Tuesday, March 10, 2009

GHANA: This Week in Aid...

Well it seems there is no end - the floodgates are open and the Aid money continues to pour into Ghana. I think I will try to keep a running tab of publicly announced International donations to Ghana...

For the week of March 8th, 2009, donations covered by the mainstream media are as follows:

1. Spain donates $44.4m for the 'socio-economic development of the country' with no specific projects or areas in mind. Looks like a windfall for the new Government. What will be the accountability and follow up of the allocation of nearly fifty million US dollars??

2. Japan continues to fund Ghana, this week through a grant of $3.5m, under the loose title 'Multi Donor Budget Support' - again no specific projects targeted...

3. The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA)has today signed a 'loan' agreement for $6m with the government of Ghana 'at a gala' in Cairo. No doubt there was no expense spared in sending the government delegates from Ghana to the event... This money is targeted at "financing Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine Treatment Services project". That is pretty ambitious considering we are talking about a country where the main government hospital has troubles with rats chewing newborns sleeping on the floors in the maternity wards, due to the fact there are not enough beds...

That comes to a grand total of approximately $53million this week. I would expect that in a year or even 6 months we should be reading articles about how these monies have been put to good use, and full transparency about the allocation of the funds, and ultimately the success of the projects, measured through benefits to the citizens of Ghana.

Are you holding your breath?

Stay tuned...
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The pale observer said...

Had I included last week, I could have added the $4.7m donated by the Bill Gates foundation for nurses to have cell phones....

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong yet wasn't cancer on that massive list pasted to the hospital wall of things the gov't health plan would not cover?
Aunti T

The pale observer said...

Yes but thanks to the Bill Gates foundation, some rural nurses can call their relatives with the free cell phones...

Kajsa Hallberg Adu said...

I guess the whole point with budget support (or to "no specific projects" as you put it) is to strengthen the government in question and avoid giving money to projects noone asked for or even projects which are contradictory, but as you point out budget support also has its problems: Mainly, who demands accountability for the funds? I for one would be happy if ODA/AID was downscaled and unfair subsidies (like the US rice subsidy) and other hindrances (like impossible EU standards) for African countries to compete on the world market were abolished.

Hm, this became bit long, might blog on it too.

Anonymous said...

So Kajsa Hallberg Adu is arguing that aid to Africa is the West's way of atoning for their unfair trading practices? As others have argued elsewhere, aid to African governments should be re-examined. Didn't I hear on the BBC that Malawi's ex-prez Bakili Muluzi is accused of having diverted millions in aid money to his own account?

Damien Moran said...

Didn't the angels in the World Bank also donate $1.3 bn recently? One would imagine the population live like Norwegians with all this money flowing in! Hmmm, but then again, how much is going out in debt payments. Good idea for us to monitor and compare by the end of the month the balance of sums. Despite the fact that Ghana is a HIPC country since 2002 its debt is going nowehre fast. But then again, the terms of HIPC as dictated by the IMF/WB are not really supposed to lift Ghana out of poverty anyway.

Ivan Illich was right - development as currently practised is merely 'planned poverty'.

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