Ghana and the European Union (EU) have inked two grant financing agreements totalling €42million.
The agreements aim to address key challenges in the areas of sustainable development, public financial management and private sector growth.
The first agreement, valued at €27million, is named the ‘EU action for Sound Public Financial Management and Private Sector Development” programme. It has dual objectives: improving transparency and accountability in the management of public resources and fostering the development of a greener, digitalised and more inclusive private sector in Ghana.
Speaking about this programme, Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, expressed his expectations, stating: “This programme is a testament to our shared commitment to good governance and a sustainable private sector”.
The second agreement, ‘EU-Ghana Partnership for green transition and agribusiness’, amounts to €15million and is laser-focused on promoting sustainable, climate-resilient agricultural production.
“Agriculture plays a pivotal role in our economic growth, and this agreement underscores our dedication to enhancing productivity, resilience to climate change and sustainable agricultural practices,” emphasised Mr. Ofori-Atta.
During the agreement-signing ceremony, Mr. Ofori-Atta highlighted the broader context in which these agreements fit; saying they are part of the EU-Ghana Development Programme that has committed a substantial €78.16million in grants toward various key areas including strengthening the Rule of Law, fighting corruption, skills development, modernizing electricity distribution in northern Ghana and managing migration.
“These agreements represent a long-standing strategic relationship between the EU and Ghana, which has yielded remarkable progress across numerous sectors since 1975,” the minister noted.
Notably, the minister recalled the EU’s invaluable support in 2020 when they provided €86.5million in emergency budget support to help Ghana weather economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. He emphasised, “A friend in need is a friend indeed”.
Mr. Ofori-Atta also discussed the agreements’ timing, stating: “The two agreements to be signed today have come at an opportune time. Confidence is returning in Ghana’s economic prospects, and a sense of new beginnings has taken hold”.
He pointed to Ghana’s improved fiscal situation, successful reviews with the IMF, and steady progress toward macro-stability and debt sustainability.
“Our focus now as a government is on securing an economic turnaround, underpinned by robust institutions and an active private sector,” he expressed.
“The European Union has always been a steadfast partner for Ghana, and today’s agreements are fully aligned with both our 5-year Public Financial Management strategy and government’s growth agenda. Our focus is on strengthening the macro-fiscal framework, implementing ambitious structural reforms in tax policy and revenue administration, and encouraging private investment to create more jobs and foster growth,” he added.
On the EU’s side, Irchad Razaaly, European Union Ambassador to Ghana, reiterated the significance of these agreements in the broader context of addressing pressing challenges.
He said: “This partnership signifies a critical turning point in our commitment to addressing some of the most pressing challenges faced by both the European Union and Ghana as a global leader in sustainable development”.
Ambassador Razaaly emphasised the EU’s duty to champion environmentally-friendly practices and promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth. “The focus on a green transition signifies the joint determination to combat climate change and create a greater future for generations to come.”
Furthermore, he stressed the importance of the agreements’ agribusiness aspect, noting: “The inclusion of agribusiness in this agreement highlights our shared recognition of the crucial role agriculture plays in fostering economic growth, providing livelihoods and ensuring food security”.
The Ambassador underlined a shared commitment to enhance productivity, increase resilience to climate change, and promote sustainable agricultural practices that align with the overall development agenda. “This is a crucial step toward not only addressing today’s challenges but also ensuring a sustainable future.”
Signing these agreements reflects a strengthening of the already substantial ties between Ghana and the EU. Over the years, the partnership has yielded significant improvements in various sectors, including infrastructure development, good governance, agriculture, public financial management and security.