WB approves US$ 1.2 billion for Ghana
By Richard High12 March 2009
The World Bank (WB) has approved interest-free loans totalling US$1.2 billion to Ghana over the next three years targeting transport, water and sanitation, agriculture and fisheries, energy, natural resource management and budget support.
The World Bank's vice president for Africa, Obiageli Ezekwesili, made the announcement at the end of a three-day visit to the country, during which she also announced the launch of a new initiative that aims to help civil society organizations and other citizens' groups to deepen transparency and accountability by monitoring the implementation of WB-funded projects in the country.
The new Social Accountability Initiative to monitor Bank-financed projects and programs will be administered by three umbrella organizations - National Coalition of NGOs in Waste Management (NACONWAM), Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS) and a group led by the Integrated Social Development Center (ISODEC) - which will monitor the Second Urban Environmental Sanitation Project (for NACONWAM), the Urban Water Project (for CONIWAS) and the Poverty Reduction Support Credits (for ISODEC).
The WB-financed portfolio for Ghana is among the biggest in Africa, with 26 active projects which have an undisbursed balance of about US$ 700 million of interest free loans, a sizeable proportion of which can be front-loaded. The Bank's private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has also provided assistance to businesses pursuing projects in the oil and gas, mining, banking, leasing, education, housing and SME sectors.