Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

Donor Countries' $700m Rescue Plan for Ghana

A donor's meeting of Ghana has called on the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) to exhibit skilful management and flexibility with respect both to policies, administration and implementation of its programme of economic recovery. The donors also agreed that they should meet again in about a year's time to review progress and the need for further support.

The meeting, which was the first on Ghana after an interval of 13 years, was held in Paris on November 23-24, 1983 to consider a comprehensive programme of economic recovery measures which were introduced by the government of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) last April and its external financial and technical assistance requirements.

Eight bilateral donors and eleven multilateral institutions participated with several other countries and multilateral institutions attending as observers. A release for the Paris European office of the World Bank on the meeting noted that the Consultative Group warmly welcomed the courageous and far-reaching steps taken by the PNDC to reverse the economic deterioration and far-reaching steps taken by the PNDC to reverse the economic deterioration which had persisted over a decade. It was also noted with satisfaction that the government was steadfastly pursuing its economic recovery programme in spite of severe economic difficulties.

The group further agreed that the rehabilitation programme reflected a well-chosen and realistic set of priorities aimed at restoring Ghana's productive assets in a balance manner and consequently estimated additional external financing required to carry out the rehabilitation programme over the next three years to be in the order of US$700 million, over and above what had been indicated prior to the meeting. The group also agreed that further food aids would be required in the coming year following several years of drought, which has severely depleted food stocks and had also caused the shutdown of many of the country's hydro-electric generating capacity.

It was, however, recognised that the successful execution of the overall reform and investment programme would require skillful management and flexibility on the part of the PNDC, with respect both to policies and to administration and implementation of the programme.

Members of the Consultative Group representing Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, African Development Bank, the EEC, the Economic Community of West African States, the European Invest- ment Bank, International Finance Corporation, International Fund for Agricultural Development, the International Monetary Fund, United Nations, United Nations Development Programme and World Food Programme attended the meeting.

Brazil, China, the Development Assistance Committee of the Organiza- tion for Economic Cooperation and Development, Korea, the Netherlands, Saudi Fund for Development and Spain were represented as observers.

Regarding financial assistance from the Consultative Group for the govern- ment's investment programmes the World Bank release stated that there was agreement on the need for the assistance to be quick disbursing. The Group also discussed Ghana's technical assistance requirements over a broad range of activities.

Some bilateral and multilateral donors were able to indicate specifically the level and type of assistance that would be available in 1984. Others indicated that the results of the meeting would be taken into consideration at the time of their next annual aid budgets. However, the Chairman's preliminary estimate was that the first-year target of $150 million would be substantially met.

In addition to the further financing requirement of $700 million over the next three years, the PNDC has already received commitments of about US$600 million since the introduction of the economic recovery programme in April 1983. This contrasts with total commitments of US$92 million in 1982.

Finally, it was agreed that the Consultative Group for Ghana should meet again in about a year's time to review progress under the recovery programme and the need for further donor support

talking drums 1983-12-05 Donor nations to Ghana's rescue