Switzerland injects $75m into development projects
The Swiss government has spent $75 million since 2017 to finance development projects in public and private institutions.
Mr Matthias Feldmann, Head of Cooperation State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), who announced this at a media briefing, in Accra, said the projects, supported under the Economic Development Cooperation Strategy, were aimed at strengthening public institutions, facilitating access to training and markets, enhancing revenue mobilisation and improving local service delivery.
The country has, since 1960, however, invested $365 million in development projects in Ghana. The SECO would start working on the 2021 to 2014 Economic Development Cooperation Strategy, which would not see major changes in funding and focus, Mr Feldman said.
Much attention would be given to areas of renewable energy, sustainable use of natural resources, mitigation of the adverse effects of climate change, and reducing the inequality gap.
He said Switzerland was promoting the larger utilisation of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies, in addition to dealing with electronic waste.
“This initiative includes a pilot demonstration of solar photovoltaic powered mini-grids, employing renewable energy technologies, early stage studies for renewable energy projects, and awareness raising on energy efficiency and the use of energy efficient technologies,” he said.
He said Ghana remained an important political and economic development cooperation partner to Switzerland. “Ghana is one of the 13 priority countries worldwide, and one of the two important countries in the sub-Saharan Africa that benefit from the economic development cooperation programmes financed by the SECO.”
For the private sector, Mr Feldmann stated that Switzerland would continue to promote and support the sector to unlock its potentials to be competitive, innovative, and diversify to create employment to facilitate the government’s agenda of the Ghana Beyond Aid.
Mr Philipp Stalder, Ambassador of Switzerland to Ghana, Benin and Togo, said the Swiss, through SECO, would continue to focus on improving the financial infrastructure and expanding access to finance through strengthening digital financial services, and establishing an electronic warehouse receipt system.
Additionally, there were some interventions supporting compliance with international trade standards of selected export products to facilitate access to foreign markets.
Ambassador Stalder said Swiss-funded projects, such as the Ghana Private Sector Competitiveness Programme (GPSCP), were structured to improve both competitiveness and productivity, and to improve skills development by anchoring professional qualification in the agro-processing and construction sectors.
The sector had a high potential to contribute significantly to employment creation and poverty reduction, export, as well as contribute to GDP growth, he noted.