Ghana on Tuesday signed an agreement with the government of the Republic of Korea, concerning the concessional loans from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) for the years 2020 to 2022.
Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance signed on behalf of Ghana, while Kim Sungsoo, the Korean Ambassador to Ghana, signed for his country.
Mr. Ofori-Atta explained that the concessional loans being provided to Ghana from the EDCF under a three-year funding cycle referred to as the FA, was delivered through Korea Eximbank.
He said under the agreement the Korean Government was committing the sum of 400 million dollars towards the implementation of a number of development projects.
The Finance Minister said the amount was a 100 per cent increase over the previous two Framework Agreements which spanned between 2014 to 2016, and 2017 to 2019, and received 200 million dollar each.
According to him, the doubling of the amount was in response to a one-billion-dollar support request made by Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Mr. Ofori-Atta expressed the Government’s appreciation for this marked increase, while it continued to look forward to future envelope that matched the one-billion-dollar request made by the President.
Mr. Ofori-Atta said five urgent and important projects: the Techiman Water Supply Project ($100 million), COVID-19 Emergency Response Programme ($60 million), Modernization of Regional Maritime University Project ($140 million) and Improvement of Volta Lake Transport System Project ($100 million), were expected to be funded by EDCF in Ghana.
He said following a request by the Finance Ministry, the Embassy of Korea had also agreed to expand the four priority sectors in the current CPS (2016 to 2020).
It will include information and communication technology and transport sectors for the upcoming Country Priority Sectors (CPS) spanning between 2020 and 2025, and thanked the Korean Government for aligning their resources to Ghana’s priorities.
Mr. Ofori-Atta said over the last three years, prudent steps were taken to create an enabling environment for the private sector to flourish, citing the introduction of tax reforms as a key factor.
Inflation was at 10.4 percent in September, 2020, while interest rates of 13.55 per cent per the Monitory Policy Rate were on the decline, and the exchange rate had also been stable while debt was being managed under sustainable levels, he said.
He, however, said just as other countries, COVID-19 had had its negative impact on Ghana’s economy.
“But some proactive initiatives taken by the Government such as the COVID-19 Alleviation, and the Emergency Preparedness
Response Programmes respectively were effectively implemented to alleviate the impact of the pandemic on Ghanaians,” he said.
Mr. Sungsoo said Ghana and Korea had enjoyed a bilateral relationship that dated over 40 years and it was hoped that this friendship would flourish and yield good results for generations to come.