General News Mon, 9 Sep 2002

Denmark Increases Assistance To Ghana

The Danish Government has increased its annual development assistance to Ghana from ?250 billion to ?300 billion.

The increase in development assistance is in recognition of the Ghana Government’s commitment to enhance the development of the country and improve the living conditions of the people. The Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Ole Blicher-Olsen disclosed this in an interview in Accra. He said the assistance is being channeled to areas such as health, water and sanitation, transport, good governance and the private sector.

Mr Blicher-Olsen said over the last 10 years Denmark’s development assistance had been focused on water and sanitation, health and transportation but has since 1999 been expanded to cover the other sectors. He said the development of the country’s private sector is very important to Denmark, explaining that a viable private sector will help reduce poverty and improve the productive capacities of the people.

Mr Blicher-Olsen said his country is pleased with the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy and expressed Denmark’s commitment to support it. He said Ghana has demonstrated its commitment to the growth of the private sector and said this was crucial in ensuring the success of the Golden Age of Business concept. The ambassador urged the government to continue to implement policies and programmes to make the country’s private sector efficient and competitive.

He lauded the democratic process in Ghana and stressed the need for the government and civil society to work together to entrench democracy, rule of law and private sector development. Mr Blicher-Olsen said Ghana’s democratic process is a shining example worthy of emulation in the West Africa sub-region. He stated that in response to an increasing number of visa applicants to Denmark, the Danish Embassy in Accra is expanding the visa section to cope with the situation. He said more than 10,000 applications to the Nordic countries-Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, are received every year by the embassy.