Duffuor Signs $210m World Bank Projects

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor has signed three World Bank projects totaling $210 million to sustain economic growth and consolidate the country’s middle income status. The projects include $100 million Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project, $60 million West African Agriculture Productivity Programme (WAAPP) and $50 million Urban Water project. According to the World Bank, the Commercial Agriculture Project will promote public-private partnerships in the Accra Plains and the SADA Zone. “The Government of Ghana is currently implementing a nation-wide Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy focusing on six priority themes: Food Security and Emergency Preparedness; Increased Growth in Incomes; Increased Competitiveness and Enhanced Integration into Domestic and International Markets; Sustainable Management of Land and Environment; Science and Technology Applied in Food and Agriculture Development; Improved Institutional Coordination.” It said the Commercial Agricultural Project, which is designed to support the implementation of above priorities, is made up of components aimed at strengthening investment promotion infrastructure and facilitating access to land, securing Public Private Partnerships (PPPS) and small-holder linkages in the Accra Plains (US$45.4 million), securing PPPs and small-holder linkages in the SADA Zone (US$29.3 million; to be complemented by USAID co-financing of US$35.0 million), as well as project management including M&E (US$14.3 million to be complemented by USAID co-financing US$7.2 million). On the WAAPP, the World Bank said it seeks to “scale-up the use of improved technologies in Ghana’s priority agricultural commodity areas aligned with that of the sub-region.” The WAAPP, according the World Bank, is a “regional project designed to scale-up the generation, dissemination and adoption of improved technologies in Ghana’s priority agricultural commodity areas aligned with the sub-regions top agricultural commodity priorities.” “In order to reach this objective, the project will strengthen regional cooperation in the generation of technology and scale-up dissemination and training programs focused on regional and national priority commodities. “It is made up of four components realigned to support the implementation of country-specific Agricultural Investment Programs such as Ghana’s Medium Term Agricultural Sector Investment Program (METASIP). Urban Water Project (Additional Financing US$50 million) The $50 million Urban Water Project is to support the on-going Urban Water Project being financed by the Bank with a $103 million dollar grant. “It will allow the completion of the original project activities that have suffered from unanticipated cost overruns and financing gap (US$42 million) and implement additional activities that would scale up the project’s impact (US$8 million). “The additional funds will be allocated for the expansion and improvement in the Central region to the Winneba water distribution network that serves several surrounding communities, including Apam, Ankamu, Mprumem, Mankoadze, Ankaful, Pomadze and Okyereko. The additional works will consist of the rehabilitation and extension of water distribution pipes and the construction of a new elevated water tank and a booster pump station. “While significant efforts have been made over the past decade to make potable water more accessible and affordable to Ghana’s ever growing urban centers, much more remains to be done to provide water to people, particularly those in low income areas, who usually buy it from vendors at a very high price,” it said.