The Ministry of Finance and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have signed an agreement for the provision of a €170 million facility for the establishment of a new national bank, the Development Bank Ghana (DBG).
The facility is the largest provided by the EIB for the establishment of a development bank in Africa and other projects on the continent.
DBG is an integral feature of the GH¢100 billion Ghana Cares ‘Obaatampa’ Project, which is seeing to the revitalization of the Ghanaian economy following the onset of COVID-19.
The agreement was reached on Wednesday when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo met the President of the EIB, Dr. Werner Hoyer, as part of his official visit to Belgium.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, President Akufo-Addo said that DBG was going “to play a very important part in the rapid economic transformation of Ghana, following the onset of COVID-19.
“We want to restructure the economy, and move it from being a mere producer and exporter of raw materials, to one that places much greater emphasis on value addition activities. We see this Bank as one that will play a pivotal role in this”.
The President said the design and operation of the Bank, “which has been on the drawing board for the last two years”, will satisfy the highest standards, scrutiny and best practices of Development Banks across the world.
He gave the assurance that the €170 million facility from the EIB will be used for the purposes for which it was sought, reiterating that the provision of the facility signaled the determination of Ghana to continue partnering with the EU.
Mr Charles Adu Boahen, Minister of State-designate for Finance, who was also present at the ceremony, explained that the focus of Government, since the onset of COVID-19, was to put in place the building blocks for an inclusive and sustainable economic recovery.
“With the overall objective of creating a favourable environment to spur private sector-led growth, the Government of Ghana recognizes the importance of a substantial allocation of development capital to critical economic sectors at sustainable interest rates and longer tenures. Accordingly, there has been a heightened need to establish the Development Bank Ghana,” he said.
Mr Adu Boahen stressed that the DBG would be a central player for Ghana’s economic recovery and structural transformation, “especially given the importance of counter-cyclical support in stimulating private enterprise.”
Describing the decision to establish the DBG as “a wise one”, Dr. Hoyer expressed optimism that the Bank would help unlock opportunities for growth in Ghana, and assist in the rapid recovery of the Ghanaian economy from the ravages of COVID-19.
He said the creation of the Bank is in line with the objectives of the European Union, and would help develop Ghana’s private sector, agri-business, manufacturing and ICT initiatives, stating that EIB saw the partnership with Ghana as a fruitful one, which would be followed keenly.