‘Establish development banks for direct investments’
Stakeholders at the end of a day-long forum have called for the establishment of development banks to direct investment towards strategic sectors of the economy.
They have also called for the establishment of a fund which would compel institutions and companies to pay a specific amount of money which is entirely different from their corporate social responsibilities (CSRs) for development projects in deprived communities.
These were contained in a communiqué on consultative forum on development financing in Ghana, read by Mr Gyekye Tanoh, a civil society organisation (CSO) advocate.
Put together by Send-Ghana, a CSO, in collaboration with the International Baccalaureate Information System (IBIS), a Danish non-governmental organisation (NGO) and Christianaid, also a charity organisation, the conference was used as a platform to elicit the views of CSOs and the media on development financing in Ghana.
Involvement of CSOs in ODA
The forum, which featured participants from the media, academia, CSOs and prominent individuals, also recommended that there should be broader consultations with CSOs and relevant stakeholders on assessing overseas development assistance (ODA) for the country.
The quorum further called for strong negotiation teams from Ghana whenever the government sought ODA.
Dubbed “Mobilising civil society organisations and the media to influence post-2015 development financing issues,” the conference was aimed at using the views generated to influence government development agenda for the country.
They further proposed the active involvement of civil society organisations (CSOs) and relevant stakeholders in all forms of negotiations by government.
“Government ought to involve CSOs both locally and internationally on issues that affect the interest of the nation. We cannot leave everything in its hands to handle on behalf of the state,” the communiqué said.
Monitoring and evaluation of ODA
While admitting that Ghana was a middle-income country, the communiqué stated that “government ought to tie ODA to proper monitoring and evaluation systems in the country and ensure ownership of the assistance.
“Government should promote transparency and ensure proper win-win terms for any assistance sought on behalf of the state,” the communiqué stressed.
On domestic finance mobilisation (DFM), the forum emphasised the need for the government to build strong institutions to develop systems and structures that would help address issues of tax evasion and formalise business activities in the country.
“Government needs to review and rationalise tax policies by ensuring tax incentives to facilitate domestic business growth.
“There should be the creation of business-friendly environment which would trigger the creation of more jobs including small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs),” it said.
On the specific subject of private financing, the communiqué called for a deliberate positive discrimination that would benefit local financial institutions such that “the state could underwrite for locals instead of focusing on foreign companies in the areas of public private partnership (PPP)”.