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16.09.2005 General News

Ghana is nearing Millennium goals - Kufuor

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Accra, Sept 16, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor says in spite of considerable challenges, Ghana had made modest progress towards achieving the eight set Millennium Development Goals.

He emphasized that the government's commitment to the goals remained as strong as ever because it fitted into Ghana's own agenda for economic growth and development.

A statement from the office of the press secretary to the president on Friday said the President was speaking at the United Nations Millennium Project Pilot countries as part of the General Assembly meeting of the United Nations in New York.

President Kufuor said in pursuit of the primary goal of eradicating poverty and hunger, the government had adopted the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS), which articulated policies and programmes to reduce poverty over the medium term, the statement said. The President said measures such as linking the GPRS to the national budget through the medium term expenditure frame work, increasing the budgetary share of the social sector and rural infrastructure, as well as improving agriculture to be the central focus of the GPRS had been taken.

He said there was substantial improvement in the macro-economic environment with the creation of the Ministry of Private Sector Development to provide institutional support to the private sector. President Kufuor said the educational sector had also received serious attention and had seen an increased share of the national budget, the statement said.

The President recalled the review of the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) programme, which was taking off from the 2005/2006 academic year.

President Kufuor said considerable progress had also been made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria and the maintenance of water facilities in the bid to eradicate Guinea worm.

He urged Ghana's development partners to continue giving the necessary support and encouragement for the achievement of all the eight set goals.

The President had meanwhile granted audience to Ms. Jeandayi Frazer, US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa and Dr Cyndi Colvil, Special Assistant to President George Bush and US National Security Council Director for Africa, the statement said, adding that the meetings were held behind closed doors.

Present at the meeting were the Executive Secretary for ECOWAS, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas and the Minister for Foreign Affair, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo.

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