The World Bank has given Ghana almost $10 billion in funding since the country joined the Group in September 1957.

Most of the funding has come from the Bank?s facility for the world?s poorest nations ? the International Development Association (IDA).

About $8 billion of the total funding were grants and interest-free credits to the government, said the World Bank at the opening of its new office building in Ghana?s capital Accra August 13, 2013.

It added that about $2 billion has also been disbursed to the private sector in Ghana through its  private sector arm ? the International Finance Corporation (IFC), in support of a wide range of programmes, projects and investments.

The new World Bank office

The new World Bank Group office building is co-locating the Ghana teams of the International Development Association (IDA) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The building was officially opened by Ghana?s Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur. The event was attended by top officials including the IFC?s Vice President for Africa, Jean Philippe Prosper and partners of the Bank.

According to the Bank, the new building will boost daily interactions between staff of the IDA and the IFC as they ?maintain and render more effective all the services they offer to Ghana and a regional clientele beyond Ghana?s borders?.

?I see the new building as a partial materialization of the Bank?s commitment to work as one institution and as a strong statement of dedication to our partnership with Ghana,? said Yusupha Crookes, World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

Mr Crookes told the gathering that ?The transparent glass exterior should be seen as our invitation to our client governments and the general public to expect not only more efficient, one-stop service, but also to expect a more open, frank and accountable World Bank Group.?

On her part, IFC?s Senior Country Manager, Mary-Jean Moyo, said, the IFC will build on ?our work with the World Bank and MIGA by making it easier for teams to collaborate and better serve government and business clients?.

Located on the Independence Avenue in the Ridge suburb of Accra, the new building itself, to a large extent, embodies the spirit of independence.

The new World Bank office located at the centre of Accra

From its green roofing, energy saving construction, rain harvesting and emphasis on natural lighting to cultural and disability friendliness, the building makes a statement on new standards in the conceptualization of building spaces, eco-friendly and energy-saving technology in Ghana. A huge nim tree was left standing in the middle of the estate, with the four-story edifice built around it.

With the new building, the World Bank Group Knowledge Space has also been revamped and this, the Bank says is in support of openness and accountability and consistent with its Access to Information Policy.

??the Space is open to the general public in the new building, where all public documents such as Project Appraisal Reports, Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Reports, Implementation Status Reports, research materials and other analytical works and publications can be accessed free of charge,? it added.

The Knowledge Space is also expected to serve as a foyer for promoting cultural activities and dialogue with stakeholders including government, private sector, women groups, the youth, civil society organizations, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, academia, Parliament, media and creative arts.

By Ekow Quandzie/ghanabusinessnews.com

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