The European Union (EU) Delegation to Ghana in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning has engaged stakeholders in a Consultative Workshop on the programming of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) in Accra.
About 80 stakeholders including Civil Society Organisations, Government ministries, departments and agencies (MDA’s), the private sector and development partners exchanged ideas with the EU Delegation on priorities and possible focal areas for 11th EDF funding which will cover the period 2014 ? 2020.
Ambassador Claude Maerten, Head of the EU Delegation to Ghana, in introductory remarks, noted that though it cannot be excluded that the overall size of Europe?s budget for external aid will be reduced in the coming years as a consequence of the financial crisis,, it is necessary for Ghana to do more with the aid that it gets from the EU.
He stressed that it is important to show to the European tax payer that every euro spent on external aid is beneficial to Ghanaians.
He said even though Ghana is in transition towards becoming a middle income country, there are still many developmental challenges to be dealt with. ?Therefore Ghana can count on continued EU assistance for the period 2014-2020, while at the same time recognizing the Government’s commitment to make the country gradually less aid dependent.
The Chief Director at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Enoch H. Cobbinah, in his remarks, said the Government looks forward to the funding that would become available under the 11th EDF programme and is prepared to apply the resources in areas that will make the most impact in the development process and to foster inclusive growth.
He said following consultations with Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs), three thematic areas have been proposed: Good Governance, Agriculture and Education linked to job creation.
Kurt Cornelis, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Ghana gave a presentation on the key features and principles of the 11th EDF programming process, while Bruno Leclerc, Resident Manager of the French Development Agency (AFD) informed the audience on the ongoing efforts deployed by the EU Delegation and the EU Member States to jointly program their available resources for development cooperation in Ghana for the years to come.
Instructively, the EU Delegation proposes that the future focal sectors of 11th EDF funding in Ghana, should respond well to Ghana?s challenges of transforming its country into a consolidated middle income economy thereby putting emphasis on the respect of good governance and democratic principles, sustainable growth and the inclusiveness of its development in conformity with major objectives of the EU?s development policy, the so-called Agenda for Change.
The future programs to be funded under the 11th EDF should also be in line with Ghana‘s national development strategy, currently the GSGDA 2010-2013, as well as with the Compact for “Leveraging Partnership for Shared Growth and Development” over a ten year period(2012-2022), signed on 21 June 2012 at the 2012 Consultative Group (CG) meeting, between the Government of Ghana (GOG) and a group of 15 Development Partners (DP’s).
The Compact builds on both the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA)2010-2013 and the Ghana Aid Policy & Strategy (GAPS) 2011-2015 and is inspired by earlier adopted sector policies, but it is conceived as a “living” document, which provides the flexibility to review, modify and adapt it to its context in accordance with changing circumstances and newly adopted strategies.
Bearing in mind that the EU Delegation and the EU Member States were fully associated with the editing of the Compact and that they were satisfied with its content and quality, it was proposed to use the GOG-DP Compact as the document that will be the foundation for the 11th EDF (and EU Joint) Programming process.
Under the label of EU Joint programming, the EU Delegation, the European Investment Bank and eight EU Member States represented in Accra are jointly preparing a Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) which will include proposals for sector involvement, based on an agreed division of labour but respecting already on-going bilateral country strategies as well as first steps towards a synchronization of respective programming cycles.