Parliament has approved a seventy-one million and one hundred thousand special drawing rights (SDR 71, 100 000) [US$ 100.0 million equivalent] to finance the proposed Ghana Secondary Cities Support Programme (GSCSP).
The financing agreement is between the government of the Republic of Ghana and the International Development Association (IDA).
GSCSP is a follow up programme to the Local Government Capacity Support Project (LGCSP) designed and implemented by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance from March 2012 to June 2018 to address challenges of urbanisation.
The Programme reflects the consensus that Ghanaian cities are facing significant and growing challenges resulting from high rates of urban growth, urban poverty and economic development.
Presenting a report and moving the motion for the approval of the loan, Chairman of the Finance Committee and Member of Parliament (MP) for New Juaben South, Dr Mark Assibey Yeboah, said the GSCSP would focus on improving the institutional performance of urban management and basic urban services in the 25 municipal areas selected from the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Central, Eastern, Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Volta and Western regions of the country.
Dr Assibey Yeboah said "urbanisation is one of the most significant processes affecting human societies, especially in the last century. Urbanisation is an inter-sectorial phenomenon involving all aspects of human society and economy. Urbanisation has been a common feature of all countries that achieved significant economic growth in the industrial age."
According to the report, "urbanisation in Ghana has continuously increased over the last two decades. The 2010 Population and Housing Census for instance, states that more than half (52%) of Ghana's population lived in its cities. It is projected that by 2030, a total of 22.6 million people (approximately 65% of the national population) will live in urban areas. Presently, some cities and towns in Ghana are growing by up to 5% per annum."
The report further noted that, Ghana's urbanisation has been significantly affected by several factors, particularly, rural-urban drift complemented by the high level of natural growth experienced in the main urban centres.
The Committee, therefore, finds the GSCSP to be immensely important towards improving local government outcomes in the country through the provision of quality urban infrastructure and enhancement of institutional capacity for urban management.
The Deputy Ranking Member, Finance Committee, Alex Adomako- Mensah, in seconding the motion for the approval of the loan said more consultation should have been done in selecting the municipalities to benefit from the programme.
Source: ISD (Eva Frempon-Ntiamoah)