Business News of 2014-07-30

Ghana obtains $1m grant from France to strengthen accountability

The French government has given Ghana an amount of €800,000 (about $1,000,000) to help strengthen the accountability of Ghana’s central and local government sectors.
The grant is under a programme called “Fond de Solidarité Prioritaire – Solidarity Priority Fund (SPF)” which saw Ghana and France complete two SPF projects, one in support of the decentralization process, and the other in support of public sector reform. Both projects were completed in early 2013 at a cost $2.4 million.
The new grant will be spread over a three-year period and it will focus on the application of principles of respect for the rule of law, consensus building, transparency, citizen participation, gender equality, efficiency and public sector accountability. Its main objective will be to strengthen the implementation of accountability mechanisms of the Government of Ghana.
Mr Frédéric Clavier, French Ambassador; Mr Julius Debrah, Minister for Local Governments and Rural Development and Mr Alhassan Azong, Minister of State for Public Sector Reform signed the grant at a short ceremony at the French Ambassador’s residence in Accra on Tuesday.
Julius Debrah told in an interview after the signing that government cannot afford to fail with something that is meant for accountability.
“If all other things will fail it shouldn’t be something that is meant for accountability so obviously we will make sure that there won’t be any systemic failure; the funds will go for exactly what it is in for and we will make sure that people are trained as far as accountability in governance is concerned,” the minister said.
To achieve the set targets of the grants, Mr Frédéric Clavier, on his part, told that the project is a high level priority and both countries will work hand in hand to achieve its goals.
According to him, “It’s a high level priority for France and for Ghana,” and because of that “we have to implement together Ghana and France some committees and special steering committee which will be able to follow up step by step the different steps of the project and to be sure that this project will be efficient and will be dedicated [to] the Ghanaian population.”
Some of the key benefits of the grant is the decentralisation process which will deliver services to the Ghanaian population “in terms of water, sanitation…it means also that the public sector is more efficient to deliver some services directly to the population.”
Themed: “Strengthening the accountability of Ghana’s central and local government”, the focal point of the project are; Strengthening accountability at the central level: develop institutional and individual performance contracts, support mechanisms of accountability for decentralization, train public officials and conduct public polls on the quality of public services.
Strengthening accountability at the local level in the Western Region, support coordination functions of the region, strengthen the auditing, monitoring and evaluating capacities of districts, support women participation and strengthen the collaboration between Civil Society and Government.
Strengthen ties between Government, Civil Society and citizens: support the call for innovative projects jointly proposed by the Government and Civil Society.
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