AfDB Gives Ghana Access To $500 Million Annually

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Ghana can access $500 million annually from the African Development Bank for development programmes , over a three year period, following President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s prudent management of the economy.

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, Wednesday, declared: “We will we work with you to move Ghana towards the commercial window of the Bank.”

“I just want to assure you that we will provide the maximum amount support for you and your Government to succeed. You have put together an excellent team, a first rate team, and I have every confidence that it will succeed.”

During a courtesy call on the President at the Flagstaff House, Mr Adesina noted the successes being chalked up in transforming the economy saying, “I must commend you for the growth that I am beginning to see. The economy is going to grow this year at 6.3%, and next year at 7.4%.

“The medium-term outlook is great, at about 9.2%. You (President Akufo-Addo) have always said you wanted Ghana back, and a Ghana Beyond Aid. This kind of growth trajectory is exactly what is needed for a Ghana Beyond Aid.

Mr. Adesina, who is on a three day working visit to Ghana, also lauded the clarity of President Akufo-Addo’s vision and the path he was taking Ghana’s economy, which, he said, “has enhanced the image of the country and its standing with the global, international financial community.”

He also commended the Government for the efforts at stabilising the macro economy.

“The results are quite evident,” he noted. “If you look at the inflationary rate, it has gone down to 12.1%. The debt stock in relation to the size of the GDP has also gone down to 67%, from what you inherited.

“These are all great signs of your stewardship in the few months that you have taken over. That is a very good tone.”

The AfDB President also expressed his delight at the stability the Akufo-Addo-led Government had achieved in the Energy sector, emphasising that: “We will continue to be supportive, especially on renewable energy in Takoradi TII.”

He also gave the assurance that the Bank would support Ghana “in trying to deal with the issue through partial credit guarantees and partial risk guarantees to reduce the debt levels, because the power sector has to work very well.”

On cocoa, Mr. Adesina described the leadership of President Akufo-Addo and that of President Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire “as crucial.”

“As both of you mentioned to me, it does not make sense for Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire to produce 64% of the world’s cocoa, and, yet, be at the short end of the stick of not being able to control the market,” he stated.

“So you have given us specific instructions of what you wanted and we’ve moved on that.”

To this end, the AfDB President noted that, “We (AfDB) have received a request for $1.2 billion from Ghana’s Minister of Agriculture and from the Cocoa and Coffee Board of Cote d’Ivoire, and we will be looking at building warehouses so you can store the cocoa and not have to sell immediately after harvest.

Additionally, Mr. Adesina stated that a Stabilization Fund had been set up to “make sure we are able to deal with downside risk in terms of the volatility of prices.

“The third is to recapitalise the cocoa plantations because they are quite old, and it requires an injection of money by the state to do that.”

Mr. Akinwumi Adesina assured Ghana that the Bank was very strong solid as ever.

Last year saw $10.5 billion dollars of approvals, which is highest in the history of the Bank, he said.

“We also did $6.5 billion of disbursements, again the highest in the history of the Bank. So the bank is very strong to support you realise your vision.”

SOURCE: GNA