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PRESS RELEASE

Ghana Receives a Total of US$295 Million for Three Projects

March 31, 2011



To Support Land Administration (US$50m), Skills Development (US$70m),
Local Government Capacity (US$175m).

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2011 – The Government of Ghana over the past one week has been granted a total of US$295 million by the World Bank Board to support its developmental process.

The Land Administration Project-2 (US$50m) was approved today, March 31 2011; whilst the Skills and Technology Development Project (US70m) and Local Government Capacity Support Project (US$175m) were approved on March 29th and March 22nd, 2011 respectively.

The Land Administration Project-2 (US$50m) is a continuation of the World Bank’s effort to support the improvement in Ghana's land market. After a successful implementation of the Land Administration project resulting in decentralization of the deeds registry to all the nine regional capitals, a reduction in time for delivery from more than 36 months to about 3 months, the establishment of 38 customary Land secretariats to facilitate the management and record keeping. There is still Insecurity of land tenure, difficult accessibility to land for (agricultural, industrial, commercial and residential) development purposes, inadequate consultation with land owners and chiefs, lack of public outreach on land laws, land rights and procedures. and an absence of up to date maps to support critical on-going land administration operations.

“It remains a great paradox that one of the main constraint to agriculture in Ghana is land, given how abundant this resource is. This is clearly an area where better legislation and management will make a big difference on growth and jobs.” says Ishac Diwan, World Bank Country Director for Ghana.

The project therefore aims at removing these business process bottlenecks, promoting transparency and addressing the various challenges with the aim of improving efficiency in the delivery of land services. The Project will address these challenges through the following components:

  • Strengthening the Policy, Legal and Regulatory Framework: The component will provide a platform for continued work on the legal and regulatory framework governing land administration and land use, building upon the accomplishments achieved under LAP.
  • Improving Functions and Business Processes: This will help improve transparency and reduce the time and cost involved in delivery of services such as deed and title registration and other services provided by the land sector agencies.
  • Improved Maps and Spatial Data: This component will provide up to date maps and other spatial products and develop the infrastructure for collecting and sharing data and information to be used as inputs directly or indirectly in land administration.
  • Human Resource Development and Project Management: This aims to develop human resources capacity and provide logistical support and equipment to the land sector agencies, land owners as well as the private sector to improve service delivery.

Results Indicators: It is expected that the following results will be achieved by the end of project implementation: Deeds registration reduced from 3months maximum to 1 month; Title registration reduced from 7months to maximum of 2 months;  Information on standard statutory fees, land values made publicly available; Increase in the number of land transactions and associated revenue.

Ghana Skills and Technology Development Project (US$70m): The ultimate goal of this project is to establish demand-driven support to formal and informal training systems and support the development and adoption of new technologies in economic sectors prioritized in the government’s development plans.

“We have high hopes that this project will not just help create many good jobs, but also attract new investment in the many areas where the main constraint to development is the existence of adequate skills,” said Ishac Diwan.

The skills and technology challenges will be addressed under the following components:

  • Institutional Strengthening for Skills Development: The objective of the component is to strengthen the Government institutional capacities in planning, coordination, quality assurance and service delivery towards improved quality, relevance, accountability and effectiveness in skills development.
  • Institutional Strengthening of Science and Technology Development: The objectives of this component are to (i) strengthen the planning, management, and coordination of national science, technology and innovation (STI) policies and programs in order to make efficient use of resources; and (ii) support technology development and diffusion that is responsive to the economy.
  • Financing of Skills and Technology Development: This is to finance skills and technology development programs in prioritized economic sectors through a demand-driven skills development fund (SDF) managed by COTVET.
  • Project Management and Monitoring and Evaluation: This component is to provide effective implementation of the project by establishing a project support unit embedded within COTVET and reporting to the Project Steering Committee. 

Results Indicators: It is expected that the following results will be achieved by the end of project implementation: 60% increase in labor productivity by participating firms; 40% increase in investment by participating firms in skills and technology development; 70% satisfaction with skills by trainees; 70% satisfaction with skills by participating firms in 4 economic sectors from small, medium and large.

