OREANDA-NEWS. The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank on Wednesday, 18 November 2015 approved a US$ 56.2-million African Development Fund loan to support Ghana’s Public Financial Management and Private Sector Competitiveness Program. This general budget support operation is the first in a two-year programmatic series of US$ 100 million that will be implemented in 2015 and 2016.

The operation is in response to the continued decline of the Ghanaian economy, caused by a weak macroeconomic environment and a series of exogenous shocks. During the presentation of the operation to the Board of Directors, Jacob Mukete, Director of the Bank’s Governance, Economic and Financial Management Department stated that, “the program aims at strengthening fiscal consolidation, deepening the public financial management reform, and improving the efficiency and competitiveness of the economy.”

Together, these three components will contribute to restore macroeconomic stability, ensuring greater predictability of financial resources to support essential public programs. “Fiscal consolidation and public financial management reforms are likely to benefit women and vulnerable groups as improved fiscal space can accommodate increased pro-poor expenditures for better social services delivery,” Mukete said.

The programme’s focus on increased private-sector competitiveness through improved access to energy and finance for small and medium-sized enterprises will help to drive inclusive economic growth in Ghana. Mukete added that “increased electricity supply, and its reliable and efficient delivery as well as access to long-term finance will benefit women and youth, especially those involved in small and medium-sized enterprises and living in rural areas where poverty is widespread.”

The programme builds on the achievements of the Bank’s past and ongoing operations in the country related to public financial management and private sector development. It is also fully aligned with Ghana government’s Medium-Term National Development Policy Framework, the Bank’s Country Strategy Paper for Ghana, and the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy 2013-2022, which has governance and accountability and private sector development as key operational priorities. It also supports three of the “High-5 institutional priorities” – Light up and Power Africa, Industrialize Africa, and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.