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General News of Monday, 15 March 2010

Source: GNA

MIDA Board calls on President Mills

Accra, March 15, GNA - President John Evans Atta Mills, on Monday assured the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) Board of Directors of Government's assistance, and asked them to be transparent and accountable for the renewal of the compact to Ghana. The compact is a multi-year agreement between the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) of the United States of America and eligible country, to fund specific programmes targeted at reducing poverty in developing countries.

The renewal of Ghana's compact agreement is based on transparency, accountability and efficient management of the compact. President Mills gave the assurance when Professor Samuel Sefah-Dedeh, Chairman of the Board, led a delegation to pay a courtesy call on him at the Osu Castle in Accra.

President Mills noted that the MiDA played an important role in the nation's developmental effort, and USA, the benefactor country, would be looking for transparency and accountability in the management of the compact.

He said available information indicated that the Project Report on Ghana was encouraging. President Mills, however, asked the Board to maintain the requirements for Ghana to qualify for the next compact in 2011. Prof. Sefa-Dede assured President Mills that members of the Board would work hard to maintain transparency and accountability in the operations of MiDA.

Later in an interview with journalists, Mr. Martin Esson-Benjamin, Chief Executive Officer of MIDA, said the Authority was considering enlarging the areas covered by the compact. The Authority had at the end of 2009, committed 67 per cent of Compact Funds (367 million dollars) and re-disbursed 23 per cent (127 million dollar) through the Bank of Ghana.

The programme so far is on three thematic areas - agricultural productivity and value-added development project (six projects); transformation infrastructure development project (three projects) and rural services development project (three project activities). About 47,000 farmers have received free technical and business skills training and inputs as "starter packs".

Other initiatives in irrigation development and land tenure facilitation are transforming agriculture in the intervention zones in the Northern Region, the Afram Basin and the beneficiary districts in the Central, Eastern, Greater Accra and the Volta Regions. There is also progress of work on some sub-projects under the transportation project.

These include the 14.1 kilometre Tetteh Quarshie-Mallam Highway and other trunk and feeder roads in all the intervention zones, ferries, ferry terminals and the rehabilitation of the floating dock at Akosombo. Under the rural services development leg of the programme, there is the building and rehabilitation of schools, provision of water and the construction of 230 kilometre of power lines to connect several rural communities.

The MIDA is also assisting several Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to build their capacity to provide more efficient services. One key project under the component is that of the financial services, which involves collaboration with the Bank of Ghana, the ARB Apex Bank and 121 rural banks to extend the depth and value of financial services to rural Ghana. 15 March 10

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