ACCRA, August 13, 2013 -- A new office building for the World Bank Group in Ghana would normally not be news, but this is no ordinary office move. Co-locating the Ghana teams of the International Development Association (IDA) -- the World Bank’s fund for the world’s poorest nations -- and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) -- the Bank’s private sector arm -- in the same building is the external display of changes currently underway within the institution.
Being in the same building ends decades of minimal daily contact between IDA and IFC staff, and boosts daily interaction as they maintain and render more effective all the services they offer to Ghana and a regional clientele beyond Ghana’s borders.
“I see the new building as a partial materialization of the Bank’s commitment to work as one institution and as a strong statement of dedication to our partnership with Ghana,” said Yusupha Crookes, World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. “The transparent glass exterior should be seen as our invitation to our client governments and the general public to expect not only more efficient, one-stop service, but also to expect a more open, frank and accountable World Bank Group.”
Located on the Independence Avenue in the Ridge suburb of Accra, the new building itself, to a large extent, embodies the spirit of independence. From its green roofing, energy saving construction, rain harvesting and emphasis on natural lighting to cultural and disability friendliness, the building makes a statement on new standards in the conceptualization of building spaces, eco-friendly and energy-saving technology in Ghana. A huge Nim Tree was left standing in the middle of the estate, with the four-story edifice built around it.
In support of openness and accountability and consistent with the World Bank’s Access to Information Policy, a revamped joint World Bank Group Knowledge Space is open to the general public in the new building, where all public documents such as Project Appraisal Reports, Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Reports, Implementation Status Reports, research materials and other analytical works and publications can be accessed free of charge. The Knowledge Space will also serve as a foyer for promoting cultural activities and dialogue with stakeholders including government, private sector, women groups, the youth, civil society organizations, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, academia, Parliament, media and creative arts.
Since joining the World Bank Group in September 1957, Ghana has benefited from close to US$10 billion in funding (about US$8 billion in grants and interest-free credits to the government, mostly from IDA, and about US$2 billion to the private sector, predominantly from IFC), in support of a wide range of programs, projects and investments.