World Bank Country Director Calls on Pledges Support for Parliament Capacity Building Programmes

07-02-2020



The Country Director of the World Bank Mr Pierre Jean Frank Laporte has assured the Speaker of Parliament that the Bank was fully committed to providing the needed support to the Parliamentary Service to facilitate its capacity building programmes and parliamentary strengthening activities.

 

The former International Monetary Fund (IMF) Economist, who assumed duty in Ghana on July 1, 2019 expressed the desire to increase support for World Bank funded projects in Ghana and continue its parliamentary capacity building programmes focussed on good governance.  

 

Mr Pierre Jean Laporte further stressed the World Bank’s willingness to increase support for the strengthening of critical democratic institutions and also assist in programmes aimed at poverty eradication and bridging the gap between the rich and the poor. 

 

The Country Director noted that well-governed economies grow faster, and in a more sustainable way, on good governance which ensures rapid economic growth and building the trust necessary to attract foreign investment.

 

Mr. Jean Laporte gave the assurance on Thursday when he led a World Bank Group delegation to pay a courtesy call on the Speaker of Parliament the Rt. Hon. Professor Michael Aaron Oquaye and Leadership  of the House at the  Speaker’s  Conference Room in Parliament.

 

He explained that training activities with the necessary strong domestic political support should be integrated into broader parliamentary capacity-building initiatives while parliamentary strengthening activities should complement broader governance reforms through essential nonpartisan approach.

 

The World Bank Resident Director further requested that these activities must connect with the administrative structure of Parliament so that Parliamentary Committees can benefit enormously from direct interface with international organizations such as the World Bank. 

 

Mr. Jean Laporte disclosed that the World Bank under the Public Financial Management Reform Project has been supportive of building capacity needs of Committee Secretariats and the Research Department of the Parliamentary Service. 

 

He said the Project is aimed at improving the analytical capacity of Research Officers and Committee Clerks in Public Financial Management and training in the writing of Budget Briefs and assured the Speaker of the Bank’s commitment in supporting Ghana’s democratic system. 

 

The Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Professor Michael Aaron Oquaye in his welcome address recounted the historical ties between Ghana and the Seychelles who he said are blood relations and expressed his profound gratitude to the Bank for its continuous financial support to the Parliamentary Service in particular and the country as a whole.

 

He was thankful for the Bank’s financial support to Ghana during the turbulent financial years of the 1980s for the implementation of the Programme of Action to Mitigate the Social Cost of Adjustment (PAMSCAD) programme which brought relief to the country during at a time it was compelled to swallow the bitter Social Adjustment Programme (SAP) pill.

 

The Rt. Hon. Speaker was however quick to deplore the World Bank, its affiliate the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and western donor agencies for linking western values, such as gay rights which are repugnant to the rich African cultural practices, as pre-conditions for donor support projects and programmes. 

 

He also bemoaned the practice of compelling African countries to enact legislations to protect western investments while at the same time forcing them to enforce World Trade Organisation (WTO) regulations as pre-requisites for western support and financial support.

 

The Speaker stated that these practice results to dumping of substandard foreign goods rendering local products uncompetitive and therefore called for review of the world economic order and for a beneficial partnership based on mutual respect.

 

He therefore made a solemn appeal to the World Bank County Director for support for Ghana’s One District One Factory Agenda Programme to the country’s industrialisation drive.

 

The Majority Leader of Parliament Hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Minority Chief Whip Hon. Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka and the Acting Clerk to Parliament Mr. Cyril O. Nsiah accompanied to Speaker to receive the delegation.

 

Pierre Jean Frank Laporte, a Seychelles national had earlier served as the Country Director for

Benin, Burkina, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo in the Africa Region and took over from Mr Henry Kerali who held the position as the World Bank County Director in Ghana since 2015.

 

Prior to joining the Bank he held several key positions in the Seychelles government, including Governor of the Central Bank of Seychelles, and later Minister for Finance, Trade and Investment. 



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