GNA Interview

The government has the right to reject conditions of the World Bank, which have negative impact on the people, Madam Patience Mensah, an Agricultural Economist at the World Bank, Ghana Office said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a forum organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) at a civil society consultation forum in Ho, Madam Mensah said, "You don't have to accept if you realise that it would not work". She said the forum had been a change from the past where discussions were held between the Bank and government officials only.

"Today we want to change by coming to listen to the people to keep the Bank pushing," she added. She said the World Bank provided money and advice for its use based on the government's priority. Mr Emmanuel Fordjour, Policy Analyst Division of the Ministry of Finance (MOF), said the government had five priority areas of the economy to avoid projects being abandoned.

He said the areas were ensuring micro-economic stability, production, employment and infrastructure development, human resource development and special policies to protect the vulnerable and good governance. Mr Kofi Tenasu Gbedemah, Executive Director for Communications and Radio Network, a Ho based NGO, said there was the need for change of attitude towards work saying, "hard work does not kill but enriches you".

Mr Stephen Awunyo-Akaba, a participant expressed concern about the use of project funds approved by the World Bank for the purchase vehicles "to run in the cities". He noted that funds such as the Village Infrastructure Project (VIP) did not benefit rural people who were engaged on projects.

During discussions the participants who were drawn from the Eastern and Volta regions called for a strong mechanism for monitoring projects.

Source: Ghana News Agency.
News of 2003-06-25

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