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Business News of Monday, 27 September 2010

Source: myjoyonline

Donors question transparency of STX Korea Housing deal

Ghana’s Western development partners are unhappy about the level of transparency in contributions of non-traditional donors like China to the country’s development.

They mention in particular the about 14 billion dollars in loans and support offered by China during President Mills’ recent trip and the controversial STX Housing Project.

The concerns were highlighted at a meeting with the Finance Ministry and key government officials last week.

This year’s Consultative Annual Partnership Meeting is the first ever under the Mills administration. It offers the platform for government and its development partners, countries which provide funds to directly support the budget to re-examine their relationship, taking stock of how beneficial the relationship has been and how it could be improved.

The meeting was on the theme, “Managing the Transition to a Middle Income Economy with an emerging oil sector: the role of ODA in Sustaining National Development”.

Government, worried that donor partners may significantly reduce their support because Ghana will soon be transitioning into an oil economy, is arguing for continued support at least in the medium term.

Deputy Finance Minister Seth Terkper explained to Joy Business donor support will continue to be crucial.

The traditional donor partners, including Europe on the other hand are concerned about the contributions of non-traditional donors such as China and their terms and conditions.

Speaking on behalf of her counterparts, Harriet Ludwig, the Head of Cooperation at the German Embassy said transparency is critical if they are to continue to support Ghana’s development efforts.

The development partners are not the only ones unhappy with the level of transparency of the controversial STX Housing deal, especially after the final signing was called off at the last minute for what has been described as “technical reasons”.

The Consultative Annual Partnership Meeting will close Monday with the high level session.

Various local groups have continued to insist that government come clean on the real reasons for the cancellation of the signing ceremony.