The ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) has signed an agreement to extend a $60 million loan to the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo).
This is to help finance GRIDCo’s expansion plan of installing and upgrading transmission lines in Ghana.
The agreement was signed last Tuesday at the head office of the Bank in Lome.
While the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of EBID, Dr George Agyekum Donkor, signed on behalf of the bank, the Chief Executive Officer of GRIDCo, Ebenezer Kofi Essienyi, signed on behalf of Ghana’s power transmission company.
Present at the ceremony were the Board Chairman of GRIDCo, Kabral Blay-Amihere, Ghana’s Ambassador to Togo, Kofi Demetia, executives from C-Nergy Ghana, and the Managing Director of Calbank PLC, Philip Owiredu.
Dr Donkor, in a brief remark, described the expansion of electricity infrastructure in the sub-region as a key sector that must be given the necessary attention, hence the decision of the bank to offer support.
He said reliable electricity connectivity was crucial to any development agenda, thus it was important to lend support in that regard, particularly in the post-COVID-19 recovery era.
“As ECOWAS member countries recover and expand, it is important for the regional electricity connectivity to also expand in order to accommodate projected growth, particularly, within the sub-region,” he emphasised.
He described GRIDCo’s project as being in line with the bank’s strategic objectives and aligned perfectly with Ghana’s Agenda for Jobs II, further giving assurance of the bank’s commitment to continue to finance infrastructure projects across all sectors of the economies of ECOWAS Member States to accelerate the development of the sub-region.
The President of the EDIB further disclosed that the bank’s total commitment to Ghana as of October 12, 2022, stood at $250 million.
Mr Blay-Amihere, who led Ghana’s delegation, indicated that the projects to be undertaken with EBID’s facility were part of a broader plan of GRIDCo to upgrade and install infrastructure to continue to improve efficiency.
That, he also intimated, would help it increase the transmission of power within Ghana and other West African Counties such as Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Cote D’Ivoire.
While appreciating the confidence reposed in GRIDCo by EBID, the Board Chairman stated that the completion of the project would lead to the strengthening and expansion of the transmission network, reducing technical losses and enhancing businesses and livelihoods in Ghana and the ECOWAS sub-region.
Ambassador Blay-Amihere commended the President of EBID and his team for their dedication and professionalism that saw the expeditious completion of the credit process and the consummation of the transaction.
EBID earlier this month, announced that it had approved a total of $250 million for five member states of ECOWAS to boost the oil & gas, energy, road infrastructure and agricultural sectors of West Africa.
The beneficiary countries are Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone.
The bank is the financial arm of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) — Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
EBID emerged as a banking group (the EBID Group) after the transformation of the erstwhile Fund for Cooperation, Compensation and Development of ECOWAS (ECOWAS Fund) in 1999.
Dr Donkor was appointed as the president of the bank on February 3, 2020.
His appointment took place during the ninth extraordinary session of the bank’s Board of Governors held on January 13, 2020, in Lome.
Prior to his appointment, Dr Donkor held the position of Vice President in charge of Finance, Administration and Corporate Services of the bank for seven years.
In the past, he had also held the position of Head of the Legal Division and Compliance Officer of the same bank.