The African Development Bank’s support for the west African nation Ghana has boosted its government’s efforts to consolidate the economy, the country’s Vice President, Mahamudu Bawumia said on Monday.
Bawumia, welcoming a team of Executive Directors and senior officials of the Bank on an official visit, cited various Bank-supported projects, especially in the areas of infrastructure, agriculture and technical innovation, as examples of interventions that have helped to boost the government’s efforts to consolidate the economy.
“Those are areas very critical for us and we are happy to have the African Development Bank helping us. You have been in the trenches with us and things are now going well,” Bawumia said.
The Bank delegation, led by Bright Okogu, Executive Director for Nigeria and Sao Tome & Principe, will meet local authorities, the private sector, civil society and other development collaborators.
Bawumia said Ghana’s economy has begun to show great potential following three years of bold fiscal policy reforms, which included the adoption of a law capping fiscal deficit at 5% of Gross Domestic Product as part of measures to enhance debt sustainability and win investor confidence.
“These are not easy to do but it had to be done and we’re seeing the benefits…. All the indicators are in the right direction; macroeconomic conditions have stabilised, agriculture is doing well, interest rates have come down, while inflation has also come down to its lowest since 1992,” Bawumia said.
Ghana is looking to the Bank for investment in an integrated aluminium industry, using the country’s large bauxite deposit as raw materials. The Bank should also consider supporting Ghana to tackle climate change in line with the Group’s crosscutting interventions, the vice-president said.
The Executive Directors commended the country for its newly constructed Terminal 3 facility at the Kotoka International Airport, which was partly financed by the Bank.
“We flew in through the airport and we are pleased about what we saw,” said Okogu, who is also the Dean of the Bank Group’s Executive Directors.
Later Monday, the Bank delegation met with Bank of Ghana Governor Ernest Addison, who briefed them on the country’s assessment of the likely impact of the coronavirus on Ghana’s economy. The group also had a briefing by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, a Governor of the African Development Bank Group.
The Bank’s current portfolio in Ghana is channelled through various projects aimed at job creation, economic inclusiveness, macroeconomic stability and industrialization.
Key financing for development to the country includes mobilizing a seven-year $600 million syndicated receivables-backed loan for Ghana Cocoa Board to improve productivity and domestic value addition; approval of the first phase of the Easten Corridor Road Project estimated at $102 million; and an urban transport project entailing the construction of a three-tier interchange.
The other members of the Bank Group delegation are Kenyeh Barlay, Executive Director, representing The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Sudan, Ahmed Zayed for Egypt and Djibouti, and David Stevenson, representing Canada, China, Korea, Turkey and Kuwait. Director-General for West Africa, Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade and Acting Country Manager Sebastian Okeke also travelled along.