, Mr Pierre Jacquemot said the two agreements showed the diversity of French-Ghanaian co-operation, which had been particularly active since the completion point of the enhanced Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative reached by Ghana in July 2004.

He expressed the hope that the two projects would fit into the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy II that the Government would be presenting to the coming Consultative Group meeting on Ghana.

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