The EU is committed to supporting Ghana in her development agenda. The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Ghana, Mr William Hanna, spoke of the longstanding commitment the two countries have to each other in Accra marking the “Europe Day’’ in Ghana.
He said the EU‘s new focus was in line with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Agenda.
He mentioned that the EU has prepared new grant programs in various sectors of the country including social protection, employment and skills development to promote job creation. This he said can be done through small and medium enterprises and also to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable in Ghana.
“We also started new programmes in the area of anti-corruption, rule of law, accountability and support to the election process, and this year, together with the Government of Ghana, we will conclude the preparation of a large programme to support infrastructure investments for agriculture in the north of Ghana,’’ he said.
According to Mr Hanna, the local authorities and civil society organizations will receive funding for local economic development. The co-operation between Ghana and EU is moving towards a stronger focus on trade, investment and private sectors because of Ghana’s new status as a lower middle income country.
“Europe is Ghana’s main export destination. In 2014, 35 per cent of all Ghanaian exports, worth EUR 2.5 billion, went to the European market, creating many jobs and sources of income for the Ghanaian economy,” he said.
The Minister of State at the Office of the President, in Charge of Private Sector Development and Public Private Partnership, Mr Rashid Pelpuo, acknowledged the EU’s role as Ghana’s largest multilateral development and trade partner.
Mr Pelpuo acknowledged that Ghana was committed to the development co-operation with the EU towards the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and would not relent in her efforts to implement programs to impact the lives of Ghanaians.
Currently, about half of all Official Development Assistance received by Ghana was financed by the European Union and its key partners.
The partnership between Ghana and the European Union is 40 years old. It is a partnership which has been evolving over the years with impact on the lives of many Ghanaians through projects focusing on safe water and health services at the local level among other things.