Business News of Wednesday, 30 September 2020
Ghana has signed a €92.9 million euros budget support agreement with the European Union (EU).
The agreement, which is in two parts, consists of a €87 million euros (GH¢587.5 million) grant intended to support Ghana’s emergency response to COVID-19.
The other grant, which amounts to €5.9 million euros (GH¢40 million), will go towards preventing electoral violence and providing security to the Northern Border regions.
The EU Ambassador to Ghana, H.E Diana Acconcia, speaking at the signing ceremony in Accra on September 30, 2020 explained the support takes keen cognisance of the shortfalls of Ghana’s revenue in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“With the unanticipated increases in public expenditure, it is our joint expectation that this facility will bolster the ongoing effort of the Government of Ghana to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic,” HE Diana Acconcia said.
“In a few days the European Union will transfer the bulk of this sum of the budget support to the national treasury of Ghana and let me assure the Ghanaian people that this is an unprecedented operation to respond to an unprecedented circumstance with regards to the coronavirus pandemic,” she explained.
She added that the other tranche of €5.9 million euros for budgetary support will tackle threats of violent extremists, terrorists and organised crimes in the most vulnerable districts of Northern Ghana.
“This will be partly implemented by a Spanish Development Agency (FIAP) as well the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to provide critical information hopefully ahead of the elections.”
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta who signed the agreement on behalf of the Government of Ghana said the support by the EU complemented government’s efforts to restoring the economy from the long-lasting impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The EU Budget Support is timely. This will not only help ease the fiscal pressures created by this pandemic but to also help sustain the pursuit of critical interventions and enable businesses to thrive in a post COVID-19 era,” he declared.
“I am also appreciative of the targeted support for the upcoming elections as well. The strategic nature of this support in maintaining the peace and tranquility is clear to us all. As a Government, we have taken strident steps to overhaul the ecosystems of elections and election-related violence,” Ken Ofori-Atta added.
The Finance Minister however said the grant by the EU comes with no indicators as he desbribed the gesture by the Union as a confidence booster shown to Ghana.
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