Republic of Ghana’s Integrated Rural Development Project – Phase 2 is being supported by a $20 million loan from the OPEC Fund for International Development. About 2,000 jobs will be created for low-income and vulnerable populations, and the project will help close the inequality gap between rural and urban areas through the development of social and economic infrastructure, benefitting 120,000.
Director-General of the OPEC Fund Abdulhamid Alkhalifa: The OPEC Fund is pleased to back this comprehensive initiative to boost agricultural productivity and incomes in rural Ghana, as well as to create new jobs and strengthen the economy as a whole. Because of this, economic growth, prosperity, and poverty reduction will be sustained and stimulated, and the economy will be able to recover from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first phase of the OPEC-funded Integrated Rural Development Project saw the construction of 78 basic socio-economic infrastructure units like classrooms, rural clinics, and marketplaces, laying the groundwork for the second phase, which is a comprehensive and multi-faceted plan. In a similar vein, Phase 2 will fund the building and furnishing of 215 units of basic socio-economic infrastructure in the beneficiary districts. These units include 43 sanitation facilities, 42 classroom blocks with six units each, 20 teacher living quarters, 19 agricultural drains, and 15 rural health clinics. Poverty alleviation, agricultural resilience in rural communities, and key development indicators in the health and education sectors will all benefit from the construction of these units.
In addition to boosting rural farmers’ incomes and access to credit, the project will also provide $3 million in micro-loans to small and medium-sized enterprises as part of the government’s One District, One Factory Program to boost local businesses. The money will go toward things like fertilizers, marketing agricultural produce, planting materials, agrochemicals, agricultural processing plants, machines, and working capital, all of which will help rural small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) increase their productivity, resilience, and access to markets.
One of Ghana’s greatest development hurdles is the country’s inadequate rural infrastructure. However, while urban poverty has decreased, the inequality gap between urban and rural areas has doubled in recent years. The second phase of the Integrated Rural Development Project is working to narrow this chasm. To date, Ghana has received 26 loans from the OPEC Fund for a total of $178.2 million to be used across the transportation, water & sanitation, energy, agriculture, health, financial, small & medium enterprise, and educational sectors.