World Bank Provides Additional U.S.$44.7 Million for E-Ghana Project
The World Bank last week approved financing in the amount of US$44.7 million from the International Development Association (IDA) to the Government of Ghana as additional funding for the ongoing eGhana Project. The original eGhana Project of US$40 million was approved in 2006 to support the Ghana Information Communication Technology (ICT) for Accelerated Development Program.
The overall objective of the eGhana Project is to assist the Government of Ghana to generate growth and employment by leveraging ICT for growth and development. The Project consists of three main components which seek to: (i) create the enabling environment necessary for the growth of the sector; (ii) support local ICT Businesses and IT enabled services (ITES); and (iii) promote e-Government applications and Government Communications.
The proposal for additional financing is in response to the Government of Ghanas request to bring revenue and expenditure management agencies under a uniform ICT platform, and create an enhanced project impact through inclusion of scaled-up activities for more effective, transparent and accountable government. Additional resources will also go towards the establishment of a Business Process Offshoring Center to position Ghana as a destination of choice for IT business.
The eGhana Project has, therefore, been expanded to include a fourth component that aims to support: (a) the establishment and use of GIFMIS-based Public Financial Management functionality at Government of Ghana treasuries; (b) improved macro-fiscal discipline and management; (c) improved MDA and sectoral management; (d) improved financial management, control and efficiency across government; (e) Development of BPO Center; and (f) Strategic Innovation Centers to scale up diffusion of ICT in underserved areas.
This additional financing brings in positive synergistic advantages in Ghana, arising from the introduction of an electronic platform for the Ghana Revenue Authority as part of the overall public revenue and expenditure management system in Ghana, says Ishac Diwan, the World Bank Country Director for Ghana. It also ensures that access to electronic services can be decentralized at the District Levels, and that Ghana truly becomes a destination of choice for business.
This additional funding extends the original timeline by two years, and will end on June 30, 2014. It involves co-financing arrangements with DFID and the European Union in respect of the fourth component of Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS).