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General News
Let''s use funds from MCA to break the back of poverty- JAK 6/15/2007
Accra, June 12, GNA - Africa should use the opportunity offered through the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) to break the back of poverty, the major problem facing the Continent, President John Agyekum Kufuor, has said.

The money, he said, should be efficiently managed for wealth creation.

President Kufuor was interacting with representatives of African countries, eligible for the MCA, the United States development assistance to reward nations that rule justly and promote private sector development, at the Castle, Osu.

They were in Ghana to attend a two-day forum to share experiences to strengthen country ownership of the project and improve the level of accountability in order to stay eligible.

It was organised jointly by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of Private Sector Reform. In all, there are 19 MCA eligible countries in Africa. Some, including Ghana, Cape Verde and Benin have already had their compact signed while others are in the process of getting theirs done. President Kufuor said since the Account was tax-payers money and country specific, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the body in charge of its management should want to know the competence and transparency with which, the beneficiary nations applied the funds. He said it was on the basis of this that it was important for the countries to stay focused and ensure accountability and transparency in the management of the funds.

Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, the Minister of Public Sector Reform, who led the delegation said the Forum had come out with recommendations that would be sent to the Governments of the eligible countries and the MCC on what should be done to engender true partnership. They would also be meeting every year to share experiences. Mr. Eson Benjamin, Chief Executive of the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), said Ghana was using the MCA for agricultural transformation.

This, he said, was being done in three areas, namely irrigation, tackling post harvest losses and access to credit.

He said coming with these would be the building of 230 kilometres of trunk roads and 950 kilometres of feeder roads in the 23 districts selected for the project. There would also be a ferry link on the Volta Lake, strengthening of banks in the rural areas, construction of schools, clinics, electricity and sanitation arrangements. Ghana is into four months of the implementation of the MCA. 12 June 2007Source:

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