Ghana is set to receive about $1.2 billion in credit facilities from the World Bank Group within the next three years.
The facility forms part of the World Bank’s $75-billion development assistance facility to countries across the globe. Ghana’s allocation is calculated out of the $50-billion allocation to Africa.
When approved, the $1.2-billion facility will be disbursed over a three-year period of $400 million in each tranche. Ghana has a four-year grace period before repayment starts at an interest rate of 2.5 percent, payable within a 25-year period.
The Chief Economist for the Africa Region of the World Bank, Albert G. Zeufack, noted that the rate is favorable compared to the about nine-percent interest on the country’s eurobonds.
He could, however, not disclose the respective areas of channeling the credit facility to develop in the Ghanaian economy. He explained that the support is to cushion countries against the adverse economic impacts following a sluggish economic growth in 2016.
Zeufack, who was interacting with the media, as part of activities of his three-day visit, said it was time for Africa to seize the opportunities available in emerging markets such as those in East Asia.
Diversifying markets and exports
According to him, there are enormous potential for Africa to develop by diversifying its markets and exports.
He said, while it was important for African countries in general — and Ghana, in particular — to diversify their economies from the exports of mainly raw materials to value added products, it was even more important for them to diversify their markets.
Exports Products to East Asia
He noted that after adding value, Africa must look for a diversified market for its exports aside the traditional markets of U.S. and other places to places like East Asia.
“The largest consumption market and the fastest-growing consumption market is actually in East Asia, it’s not in the U.S., it’s not in Europe, it’s in East Asia,” he said.
$16B chocolate market exists in East Asia
He said the market for chocolate in East Asia for instance, for 2018, was more than $16 billion.
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