This study was commissioned under the Growing Forest Partnerships initiative in Ghana. The purpose of the study was to provide inputs that can challenge and influence the direction and quality of development assistance in the forest sector in such a manner as to return optimum contribution to the governance environment, growth of institutions, and the development of the resource. The forest sector of Ghana can be credited for the role it has played in the country’s economic development. Currently, the sector contributes four percent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Over the last two decades, there have been several efforts from development partners to assist the sector improve on its contribution to national socio-economic development. Consequently, the sector has consistently received millions of dollars of development assistance from various development partners. In the past two decades, an amount in excess of US$ 643 million (in 2009 dollar value) has been pumped into the sector. This gives an average, between 1989-2009, of US$ 32 million a year (in 2009 dollar value).
The forest sector aid architecture in Ghana has changed over the years. Development Partners have moved away from direct project support to the current sector budget support mechanisms. The institutions and actors at play in the current sector aid architecture involve over ten development partners. Both public and private sector institutions are involved in project implementation. The flow of monies through development assistance to the forest sector in Ghana has gone through three major programme phases, namely, (1) the Forest Resource Management Programme (FRMP) phase (1989-1997) where assistance was mostly on project basis; (2) the Natural Resources Management Programme (NRMP) phase (1999-2008) with donor support mainly on programme basis; and (3) the Natural Resource and Environmental Governance (NREG) phase (2008-date) with sector budget support. A fourth category might be considered to represent all the other development assistance that are given to the forest sector on individual project basis. These run parallel to the three major phases and include new international initiatives. This fourth category includes, for example, International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) or European Commission funded projects that are implemented by Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG) and other institutions in the forestry sector.
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