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The World Bank Vice President for Africa in charge of Western and Central Africa, Ousmane Diagana, says his outfit will work with the government to identify risks that has the potential of undermining the country’s high growth rate and successes chalked so far.
Briefing the press after arriving in the country for a two days visit, Mr. Diagana said the impressive growth rate must be sustained, but more importantly equitably distributed.
On what he makes of the recent credit rating of Ghana by ratings agencies, Moody’s, Fitch and Standards and Poor’s, he declined to comment about the implication of the ratings, but said “the practice of the World Bank is not in charge of defining the developmental goals of countries.”
“There are sovereign responsibilities and sovereign decision for that; so Ghana is absolutely responsible for defining its own policies, putting in place and finding the best way actually to mobilise resources in order to implement its vision and policies”, he pointed out.
Continuing, Mr. Daigana said the World Bank is not part of the rating agencies work, adding “for many years, we have supported Ghana in a number of sectors. Of course the economic conditions has not been all that rosy, but today when you look at the economic trajectory of Ghana, I think there is a reason to praise the government. In our advisory role, this performance, this accomplishment must be sustained”.
“Once you have make progress you [sovereign nation] need to sustain it. How to get there, there are a number of things we [World Bank] can do; we have analytical programmes we work on, but we do also have technical assistance programme that we put in place and special investments programme”, he stressed.
“I think we should mitigate and address the challenges, create a condition for Ghana to continue to develop and create better resources for its people”, he asserted.
Mr. Diagana also said that the World Bank will work with Ghana to ensure resources provided to the country are well utilized. For instance, the World Bank Group will support Ghana’s budget with $4 billion in the next four years.
He alluded that “so for us as we are a development institution….that is key…. in providing those platforms for advicing and trying to mobilise in a timely manner resources for speedy implementation of programmes”.
He further said the World Bank will continue to implement reforms that will allow the country to generate revenue to become independent vis-à-vis of any financial organisation including those monitoring the implementation and therefore the ratings of the country’s policy.
“Those reforms are critical in creating a business environment to allow the private sector to thrive. For me, what is really important is the country manage its development goals to produce development outcome that contribute to changing the living conditions and making those conditions better.”