The UK government is to provide £130m of support for British firms that will be carrying out three infrastructure projects in Ghana.
International trade secretary Dr Liam Fox said that UK Export Finance (UKEF) is providing the support for projects that have a direct impact on the country’s infrastructure and economic development, while delivering opportunities for British companies.
Fox said: “Ghana is an increasingly dynamic economy and I am delighted that UKEF is supporting the development of the vital infrastructure that will underpin this growth. These projects will have a dramatic impact on trade, healthcare and transport in the country and demonstrate how British expertise across a number of sectors is improving vital infrastructure all over the world.”
The largest tranche of the support – £70.3m – will go towards a contract for Contracta Construction UK to develop and modernise Kumasi Central Market, a major trading centre in the Ashanti region currently visited by up to 800,000 people daily.
UKEF will provide a direct loan and bank guarantee to Ghana’s Ministry of Finance to fund the contract, which will include improvements to electrical networks, water supplies, generators, fire detection systems and public transport.
Contracta Construction UK director Fabio Camara said: “UKEF’s flexible financial support played a key part in securing the Kumasi Central Market contract. Kumasi is a vital trading hub for the Ashanti region and West Africa’s largest market, and this modernisation will have huge benefits for vendors and customers, as well as for our continued international growth and UK supply chain.”
A guarantee for a £43.8m loan will also be provided by UKEF to the Ministry of Finance to support the contract with QG Construction UK for the modernisation of Tamale Airport in the northern region of Ghana. The project will include the construction of a modern new international terminal building, access roads and ancillary facilities exclusive for civil aviation in the existing airport space.
The expansion is designed to promote economic growth, to increase tourism and to boost socio-economic development by improving connections to the north of Ghana. It will also benefit Hajj pilgrims with the new facility serving as a terminal building during the Hajj Season.
QGMI UK managing director Cristiano Becker Hees said: “Tamale airport’s expansion is a priority for the Ghanaian Government, demonstrating the importance of improved transportation links to the continuing growth of the country’s economy and, particularly, the northern region of the country. We look forward to working on this transformational project and welcome the UK Government’s continued support of British exports overseas.”
Bekwai hospital will be provided with a guarantee for a £17.6m loan from UKEF to support a contract between Ellipse UK and the Eurofinsa group. The companies will manage every aspect of the hospital’s completion including the supply and installation of medical equipment. Once completed, the hospital will have 120 beds, an emergency department, a maternity ward and an operating theatre.
Eurofinsa managing director Matthew Shires said: “The completion of the Bekwai district hospital will have a significant positive impact on the standard of healthcare provided to the inhabitants of Bekwai. This crucial project would not have been delivered without the government’s support and we are delighted that UKEF has chosen to support Ghana’s on-going development and our overseas expansion.”