The African Development Bank, (AfDB) is committing a total of US$1billion to the implementation of 23 development projects in Ghana.

Of this amount, 54 per cent would be focused on infrastructure development, 18 per cent on agricultural and rural sector and the remaining on vocation and youth employment.

The AfDB Resident representative in Ghana, Mrs Marie-Louis Akin-Olugbade, who made this known at the opening of a three-day regional stakeholders workshop organised by the bank in Accra.

The forum was organised jointly by three department of the bank, and was on the theme, ?ensuring effective disclosure, accountability and transparency process in bank-financed projects.?

The AfDB she explained started operations in Ghana in 1973, and has since supported more than 100 projects in Ghana. The group she said was committed to supporting investment programmes in African countries to help build sustainable economies that can attract investment and engender growth and reduce poverty.

A new area that much focus will be on per the new commitment is agriculture and the rural sector. ?There will be more focus on agriculture and rural sector, which represents about 18 per cent of the total commitment,? she said.

 

AfDB?s 10-YEAR STRATEGY

The Vice President Secretary General of the AfDB, Ms Cecilia Akintomide said the bank?s strategy for the next ten years in Africa would focus on 5 operational areas; infrastructure development, regional integration and private sector development.

The rest are governance and accountability, which is a key foundation for any sustainable economy and skills and technology development.

According to her, the African continent was witnessing significant growth but that notwithstanding, inequality and poverty appears to be accompanying this growth therefore there is the need to address this challenge.

?We cannot achieve sustainable development without capable state and effective institutions and persons,? she said.

Ghana, she explained has an incredible natural resource and agricultural potential that when properly harnessed could promote the sector and help address the issue of food security.

 

CORRUPTION IN AFRICA

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, in her address stressed that sustainable economic development goes hand in hand with good governance and uncompromising anti-corruption stance.

?Transparency, accountability and the fight against corruption are the cornerstone for good governance for any institution government and any international financial institution like the AfDB,? she explained.

According to her corruption was a key enemy of economic development, and once it gains roots in an economy it weakens the networks of that country.

A recent UNDP statistics she cited indicated that US$1 trillion were paid in bribes, while funds lost to corruption in developing countries is about ten times the funds received for development projects.

Ghana, she explained has therefore adopted proper anti-corruption measures to help fight the cancer, including the strengthening of institutions and people who man these institutions.

She said the country must therefore adopt an all-inclusive approach in the fight against corruption ?if we are to see any development or improvement.?

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