September 29, 2017, Accra… The World Bank has launched its 60-year celebration of its relationship with Ghana, under the theme, “Transforming Ghana Together”. The celebration coincides with Ghana's 60th independence anniversary.
Speaking at the event, the Hon. Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, thanked the Bank for its support to Ghana. He indicated that Ghana’s relationship with the World Bank could be traced as far back as, 1957. Through the Bank’s loan assistance, Ghana’s first hydro-power electric dam (Akosombo Dam) was constructed, which he said has transformed the country greatly.
The Minister further, urged the Bank to do all on its part to help Ghana bridge its deficits gap and improve on its low savings regime. He also indicated that the Bank should partner Ghana to realize its agenda to grow beyond aid.
The Finance Minister noted that the country has benefited from 178 projects totaling $9 billion since Ghana’s partnership with the Bank.
The Hon. Minister, however, urged the World Bank to review some of its laws to give Ghana the flexibility needed to challenge some economic modules imposed on it. These include policy rigidities, such as using the Banks procurement and financial management guidelines, counterpart funding, and non-payment of taxes from project funds.
The World Bank Country Director, Mr. Henry Kerali on his part assured the country of the institution's support to help improve the living conditions of Ghanaians. He said, Ghana was the first to meet Millennium Development Goal (MDG-1), on reducing poverty by 2015. Ghana’s private sector has received support totaling $1billion from the World Bank’s agency, the International Financial Cooperation (IFC).
According to Mr. Kerali, the World Bank is willing to help make Ghana a fully-fledged middle income country. He also admitted that Ghanaian citizens living in communities, urban and rural areas needed to benefit from World Bank projects, and entreated the populace to monitor such projects and give feedback in order to reduce poverty.
Solidarity messages from Heads of Co-operations, CSOs, Academia, and the Private Sector were delivered.
To commemorate the anniversary, two competitions were announced by the Country Director of World Bank. An essay competition on the topic, “How Ghana can transform. What should be the focus for mid-term development.” The World Bank and IBM Ghana will also jointly sponsor a hackerton plus open competition for individuals or groups to develop a software suitable for Ghanaian businesses.
Source: PR Unit