US gov’t to support Ghana’s elections with $4.5 million

file photoThe United States government has pledged an amount of 4.5 million dollars to support Ghana’s election which comes off on November 7, 2016.

The EC will be getting one third of the money for voter education and to support other activities relating to the elections.

This pledge from the United States comes barely two months after the British government also announced a 4 million pound support to the Electoral Commission to help run an effective election.

The Electoral Commission in December 2015 submitted a budget of 1.8 billion Ghana cedi to parliament for approval to effectively run the 2016 elections.

Parliament approved 1.2 billion of the said amount but this was further slashed to 826.8 million cedis by the Finance Ministry on grounds that there is a ceiling on the total amount it can release for elections.

The support from the two countries comes at a time government has reiterated that it would stay within budget and not overspend this election year, an evil that has tormented previous governments.

Meanwhile the United States has advised political parties to take a pledge to peaceful elections. The United States has supported Ghana over the years with focus on health, agriculture, education and sustainable governance.

Speaking with journalists on his 90 days in office, the U.S Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson expressed optimism on Ghana’s potential for investments.

He said one area Ghana needs to pay attention to if it intends to grow as a formidable economy in Africa is the area of sustainable governance.

To this end, the US government has committed some money to the elections. Ambassador Jackson said “we are providing at this point 4.5 million dollars for Ghana’s elections, one third of that would go to the Electoral Commission to assist with its strategic communication and provide other support for the commission educating voters and making people aware of the practicalities of voting.

“One third of the funds would go to the Peace Commission {National Peace Council}. We will be doing additional training for journalists and we would also work to identify areas that are at greatest risk of conflict” he added.

The Ambassador also indicated 497.5 million dollars will be invested in power generation as part of a compact signed in 2014 which will be effective in June.

Ambassador Jackson was hopeful that three years from now, the relationship between the US and Ghana would grow deeper than before with each benefiting from the friendship, commerce, engagement and exchanges.

By Martin Asiedu-Dartey||Ghana
Twitter: @NewsyMartin

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