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WB tours project sites in Ghana

Adnan Adams Mohammed

The World Bank’s Vice President for Central and Western Region of Africa, Ousmane Diagana as part of his visit to Ghana has visited some selected World Bank financed projects.

Among the projects visited were the Korle-Bu infectious disease treatment and vaccination centers. and the Accra Digital Centre, where he monitored the creativity and artwork of some Ghanaian youth at the Ghana Tech Lab and Ghana Innovation Hub.

The 80-bed unit treatment center which comes with a centre for training and research and a pediatric unit is to serve as an ultra-modern facility to care for COVID patients was funded by the World Bank as part of its efforts to aid the country’s fight towards COVID-19 and any other future outbreak of infectious diseases treatment. The facility which is 86% complete will see the use of modern technology to boost the state of healthcare and research.

“The World Bank is very pleased to be a part of this; we are a long standing partner of Ghana in all the human capital of Ghana and at the center of health. Today in visiting this facility and the vaccination center, I’m really pleased to note that beyond what you have on the paper you are moving fast. I’m impressed by the quality of the infrastructure”, Ousmane Diagana expressed satisfaction with work progress. “The World Bank would continue to do its best to help government materialize its vision.”

The World Bank team which included the Country Director for Ghana, Pierre Laporte; and the World Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa, Dr. Albert G. Zeufack were conducted around the facility by the Minister for Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Chief Executive Officer of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr Opoku-Ware Ampomah, and the project managers.

Mr Agyeman-Manu in his remarks stated that, without the support of the World Bank, the country wouldn’t have been able to visualize such facilities.

According to him, the support of the World Bank came at the right time as the money given was not only able to put up the treatment hub, but also provide some medicines to persons of disability and storage for low temperature vaccines.

He added that government had received over US$430 million which had not been totally used.

“World Bank we would want to rely on you for continuous support and Ghana would never fail you. When you put in money here, we will utilize it for the best of our country and the rest of the world,” he stated.

The World Bank has noted that, since the COVID-19 outbreak, it has disbursed a total of US$435.8 million to support Ghana government’s COVID-19 health response along five strategic pillars to help contain the pandemic in the country.

The Bank’s support to the government went into five strategic pillars. These pillars are- stop importation of COVID-19 cases; contain the spread of the virus; provide adequate care for the sick; limit the impact of the virus on social and economic life; and inspire the expansion of domestic capability and deepen self-reliance.

At the Accra Digital Centre, the World Bank team were received by the management of the Centre which is the government mini technology park under the Ministry of Communications with the mandate to drive Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the country.

The Centre was partly funded by the World Bank. Also the Innovation Centre at the Accra Digital Centre, comprising an Innovation Hub (Ghana Innovation Hub) and a mobile Applications Lab (Ghana Tech Lab) under the Innovation module of the eTransform Ghana Project was funded by a World Bank grant.

The tour began at the Mobile Applications Lab of the Centre (Ghana Tech Lab) which is managed by an Innohub-Kumasi Hive joint venture, where Mr Diagana and his team visited the Creative Space, Training room, Maker Space, Co-working space and interacted with incubatees and trainees who shared their training experiences with Mr Diagana.

They continued the tour in the Innovation Hub of the Centre (Ghana Innovation Hub), managed by an MDF West Africa, Bluespace and Ghana Technology University Consortium, where they interacted with more incubatees and Tech startups.

The team also visited the Business Process Outsourcing Cluster, where they interacted with Management and agents of Ayo intermediaries and lastly to the technology SME Cluster where they interacted with firms like Kudigo which is into Fintech solutions.

Mr Diagana and his team were impressed by the activities of the Centre. The Accra Digital Centre according to officials has now been oversubscribed with some 40 technology companies on-board, creating more than 2000 digital and ancillary jobs.

Mr Diagana and team pledged more assistance for the Centre in the future and encouraged managers and incubatees and trainees to keep it up.

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