The UK Export Finance (UKEF), the world’s oldest export credit agency, has pledged to support British companies in Ghana by investing $147 million towards their infrastructure projects in the West African country.
International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox MP announced during the meeting of the UK Ghana Business Council which took place in Accra Ghana in February, a strategic partnership designed to encourage trade between the two countries.
The government agency seeks to support projects with direct impact on Ghana’s infrastructure and economic development.
Infrastructure development is a key driver for progress across the African continent and a critical enabler for productivity and sustainable economic growth, according to the African Development Bank Group (AfDB).
“Ghana is an increasingly dynamic economy and I am delighted that UKEF is supporting the development of the vital infrastructure that will underpin this growth. These projects will have a dramatic impact on trade, healthcare and transport in the country and demonstrate how British expertise across a number of sectors is improving vital infrastructure all over the world,” said Fox.
The country leads the West African region as the fastest growing economy and only fourth in Africa according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and AfDB report.
The bigger chunk of the support, $80 million will go towards a contract for Contracta Construction UK to develop and modernise Kumasi Central Market.
“UKEF’s flexible financial support played a key part in securing the Kumasi Central Market contract. Kumasi is a vital trading hub for the Ashanti region and West Africa’s largest market, and this modernisation will have huge benefits for vendors and customers, as well as for our continued international growth and UK supply chain,” Fabio Camara, Director, Contracta Construction UK Ltd commented.
The open-air market in the city of Kumasi is visited by over 800,000 people daily, making it the largest market in West Africa.
$50 million will be awarded to QG Construction UK to undertake the modernization of Tamale Airport in the northern region of Ghana. The expansion of the project should boost tourism – as reports have suggested Ghana is heralded as the next big tourist destination – and bolster socio-economic development.
Plans are underway to make it an international airport as it currently handles 200,000 passengers a year, supporting both public and military operations.
Cristiano Becker Hees, Managing Director, QGMI UK said, “Tamale airport’s expansion is a priority for the Ghanaian Government, demonstrating the importance of improved transportation links to the continuing growth of the country’s economy and, particularly, the northern region of the country. We look forward to working on this transformational project and welcome the UK Government’s continued support of British exports overseas.”
Bekwai Hospital will receive $20m to support a contract between Ellipse UK and the Eurofinsa group.
Upon completion, the hospital facility will have 120 beds, an emergency department, a maternity ward and an operating theatre.
Last year, Ghana and Britain signed a $26 million trade and investment pact to boost their bilateral relations and open up to economic diversification.
Source: The Exchange