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16.03.2006 General News

Ghana to draw 500 million dollars from MCA soon

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Accra, March 16, GNA - Ghana is soon to draw 500 million dollars from the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) instituted by the United States government to fight poverty and promote good governance. Currently, various proposals are being reviewed by financial and technical experts of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, which will give the final approval for the "compact-signing" slated for July 2006. This came to light when the Millennium Development Authority Bill went through the third reading in Parliament. The Bill seeks to establish the Millennium Development Authority, which would supervise, manage and ensure the implementation of Ghana government programmes under the MCA. The Authority would also pursue the eradication of poverty through overseeing and managing other development programmes funded by government and development partners.

According to a joint committee report of Employment and Social Welfare and State Enterprises, Finance and Poverty Reduction, the fund would ultimately impact favourably on Ghana's economy as it would not only increase incomes of rural crop farmers, but would also reduce poverty through employment generation in all sectors. The report said in the infrastructure sector, the Tetteh Quarshie-Mallam Road would be expanded and upgraded into a six-lane road while over 1,000 kilometres of feeder and trunk roads would be rehabilitated and improved to facilitate movement of goods and services.

The MCA was instituted in 2002 by the US government to provide alternative sources of funding development in developing countries. Under the MCA concept, beneficiary countries are allowed to propose their own programmes to receive funding. Criteria for selection of beneficiaries are formed on the bases of governing justly, investing in people and encouraging economic freedom. Ghana is among 16 countries in the developing world and one of the seven African countries to have been selected to benefit from the fund.