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Ghana Must Be Aid Independent – USAID   
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Cheryl Anderson, outgoing Country Director, United state Agency for International Development (USAID) Ghana, has urged Ghana to focus on becoming aid independent and a major supplier of goods and services to countries in the sub-region.

Ms Anderson, who made this known during an encounter with the media in Accra said, “I am very optimistic Ghana will achieve a major economic transformation and become supplier of goods and services to the sub-region.”

She said Ghana’s economic progress over the last 20 years has been laudable. Economic growth averages more than six percent each year over the past decade and is expected to continue growing at a rapid pace in the coming years, she indicated.

Ms Anderson said the growth has resulted in a reduction in poverty from 52 percent to 28 percent over the past 10 years, and puts Ghana on track to attain the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 1 of reducing poverty by half by 2015.

However, she said despite the fact that Ghana has attained a middle-income status, high cost of borrowing, unreliable supply of erratic power and high transaction costs in land markets continue to hinder broad base economic growth.

This, Ms Anderson said, should be resolved in order for the nation to emerge as a true middle-income country.

She urged government to create the right environment for the private sector to be able to thrive, stating that the creation of the environment should not favour the big companies alone but the small ones as well.

Ms Anderson said the private sector needs to be given the opportunity to play its role in driving the economy in order to create more jobs and feed the country.

She said the agriculture sector is the largest source of employment in Ghana and the sector’s consistent growth, led by the government, has been a major driver of poverty reduction.

However, Ms Anderson said much of the recent growth has been driven by land expansion rather than improved productivity. Gains have been concentrated primarily in Southern regions of Ghana while Northern Ghana has significantly higher levels of under-nutrition and poverty.

Ms Anderson urged government to extend support to the north to ensure that the region also experiences growth.

She said USAID, in consultation with government, had developed Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) to promote broad-based and sustainable growth that would enable Ghana to consolidate its middle-income status.
Source: Daily Guide

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