Aid Effectiveness Agenda and Consultative Group Meetings (Co-chair of OECD – DAC Koos Richelle, visits Ghana) (30/09/2010)
The Director-General of the European Commission’s Aid Cooperation Office (Europe Aid) Mr. Koos Richelle, paid a working visit to Ghana from September 22, to 24, 2010 in his capacity as the Co-chair of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and Development Assistance Committees (OECD-DAC’s) Working Party on AID Effectiveness.
The purpose of his visit was to discuss progress made on implementing the principles adopted at the high level forum on Aid Effectiveness held in Paris in 2005 and Accra in 2008 and the challenges on the way ahead to the 4th High level forum scheduled to take place in Busan, South Korea toward the end of November, 2011.
By improving aid effectiveness, Development Partners and beneficiary countries aim to improve methods of aid delivery and management and try to reach maximum results and the impact of the assistance provided.
While in the Country, Mr. Richelle held high level meetings on the Aid Effectiveness Agenda with officials of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP) and key Development Partners in Accra. He participated in the first day of the Consultative Group meeting between the Government of Ghana and Development Partners on September 23, 2010, met with the Minister of Finance Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, representatives of Civil Society and Members of Parliament among others.
Mr. Richelle also paid a courtesy call on the Vice – President of Ghana, Mr. John Mahama in his office at the Castle, Osu where he gave the assurance that the EU will continue to consolidate future co-operation with Ghana and the Commission. Mr. Mahama also indicated governments’s efforts at instituting measures to ensure a balanced economy as the country prepares to take off in the oil industry.
At a reception held in his honour by the Delegation in Ghana, attended by Ambassadors (Heads of Missions and Heads of Co-operations), some members of the Diplomatic Corps, Development Partners and some Government officials, Mr Richelle stressed the need to build a middle income society in Ghana, so that the benefit of higher growth rates are shared in all segment of the population and contribute to eliminate to regional disparities and achieve the MDGs.
He pleaded with donor partners not to leave the country but to keep up with the aid. According to him although some revenue from the oil find in Ghana will accrue to the country soon, there was the need to still assist the country in the short to medium term. At the same time, he explained that DPs need to be prepared to examine other form of support.
Addressing a joint press conference with the Deputy Minister of Finance Mr. Seth Terkper at the Ministry prior to his departure Mr. Richelle said Ghana’s efforts to improve the country system through the engagement of the Global Partnership on Country systems, has been supported by the working party.
He said the focus on strengthening and using country systems was to ensure that everything is in the budget and that it is made public so that it can be controlled by parliament, civil society, and the media among others, to ensure that these groups can control how money is used in the country.
“We want to check if Ghana will be ready to be showcased in Busan in terms of progress made to improve budget with regards to information communication technology, computer assisted technologies, auditing and procurement systems”.
He commended the various platforms established by civil society, and Non-Governmental Organisations to check what government is doing adding “it gives us a clue as to what capacity development means and what we need to do to transfer know-how to government and civil society”.
Mr Richelle said Ghana was one of the seven countries making strides in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), stressing that if the country continues in this direction, the EU will continue to stick with her. “Things are not ideal anywhere but efforts to improve them are impressive. We are impressed by the concrete plans being made and in two years there will be a budget system functioning for all donors, civil society and we look forward to this.”
He said Ghana plays an important role in the Accra Agenda on Aid Effectiveness noting that it will take between five to 10 years from now for exit strategies as Ghana’s oil discovery and the intended revenue moves it to a middle income economy. “You need to go further that achieving the middle economic country status and become a middle income society” he stated adding that to achieve this depends on good governance, rule of law which will move things faster towards bridging the poverty gaps to achieve middle income status.
EU Delegation to Ghana:
Rejoice Esi ASANTE