Three Loan Agreements to support Ghana’s renewable energy agenda and strengthen the financial management capacities of the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Ghana Audit Service have been signed in Accra.

The agreements, involving a total amount of 40.82 million euros (approx.176 million GH), are the Ghana Audit Service (GAS) Infrastructure Project costing 13 million euros (approx. GH 56 million); Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Information Technology (IT) Training Institute project costing 5 million euros (GH 21.5 million), comprising a loan of 3.50 million euros and a Grant element of 1.50 million; and a Renewable Energy Programme-Photo Voltaic Project- at the cost of 22.82 million euros (approx. GH 98 million).

The German government, through Kreditanstalt Fur Wiederaufbau (KfW), Germany’s leading development bank, is funding the three projects.

Under the GAS Infrastructure Project, 25 district and 3 regional offices will be built to facilitate effective and efficient public financial administration while under the GRA IT Training Institute project, an IT Training Centre will be constructed for the GRA in Accra to support organizational change, business process modernization and the implementation of new IT applications for increased revenue generation through the reduction of administrative and tax compliance costs as well as improved service delivery for all Ghanaian taxpayers.

Under the Renewable Energy Programme-Photo Voltaic Project- which will be implemented in conjunction with Volta River Authority, a 12 megawatt solar power plant will be built in the Upper West Region to contribute towards the diversification of the electricity generation mix and help Ghana to become more independent from fossil energy and to make use of one of its greatest natural resources – the sun.

The new solar plant is expected to provide a reliable, cost-effective and ecologically sound additional energy source not only for the benefit of the Upper West Region but also households and small business such as dress makers, farmers and food vendors all over the country.

The German Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Christoph Retzlaff, signed the three agreements on behalf of the German government while Mr Seth Terkper, Ghana’s Minister for Finance, signed on behalf of the government of Ghana.

Present at the ceremony were the Director of KfW Ghana, Mrs Birte Schorlemmer, Deputy Minister for Finance, Mrs Mona Quartey, Auditor General, Mr Richard Quartey, Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr George Blankson, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Volta River Authority (VRA), Mr Kirk Cofie and the Chief Director of the Ministry of Power, Mr Solomon Asoalla.

Addressing the media at the signing ceremony, Mrs Quartey described Germany as a very strategic and important partner.

Mrs Quartey commended Germany for its meaningfully contributions to the attainment of Ghana’s development objectives in three major areas of bilateral co-operation, namely Governance, Agriculture and sustainable Economic Development.

She pledged Ghana’s unflinching commitment to the tenets of bilateral co-operation between Ghana and Germany, and expressed the hope that the projects, successfully implemented, would contribute significantly to the attainment of Ghana’s economic development aspirations and further broaden and deepen co-operation between the two countries for their mutual benefits.

In a statement, Mrs Schorlemmer noted that for more than 50 years, Germany had been an important partner for the Government of Ghana and supported the development of a vibrant and prosperous Ghanaian economy..

Elaborating on the IT Centre for the GRA, she said apart from the construction of the centre, all the needed equipment as well as training for staff and coaches would be part of the loan.

On energy, Mrs Schorlemmer said a reliable energy supply would support Ghana on its way towards a middle income country, reduce poverty and promote its businesses to compete internationally at fair conditions, adding that the 12 megawatt solar power plant would also help Ghana to reduce its emission of greenhouse gases and defend climate change with all its severe consequences.

And on the GAS Infrastructure Project, she said the construction of office spaces would strengthen transparency, accountability and probity in Ghana’s public financial management system to reassure Ghanaians people that the resources provided would be spent for the good of the country.

Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)