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General News Wed, 31 Jan 2001

US and World Bank pledge support for Parliament

The US and the World Bank on Tuesday said they would help strengthen the capacity of Ghanaian parliamentarians to deepen democratic practice.

Mr Peter Harrold, World Bank Country Director for Ghana and Ms Cathrine Dee Robinson, US ambassador in Ghana, called on the Speaker of Parliament one after the other to congratulate him on his election.

Ambassador Robinson, who led a six-member USAID delegation said the US will look into the possibility of establishing a research unit as well as a web-site network for parliament within the next six months.

She said this is to demonstrate the commitment of her country to Ghana's democracy, which is taking root following the recent peaceful elections.

Mr Harrold said the World Bank would be involved in training programmes for parliamentarians that will make them more effective in their oversight responsibilities on accountability and budgetary control.

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He said he would have wished that any assistance that will come to parliament from the Bank through the Ministry of Finance should be monitored by the parliamentarians themselves.

Mr Peter Ala Adjetey, the Speaker, commended the bank for a loan of 25 million dollars last year for the rehabilitation of the State House complex, which will be used as offices for parliamentarians.

He said the work is ongoing but was meeting setbacks following the Ministry of Finance inability to release all the money to the contractor for the work to progress steadily.

Papa Owusu-Ankomah, Deputy Majority Leader said any assistance from the bank will be judiciously used.

Mr Doe Adjaho, Minority Chief Whip, said the minority would co-operate with the government to ensure that the interest of Ghana is protected and enhanced for the sake of democracy.

Source: GNA
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