The outgoing President of the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, Mr Bashir Mamman, and some officials of the bank called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House last Friday to introduce the newly elected President of the bank, Dr George Agyekum Nana Donkor, to him.
Mr Mamman told the President that the bank was financing 13 projects in Ghana, in both the private and the public sectors, at a cost of $180 million.
The projects, he said, included the rehabilitation of the Akatsi-Aflao road, the acquisition of fire tenders for the Ghana National Fire Service and road electrification developments in some parts of the country.
He said the bank had received a request from the Minister of Finance for $100 million for the country’s road sector and for which discussions and modalities had advanced.
The President congratulated Dr Donkor, a Ghanaian, on his election and commended him for his work at the bank over the years, which had led to his election into such a prestigious and important position.
He charged him to raise the flag of Ghana high, just as many Ghanaians, including a former UN Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan, had done and who set high standards of integrity and efficiency in their work on the international stage.
“I expect you to do no less and for people to say, ‘yes, this is a Ghanaian official with a high standard of integrity and very efficient at his work’. You are a credit to us,” he told the new ECOWAS Bank President.
He encouraged Dr Donkor to strive and meet what was expected of a Ghanaian.
President Akufo-Addo said it was good that one of the first things Dr Donkor would do concerned Ghana’s application for money for its road sector, a process which had already commenced and which the outgoing ECOWAS Bank President was amenable to.
He exhorted Dr Donkor to raise the flag of Ghana high by spearheading the acceleration of ECOWAS integration, a move that Ghana remained committed to.
He assured Dr Donkor that the government would always support him to succeed, just as it had fought hard, through the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, to have him elected.
In that regard, the President urged him not to hesitate to let the government know of anything it could do to help him succeed.
The President commended Mr Mamman for his leadership skills in growing the bank and his ability to draw impressive investment efforts.
He also paid tribute to Mr Mamman for showing solidarity with the country regarding Dr Donkor’s election and appointment as the new President of the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development.
President Akufo-Addo said even though the bank was for all the 15 countries in the West Africa sub-region, only a handful of countries took a serious interest in what it did, with Ghana and Nigeria being the two key countries that showed interest and were involved actively in its work.
He said it was for that reason that Ghana believed that Dr Donkor would be a very good candidate to assume the bank’s presidency.
Dr Donkor expressed his appreciation to President Akufo-Addo and the Minister of Finance for their support.
He said he was elated by the support he received from President Akufo-Addo because, without the support of the President of his country, a nominee candidate could not reach far.
“Mr President, you did not leave me. In spite of all the difficulties and challenges we encountered, you were always with me.
I am very much aware of the role that you played, so I am here with my family to thank you and assure you that I will never undermine the confidence you have reposed in me.
I will make sure that I lift the flag of Ghana very high,” he said.
He said he would engage with all the bank’s stakeholders as a means of building a resilient bank that would inure to the benefit of the people in West Africa.
Dr Donkor said he would consult with the Minister of Finance of Ghana to fish out the priority of the economy where the bank could lend support.