Ghana receives $145 million from the World Bank to boost urban services.

The Ghana Secondary Cities Support Programme has received extra funding from the World Bank in the form of a $145 million International Development Association (IDA) credit. 

The money would help the government expand and improve urban services for two million people living in 35 secondary cities. 

This expands on an existing secondary city support program approved in 2018 and allows for a scale-up to 35 secondary communities around the country. 

The increased funds will be used to strengthen institutional capacity for urban administration and upgrade basic urban infrastructure in 35 secondary cities, including the six newly established regional capitals. 

Ghana's urban population has grown significantly in recent decades, with urban areas accounting for more than 56% of the population in 2021. 

Although urbanization has resulted in a greater proportion of the population having access to basic amenities, infrastructure and service provision have not kept pace with the expanding urban population and demand. 

Climate change and natural disasters will compound the difficulty in providing services. 

The expanding urban population and spatial growth patterns of cities will put more people and things at danger if urbanization is not adequately managed. 

Urbanization, on the other hand, can help the country achieve sustainable growth by enhancing productivity, livability, and inclusivity provided it is adequately controlled through integrated land use planning. 

"Ghanaians living in participating municipalities will benefit from better roads, more efficient services, and less flooding," said Pierre Laporte, World Bank Country Director for Ghana. "The additional funding will be used to boost secondary cities' capacity for climate change mitigation and adaptation." The extra funding for the Ghana Secondary Cities Support Programme is part of the government's larger urban development and decentralization plan. 

It will continue to develop local systems and focus on secondary cities by offering incentives for city managers to improve their performance. 

The program will also help regional and national organizations give secondary cities with the resources they need to govern and deliver services effectively. 

The efficiency and effectiveness with which Ghana's developing cities are handled will determine how resilient, inclusive, and green the country's recovery from COVID-19 will be, as well as its long-term growth. 

"The Ghana Secondary Cities Program will contribute to the government's National Decentralization Action Plan by ensuring the effective and efficient management of expanding cities in order to stimulate economic activity and enhance living conditions." "Cooperation and coordination at multiple levels of government will be vital to bring this opportunity of urbanization to fruition," stated Martin Onyach-Olaa, Senior Urban Specialist and Task Team Leader.


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