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Harsh Donor Conditionalities Rejected   
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Ghana says it will no longer accept conditionalities attached to the budgetary support by its development partners. Conditionalities such as how loans and grants should be disbursed, procurement procedures and setting of unattainable targets have been said to be inimical to the development of the country in some cases.

Prof. Newman K. Kusi, Chief Director of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning stated this in Accra. Professor Kusi was addressing representatives of Ministries, Departments and agencies (MDAs) attending a Multi Donor Budget support (MDBS) workshop to discuss a common stand the country intends to adopt on unacceptable conditionalities before meeting with the countrys development partners next week. The workshop was under the theme: Ownership Key to sustainable development.

Professor Kusi also said the long hours of administrative nightmares that officials go through each year discussing the 20% budget support had become a problem because little time was spent on how to raise revenue to take care of the remaining 80% of the budget. We want to get a complete ownership of the programmes and apply them to suit the countrys need, Professor Kusi told the participants.

A Deputy Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper, in a keynote address, said the need for ownership of the donor programme was critical since the government takes the lead in defining a budget which donors can support. Ownership is the first tenet under the Paris declaration to which both development partners and partner countries are signatories; hence, the need for government to strengthen its ownership of development agenda cannot be overemphasized. Mr. Tekper said.

He pointed out that, to enhance accountability, we must develop our own national strategy, set our own priorities and strengthen country systems and processes. The Deputy Minister said the National Development Planning Commission was at the final stages of developing a medium term development plan frame work to replace the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy II which comes to an end this year. He said the framework would draw on the development objectives of the long-term development plan and address current macro-economic imbalances to sustain growth and reduce poverty.

Mr. Tekper said the Ghana Integrated Financial Management System set up in September this year has the mandate to restore fiscal discipline in the 2009 budget and also set up the Ghana Revenue Authority to further improve domestic tax and customs policy and administration. He said the workshop will enhance MDAs understanding of its principles and increasing requirements. As the global aid architecture changes rapidly, the onus is on government to ensure that MDAs in its delivery business adjust accordingly and manage well to achieve results, he stressed.

Source: citifmonline

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