Geneva-Switzerland--The recent oil finds in Ghana may open new prospects in the medium term, if its institutitonal framework is set correctly, says a Swiss government report.
ï¿½This would be achieved, inter alia, the requirements of Switzerland, while supporting Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative to be implemented fullyï¿½, indicated the report published on the website of Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
Switzerland is acting as part of a donor group, the eleven partners, including the World Bank and currently chairing this group from 2009 to 2010, conducting an intensive policy dialogue to implement the reform agenda. It also aims to improve economic governance:
The report explains that, Ghanaï¿½s political and economic track record is excellent in sub-Saharan Africa context, adding, the third democratic presidential and parliamentary elections last year which ended in a peaceful transfer of power, strengthened the country's role as a haven of political stability in a difficult region.
Touching on Ghanaï¿½s economy, the report indicates that the action taken by Ghana since 2000 toward a market-oriented reform policies led to a spurt in growth with positive results on poverty reduction, and generated an increased inflow of foreign investment.ï¿½Yet Ghana remains a poor and vulnerable countryï¿½, says the report, and pointed out that, currently, Ghana looks to face the impact of two exogenous global crises. .
First, there are still aftermath of the accelerated increase in food and energy prices. Secondly, the country is now suffering the consequences of the global financial crisis and the onset of global recession. It is becoming apparent that the global downturn in demand will weaken export growth, and will be drastically reduced access to international capital due to increased risks and a review of long-term investment. ï¿½The budget support helped Ghana to cope with this double crisis, to cushion the necessary adjustments and thus limit the adverse effects on growth and poverty reductionï¿½.
On Swiss development cooperation program it says Switzerland is supporting Ghana in dealing with the consequences of the economic crisis and list Ghana as one on its priority list for economic development assistance. The Swiss Federal Council on 25 March 2009 decided to support Ghana in tackling the consequences of the global economic crisis by providing general budget support. The measure includes a non-repayable grant of 27 million francs, spread over the next three years.
Payments are performance and are made in association with a donor group, which Switzerland chairs from 2009 to 2010. on 16 June 2006 The Federal Council decided to support the governments of Burkina Faso and Ghana - both priority country for Swiss development cooperation - through the provision of general budget support. This assistance in the form of non-repayable grants over three years (2006-2008) is for Burkina Faso 24 million Swiss francs and 27 million Swiss francs for Ghana.
The assistance aims to help governments in the implementation of comprehensive economic and social reforms. The aim is to create the necessary foundations for a strong and sustainable growth to reduce poverty. In another development, Mrs. Ellen Serwaa Nee-Whang, Ghanaï¿½s Ambassador to Switzerland, announced at a town hall chat room here, that Ghana has been selected as a beneficiary of Switzerlandï¿½s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) Start-up Fund designed to promote its (Ghana) private sector development.
The fund, which aims among others, at promoting joint private partnership between Ghanaians and Swiss entrepreneurs as well as wholly owned Ghanaian private business in Ghana
Under the scheme, any Ghanaian businessman or woman who has a viable commercial proposition would be able to access financial support to promote their business, she declared.
Mrs. Serwaa Nee-Whang, who is also Ghanaï¿½s Permanent Representative to the United Nations offices in Geneva and in Vienna explained that the Swiss Start-up Fund is a further indication of the Swiss governmentï¿½s collaboration with the Ghana government to promote small and medium scale enterprises in Ghanaï¿½, and asked Ghanaians in the Diaspora seeking further information on the program to contact the Ghana embassy in Bern or the offices of SECO in Zurich.
She reminded the ghanaians in the disapora that their activites informs ï¿½perceptions and impressions about Ghana.
ï¿½you can in your own small way help to determine whether Ghana is an ideal location for business as well as investment: no amount of publicity on the investment opportunities in Ghana can replace your personal contacts and the impressions you give others the enabling environment being created by the governmentï¿½
She said Diasporians are in a strategic position in the partnership between them and the Embassies, to forge mutually beneficial relations between Ghana and Switzerland and urged them to use their expertise and experiences to assist social and economic development of Ghana.
Source: End From: Kwaku Boatin, Geneva.
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