Ghana to Scale up, Improve Urban Services to 2m people through WB support

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The World Bank today approved an additional financing of $145 million International Development Association (IDA)* credit for the Ghana Secondary Cities Support Program.

This builds on an existing program of support to secondary cities agreed in 2018 and enables the program to scale up to support 35 secondary cites across the country. The additional financing will continue enhancing institutional capacity for urban management and providing improved basic urban infrastructure in 35 secondary cities, including the six newly created regional capitals.

Over the last decades, the urban population of Ghana grew substantially. More than 56 percent of the population resided in urban areas in 2021. Urbanization has resulted in a greater share of the population with access to basic services, but continuously growing urban population and demand have outpaced infrastructure and service provision. Climate change and natural disasters will further exacerbate the challenge in service delivery.

If urbanization is not managed well, growing urban population and spatial development patterns of cities would put more people and assets at risk. However, if managed well with integrated land use planning, urbanization can lead the country to sustainable growth by increasing productivity, livability, and inclusivity.

“Ghanaians residing in participating municipalities will have improved access to urban services, such as better roads, efficient services, and reduced flooding,” said Pierre Laporte, World Bank Country Director for Ghana. “The additional financing will further focus on strengthening the capacity of secondary cities on climate change mitigation and adaptation.”

The additional finance to the Ghana Secondary Cities Support Program is part of Government’s broader urban development and decentralization program. It will continue to strengthen local systems and focus on secondary cities by providing them incentives to improve their performance as city managers. The program will also assist regional and national institutions to provide secondary cities with the support needed for effective urban management and service delivery.

Ghana’s resilient, inclusive, and green recovery from the COVID-19 and sustainable development will depend on how efficiently and effectively growing cities will be managed.

“The Ghana Secondary Cities Program will support Government’s National Decentralization Action Plan to ensure the effective and efficient management of growing cities to boost economic activities and improve living conditions. To bring this opportunity of urbanization to fruition, cooperation, and coordination at different levels of governments will be essential”, said Martin Onyach-Olaa, Senior Urban Specialist and Task Team Leader.

* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives.

IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.6 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $21 billion over the last three years, with about 61 percent going to Africa.

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