The Africa Development Bank had at the end of last year mobilised some $1.9 billion from development partners to fund transformative projects from 2023 to 2025.
About 400 million dollars of the funds has been allocated to climate action.
This is the largest mobilisation from development partners, Madam Eyerusalem Fasika, Country Manager, AfDB has announced in a statement delivered on her behalf at the launch of the Post COVID-19 Skills Development and Productivity Enhancement Project (PSDPEP), in Accra.
Under the project, launched by Mr Ignatius Bafour Awuah, Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, eight institutions under various ministries are benefitting from a $28.5 million dollar grant over five years to support economic recovery.
The Bank’s assistance will help revitalise the health sector, restore livelihoods and incomes, promote technical and entrepreneurship for job creation among the youth and women.
Madam Fasika said the PSDPEP project was one of the three projects awarded by the Board of AfDB in Ghana at a total amount of 82 million dollar in 2022.
The PSDPEP beneficiaries include the Ghana News Agency, the Social Investment Fund, the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre, the University of Ghana School of Nursing and Midwifery, the Department of Medical Microbiology Centre and the Biotechnology Centre
The rest are the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Vocational Training Institute., and the Gender and Social Protection Ministry.
The PSDPEP is a five-year project which seeks to build health-related skills in higher education, restore livelihoods, strengthen public communication, and create jobs among the youth and women.
It is also aimed at promoting technical and entrepreneurship for job creation. It will be mainly implemented in seven regions- Greater Accra, Ashanti, Eastern, Bono, Northern, Central and Upper West.
The government of Ghana will support the project with $2.8 million, bringing the total amount to $31.34 million.
Madam Fasika said 18 projects being funded at a total of about 700 million dollarswere under implementation in Ghana.
She stated that since 1973 the Bank had approved four billion US Dollars to finance 148 projects across different sectors, including energy, transport, water and sanitation, and food security.
Dr Ekoh Patience Ugonma, AfDB’s Principal Social Economist and Task Manager of the Project, said about four million dollars of the PSDPEP’s grant would be given to Small and Medium Enterprises as loans at reduced interest rates to enable them to withstand the impacts of the pandemic.
She said that the credit and entrepreneurship arm of the project was expected to benefit at least 24,800 directly and 50,000 indirectly through the Bank’s Youth Entrepreneurship and Investment Fund (YEIB).
Madam Ugonma said the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many sectors of the economy, especially health and small and medium enterprises, hence the focus of the project on skills development in those areas.
The Ghana News Agency is the first news organisation to benefit from such support from the Bank, and would see its staff being trained and some offices renovated.
Modern equipment would also be provided from the grant.
The University of Ghana’s Biotechnology Centre would be empowered to be able to develop vaccines.