Ghana’s transition to a middle-income country is the outcome of a mutual and beneficial co-operation and collaboration between the country and its development partners over the years, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, has observed.
Dr Duffuor, therefore, commended the Development Partners for accepting the Multi-Donor Budget Support (MDBS) and the Consultative Group (CG) meetings as important processes to guide and shape the partnership arrangement between Ghana and the Development Partners.
He said the continued support of the Development Partners would remain an important source of financing to enable the country to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as respond positively to the country’s own development priorities, noting that although Ghana could celebrate the emergence of oil and gas, revenues from the industry were insignificant in relation to the investment needs of the country.
Dr Duffuor, who was speaking at the opening of a three-day MDBS Annual Review meeting in Accra, yesterday, noted that international development co-operation had been changing relatively very fast, and particularly, during the past decade.
He said with an increase in the volume of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) and questions about its effectiveness in contributing to sustainable development outcomes, the emergence of new aid providers and their expanded role in terms of volume and aid delivery modalities, and South-South Co-operation becoming an important source of development co-operation, it had become necessary to address the implications of the changing context of development co-operation.
On the prospects of Ghana’s economy, Dr Duffuor said economic growth was expected to remain between 8 and 9 per cent over the medium term.
He said while fiscal performance had met all the quantitative targets for the first quarter of the year, payment of public sector wages arising from the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure and the perception of possible over-spending, on account of the 2012 elections, among others, posed serious risks to the economy.
He disclosed that government had embarked on a payroll audit with the objective of making some savings to help reduce the public sector wage bill by the end of the year.
For his part, the World Bank Country Director, Mr Yusupha Crookes, said Ghana was bound to face new potential sources of macroeconomic vulnerability as the country opened up, further underwent structural economic changes already underway and tapped new sources of external financing.
Mr Crookes said the Development Partners had been refining the MDBS mechanism to sharpen its effectiveness as the key vehicle for both harmonization among Development Partners and for fostering greater alignment with Government of Ghana strategies, policies, priorities and processes.
He said in the spirit of sharpening the relevance of the MDBS, the Development Partners would be looking towards five key areas of performance.
These key areas are substantial progress in Progress Assessment Framework (PAF) execution; significant progress in PAF preparation; a positive fiscal outlook in the light of the heightened awareness of the established risks of political business cycles; consolidation of progress on Public Financial Management (PFM) reforms and governance; and enhanced role in and contribution of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) including Think Tanks to the MDBS.
This year’s MDBS Annual Review meeting is focusing on key issues of the MDBS arrangement and on unearthing the real challenges confronting the implementation of the critical aspects of the 2012 Progress Assessment Framework.
Issues to be discussed include the 2011 Results of the Annual Progress Report of the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA), MDBS PAS and the Assessment of MDBS Underlying Principles.
There will also be presentations on four key topics, namely the MDGs and Equity, Infrastructure, Private Sector Development and Capacity Development.
It is being organized on the theme: “Leveraging Partnership in a Transitional Middle-Income Country for Sustainable Economic Growth and Development”.
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