Ghana Signs New Loan Agreement With France

Ghana and France on Saturday July 16 opened a new chapter in their relations with the signing of three financing agreements to support various sectors of the Ghanaian economy.

President John Evans Atta Mills and French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, who is on a two-day official visit to Ghana, witnessed the signing and renewed their countries’ commitment to raise the level of their bilateral relations to higher heights.

The agreements were a loan of 40 million euro, and a grant agreement of 500,000 euros for the financing of the Ghana Urban Management Pilot Programme, signed by Ghana’s Finance Minister Dr Kwabena Dufuor, and Mr Henri de Raincourt, French Minister of Co-operation and Mr Dov Zerah, Chief Executive Officer of the French Development Agency.

Mr Dov Zerah, who is Chairman of the Board of Proparco, the private sector arm of the French Development Agency, also signed financing agreements for the funding of two local banks.

The first one was signed by Mr Frank Adu Jnr, Managing Director of CAL Bank, for a loan of 10 million dollars, with maturity of seven years, to support the bank’s growth, and with Mr Edward Effah, Chief Executive Officer of the Fidelity Bank Limited for a loan of eight million dollars with maturity period of five years, to support private sector investment.

In introductory and post signing remarks, France announced a proposed increased investment in non-French speaking West African countries with Ghana as a preferred country.

The French Prime Minister, whose visit was the first by a French Head of Government, and accompanied by a delegation of senior Government officials, arrived in Ghana on Friday.

He has since held discussions with top Ghanaian officials on enhancing bilateral relations with Ghana.

Welcoming the French Premier, President Mills noted that the visit underscored the importance of the strong relations between Accra and Paris.

He lauded France for her support to Ghana in the areas of water resources development, energy and democratic governance.

President Mills said Ghana’s position as a country surrounded by French speaking countries should make her compare notes with her neighbours and come out with similar solutions as they had similar problems.

President Mills reiterated the need for unity among nations on the African Continent, explaining that there was a lot they stood to achieve if they worked together.

He underscored the practice of democracy, with its features of accountability and transparency, as the only channel opened to nations seeking peace and development.

President Mills expressed Ghana’s readiness to assist other nations, despite the challenges, and pointed out that the comity of nation should come together to take advantage of the resources available to improve upon the standard of living of the people.

President Mills urged French bu siness people to take advantage of Ghana’s investment climate and strike investment ties that would be mutually beneficial.Mr Fillon, for his part, commended Ghana for her political stability and respect for democracy.

He commended Ghana for being a shining example of democracy in Africa, and said the world was undergoing changes that brought a future which belonged to the nations that practiced democracy and the rule of law.

Mr Fillon drew a link between democracy and the rule of law, and said there could be no sustainable development without them.

He announced a new investment and assistance programme for West Africa, and said France had made Ghana a priority among non-French speaking countries because of Ghana’s acclaim for the respect of the rule of law and democracy.

The French Premier also commended Ghana for her contribution to the Ivorian peace process and called for concerted efforts towards lasting peace in La Cote d’Ivoire and Libya.







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