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The government is seeking a US$200 million credit support from the World Bank to help diversify the economy in a manner that will create more opportunities for the vulnerable.

The funds are to be used to implement the Ghana Economic Transformation Project (GETP), an initiative of the government to better guard against volatility in primary commodity prices to help protect the vulnerable.

It is hoped that a successful implementation of the project would help transition the economy from commodity-dependent to one that generates sustainable higher growth over the long term.

A project document on the GETP from the Ministry of Finance said the project also seek to promote and strengthen a growth model in the economy that is conducive to economic transformation.

This would then achieve, simultaneously, higher rates and productivity growth across the economy with a view to creating quality and raising incomes, the document said.

Given that the project was targeted at supporting the vulnerable and poor in the society to scale up their income generation efforts in a sustainable manner, the proposed project’s activities will trigger the World Bank Safeguards Policies on Involuntary Resettlement and Environmental Assessment.

As a result, a separate Environmental and Social Management Framework has been prepared to run alongside the GETP.

This Resettlement Policy Framework (RPF) which was released by the Ministry of Finance last week was prepared to serve as a guide to address potential impacts related to any land taken that will lead to relocation, resettlement or negative effects on livelihoods of affected people.

Through its Project Coordinating Unit (PCU), the Ministry of Finance commissioned the RPF preparation to fulfil the World Bank safeguard requirements of ensuring that the project either avoids completely or minimises any possible negative impacts.

The implementation of the RPF alongside the GETP had become necessary due to findings made by the World Bank in 2015 that exposed shortcomings in the implementation of its resettlement policies.

As a result, the World Bank released a plan that would help improve the oversight and management of resettlement practices to ensure better protection of people and businesses affected by the Bank-funded projects.

Three reports, which reviewed over two decades of World Bank projects involving possible resettlements, found that oversight of those projects often had poor or no documentation, lacked follow through to ensure that protection measures were implemented, and some projects were not sufficiently identified as high-risk for populations living in the vicinity.

However, the GETP, which the government is presently seeking funding from the World Bank to implement, will focus on four primary components to achieve its targeted results.

The first component of the project will concentrate on Enabling Investments, which is, improving the enabling business environment, investment promotion capacity and quality infrastructure support system.

The second component will deal with crowding-in investments to promote spatial and industrial planning and development.

The third component of the project will concentrate on accelerating Entrepreneurship and SME growth while the fourth component involves Project Management and Monitoring and Evaluation.