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Business News Thu, 17 Jun 2004

Ghana and France sign 1.5 million euros grant

Accra, June 17, GNA - Ghana and France on Wednesday signed an agreement covering a grant of 1.5 million euros for the funding of feasibility studies on potential priority projects in urban and rural development.

Provided through the French government's 'Agence Francaise de Development' (AFD) programme, the grant would also be used to finance sector specific studies that contribute to institutional reforms. Dr Samuel Nii Ashong, Minister of State, Finance and Economic Planning, signed on behalf of Ghana whilst Mr Xavier Darcos, visiting French Minister of Cooperation, signed for his government.

Dr Ashong said the project, codenamed "Project Preparation Fund Agreement (PPFA), would greatly help to facilitate studies, designs and financing of a number of projects within the scope of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy.

The agreement was the sixth in a series with the French government within a bilateral cooperation framework, Dr Ashon said, adding that, the previous five facilities had contributed significantly to financing of a number of projects.

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Mr Darcos said a total of 400 million euros has been provided so far to finance some 70 projects under the AFD in Ghana.

He expressed optimism that the fund would pave the way for more major commitments as soon as Ghana reaches the Completion point of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HPIC) programme this year.

Mr Darcos lauded Ghana's developmental efforts towards integration of the West Africa Sub Region. "Nowadays, ADF finances Ghana for itself and surely for the role it is playing in terms of regional integration, as well as it's consistent leadership in the implementation of NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa's Development)," he added.

Source: GNA
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