The Ghanaian Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Kwabena Duffuor, along with the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Kwesi Ahwoi, announced a US$ 400,000 pledge to IFAD's Ninth Replenishment. The announcement was made by the Government representatives just prior to the formal signing of the Host Country Agreement to facilitate IFAD's country presence - the first in West and Central Africa region.
The IFAD President thanked the Ministers and commended the transformation that has taken place in the country. Ghana is the first African country to achieve the MDG of halving the proportion of people living in poverty by 2015. Ghana is also one of the few countries in the region to have honoured the Maputo Declaration. Commenting on IFAD's 30 year partnership with Ghana, Nwanze emphazised that IFAD will push its development work to a new phase. The Government welcomed IFAD's efforts to upscale the successful Rural Enterprises Project, currently operating in 65 districts, to cover the entire country.
Both, Duffuor and Ahoi, expressed their satisfaction on the supplementary grant of Euro 1 million from the EU food facility for the Roots and Tubers Marketing and Improvement Programme. Additional resouces to supplement IFAD's investment in the country are expected from the GEF and bilateral partners.
Nwanze and Ahwoi addressed a press conference attended by over 25 media representatives, following the signing of the Agreement. In response to journalists' questions, Nwanze emphazised the importance of wealth creation in the rural areas, to give opportunities to young people and recognize the key contribution of rural women to the country's economy. He urged the government to support the agricultural sector with resources from their expected oil revenues.
At a meeting later during the day, key development partners welcomed IFAD's new vision and expressed their interest to partner with the Fund in planning new investment opportunities.
by Farhana Haque Rahman and Ulaç Demirag