Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta is leading government’s delegation to the Annual African Development Bank Meetings in Malabo Equatorial Guinea.
Other members of the delegation include governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) Dr Ernest Addison as well as some senior staff at the Finance Ministry and Central Bank.
The Delegation is expected to use the Meetings to strengthen ties with the Bank, which Mr Ofori-Atta himself is governor of the board.
It would also afford the team an opportunity to engage other development partners present at the Meeting.
The Annual African Development Bank meeting in Malabo
The 2019 Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the African Development Bank Group (African Development Bank and African Development Fund) are being held in Malabo in Equatorial Guinea from 11 to 14 June 2019 in the Sipopo Conference Centre.
About 3000 participants including finance ministers, central bank governors, policymakers, civil society organizations, leaders of international organizations and captains of industry from the Bank Group's 80 Member States are expected.
This year's event focuses on 'Regional Integration for Africa’s Economic Prosperity', falling under one of the Bank's five priority areas known as the 'High 5s' (Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa).
The Bank is focusing on regional integration because the continent would from next month start implementing African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)
AfCFTA in March 2018 and is now at the threshold of its launch next month. It is believed that when the implementation starts it will constitute the world’s largest free trade area, consolidating an integrated market of 1.3 billion consumers with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of about $3.4 trillion.
It is estimated that Africa’s GDP growth could reach 6% a year in a continent without borders (UNECA).
According to the African Development Bank, it strongly believes that building links among the countries of Africa is key to the continent’s economic transformation.
The Annual Meeting always offers a unique opportunity to discuss challenges facing the region and how to advance the continents integration problems
The Bank’s Annual Meetings represent a unique opportunity to discuss challenges and ways to advance the continent’s regional integration agenda
Ghana and the African Development Bank
Ghana’s relationship with the African Development Bank can be described as very good, based on the financial support that they have extended to the country over the years for some critical infrastructure projects.
African Development Bank funded projects in Ghana
In terms of recent funding, the Bank supported the construction of the new Terminal 3 project at the Kotota International Airpor with $120 million.
The Board of the Bank also recently approved $600 million dollars for COCOBOD. The first tranche of the funds is expected to hit COCOBOD’s account by the end of June 2019. The Bank also played a lead in some funding for the concessionaire that took over some assets of Electricity Company of Ghana.
The Bank also financed the Rural Enterprise Project. It is aimed at alleviating poverty, slowing rural-urban drift, contributing to the creation of sustainable jobs.
Evaluation from a field survey indicates that out of the 340 project clients who took part in the field survey, 280 mentioned that the project had improved their income levels.