Business News of Wednesday, 2 August 2017
President of the African Development Bank (ADB), Akinwumi Adesina, has said that the bank is committing $950 million towards the development of Ghana.
In a meeting with Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on Wednesday, August 2 2017, the leader of the ADB delegation commended government for its efforts in the past months indicating that they have “great confidence in the team that the President has put together to pursue his agenda”.
Mr Adesina revealed that ADB is “investing $950 million in Ghana in 23 projects on infrastructure – it is very important – private sector is important, agriculture, energy and transport in particular and all these form key components in what we are doing in Ghana.”
He noted that in his discussions with President Akufo-Addo, the President laid emphasis on agriculture and energy and he was glad projects being undertaken by ADB will help improve Ghana’s economy.
“Agriculture is one of the high five priorities of the bank…we are going to be investing in the agricultural sector in Africa with $24 billion over the next 10 years and obviously, Ghana will play a very important role in that,” he stated adding “we are going to be supporting agriculture a lot especially in the Northern sector of the country.”
Mr Adesina further disclosed that successful projects such as the Northern Rural Agricultural Development Project has covered about 3900 hectares and supporting beyond 250,000 households.
He bemoaned the determination of cocoa prices by international bodies rather than the country which together with Cote d’Ivoire produces more than 64 per cent of the world’s cocoa supply.
In view of that he said: “the African Development Bank will strongly be supporting President Akufo-Addo and Alassane Ouattara in their joint effort to work on a number of projects including coordination on policies. They need to establish warehouses to store cocoa beans and support industrialisation of the cocoa sector.”
For him, “there is no way Africa can develop without power” therefore, ADB will partner government to invest in the power sector of the country.
“Energy is like blood in your body, when you have blood you have life and an economy without power cannot go far,” he noted.
He said ADB will help to improve liquidity profile of energy companies and address the debt in the sector.
Mr Adesina further said creating employment for the youth is one area of priority which the bank will do through ADB’s Jobs for Africa’s Youth Programme. The programme will have agriculture, ICT as well as Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) models among others.
“We are also investing roughly $40 million in a bank here to provide access to financing for SMEs in the country,” he added.
Mr Adesina pointed out that the number of urban dwellers has increased prompting expansion of infrastructure through the Accra Urban Transport Programme and ADB will also help in water and sanitation improvement.