The Local Government Capacity Support Project: (US$175m)

Ghana is urbanizing rapidly--in 2010, Ghana’s urban population for the first time surpassed the rural population. Ghana’s cities and towns face vast challenges in managing urbanization. The government has recently prepared a draft national urban policy which acknowledges that cities have been unable to meet growing demands for infrastructure and services, and recognizes that effective institutions of city management are necessary to position cities as engines of growth and poverty reduction. At the same time, Ghana has recently made concrete steps to further deepen decentralization and empower local governments with more responsibilities and functions. As more powers and resources are being decentralized, ensuring that local governments are held accountable, both to the central government as well as to their citizens, becomes increasingly important. Decentralization in Ghana must thus increasingly meet the dual objectives of strengthening an accountable system of local governance, while specifically enabling cities to meet the challenges of urban growth.

This project aims to do both through a transformative project design that i) measures and rewards the performance of metropolitan and municipal assemblies in urban management through the provision of grants which assemblies can then use to improve infrastructure and services; ii) does this in a way that strengthens the system of fiscal decentralization; and iii) ensures that urban assemblies become more transparent, accountable and responsive to their citizens.

The investments and capacity building support provided under this project will be a core element in enabling Ghana’s cities to maintain and expand their role as economic powerhouses in the country. The project will ensure that cities have more transparent fund flows, collect more local revenues and enhance local economic development, thereby creating more jobs. At the same time, the project’s focus on social accountability aims to ensure that citizens are more engaged in the budgeting, planning and implementation process at the local level and that they demand more accountability from their assemblies.

The objectives of the project are: (i) to strengthen the intergovernmental fiscal framework; (ii) to strengthen local public financial management and accountability for improved infrastructure and services in urban assemblies; and (iii) to improve citizens’ engagement with urban assemblies and their perceptions of urban management.

The project comprises the following components:

  • Strengthening the fiscal framework for decentralization: This will support the establishment of a predictable and transparent fiscal framework for local governance, through assisting MoFEP to develop and manage specific aspects of the fiscal framework for local governance.
  • Enhancing decentralized urban service: This component will assist selected urban local governments to improve their management capabilities in the identified key reform areas, through a performance based annual Urban Development Grant, and targeted capacity support.
  • Stimulating demand for accountable governance: This will generate civil society demand for financial information from urban assemblies; foster more effective engagement of civil society with assemblies and strengthen the capacity and engagement of citizens’ representatives on the budget and service delivery issues.
  • Institutional and Project Management Support: This component will provide support to MLGRD in fulfilling its role in supporting the decentralization process specifically related to fiscal decentralization and urban development.

Results indicators: The following results are expected to be achieved by the end of Project implementation: predictable releases of funds to 46 urban assemblies from major central government sources (District Assembles Common Fund, District Development Fund and Urban Development Grant) leading to better planning for investments and improved services; improvement in the performance of 46 urban assemblies in key reform areas related to public financial management and accountability; and greater engagement of citizens with urban assemblies and an improvement in citizens’ perceptions of urban management. At the end of the project, it is expected that more than 2 million Ghanaians living in urban areas will have benefitted from investments made using the performance grants, including, for example, improved roads, markets, drainage, sanitation, and education facilities.

“This is a very ambitious effort to help all of Ghana's towns to develop their full potential -- as hubs and centers for rural growth. The program will allow  towns to improve the way they function and to invest in the key infrastructure -- markets, access roads, secondary schools -- which are needed to pull economic activity in the surrounding areas.” says Ishac Diwan

In a statement from the Ministry of Finance, the Minister Dr Kwabena Duffuor indicates “We have received a sizeable amount of funding from the World Bank over the past few months. While we appreciate the confidence that the approval of these loans and credits demonstrate in the Government of Ghana’s  handling of the economy, the ultimate goal is to use them effectively, efficiently and in a timely manner. The development needs of our country are huge and our people cannot wait. I am therefore advising those who are tasked to manage the implementation of these projects, both from the Government and the World Bank sides, to work hard to minimize unnecessary procurement and disbursement delays so that we can achieve tangible developmental results for the  people of Ghana.”
 
The three credits are on standard International Development Association (IDA) terms, with  0% interest and a maturity of 35 years, including a 10-year period of grace.

Media Contacts
In Washington
Aby K. Toure
Tel : +1 202 473 8302
akonate@worldbank.org
In Accra
Kennedy Fosu
Tel : +233 244312541
kfosu@worldbank.org

PRESS RELEASE NO:
2011/404/AFR

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