Ghana Gets $32m

Ghana has received $32 million from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to boost its Rural Enterprises Project. The money, which is made up of $31.5 million loan and $50,000 grant facility, is intended to boost the first and second phases of the Rural Enterprises Project to enhance the welfare of the people. The programme is also part of the Private Sector Development Strategy phase II of the Ministry of Trade and Industry under its strategic objective II, which seeks to foster the development of sustainable corporate strategies for enterprise growth and job creation. Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, initialed for Ghana while Kevin Clearver, Associate Vice President, IFAD signed for his outfit. Dr. Duffuor noted that the first and second phases of the project from 1995 till date have been very successful while the results met the rural development and industrialization objectives of the government. He added that �Ghana is currently the largest recipient of IFAD�s assistance in West and Central African sub-region. This is a clear demonstration of IFAD�s commitment to support Ghana to achieve its overall goal of sustainable development,� the Finance Minister noted. The Rural Enterprise Project I was implemented between 1995 and 2002 whilst the Rural Enterprise Project II commenced in 2003 and is expected to be completed by December 2011. The project enhances Business Advisory Centers of the district assemblies. It has so far been implemented in 66 districts in the country. Dr. Duffuor mentioned that government has shown strong commitment to poverty reduction and will therefore ensure its successful achievement and positive impacts. On his part, Kevin Clearver, expressed satisfaction with progress made so far, adding that the project will positively impact about 100,000 people. The whole programme has a total cost of $185 million with the African Development Bank expected to support the programme by providing $70 million while Ghana government provides $63.5 million through tax reliefs, district assembly contributions and government�s direct budgetary support. It will be implemented within an eight-year period. The IFAD�s credit is a highly concessional one with no interest but a service charge of 0.75 percent. It will have a maturity period of 40 years, including a grace period of 10 years.