| Africatime
Wednesday 29 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 02/07/17)
Ghana coach Avram Grant has quit after more than two years in charge, a member of the country's football association told AFP on Tuesday. "Avram Grant has informed the Ghana Football Association of his decision to step down as head coach of the Black Stars," said Osei Kwaku Palmer. Palmer, who is a member of the Ghana FA executive committee, said the 62-year-old's contract was due to expire at the end of this month Grant's resignation comes fibe days after his side crashed out in the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations to eventual winners Cameroon. The former Chelsea manager, who guided the Blues to runners-up spot in both the Champions League and Premier League, was given a target...
(Graphic Online 02/07/17)
Ghana risks being sanctioned by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for failing to disclose full financial data to the fund at the time it signed onto the three-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF), the Majority in Parliament has said, pointing to the GH¢7 billion that it claimed had not been accounted for. The sanction will be similar to a US$39 million fine that the fund imposed on the country in 2000 after accusing Ghana of providing misleading financial information. While insisting that the previous administration intentionally hid some GH¢7 billion expenditure from the fund and Ghanaians, the Majority NPP Members of Parliament (MPs) said they feared that what happened in that year could befall the country again if the fund finds...
(AFP (eng) 02/06/17)
An international tribunal on Monday began hearing arguments in a dispute between Ghana and Ivory Coast over a contested maritime boundary that cuts through lucrative offshore oil fields. The area is believed to hold the biggest hydrocarbon resources discovered in west Africa over the last decade. The neighbours have asked the Hamburg-based International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to rule on where the border lies exactly, with Ghana arguing there is no need to deviate from a decades-long "mutually agreed and recognised" boundary line based on equidistance. Ivory Coast however claims the border is not properly demarcated and accuses Ghana of carrying out oil exploration activities in Ivorian maritime zones. Both sides will lay out their case in...
(Daily Monitor 02/06/17)
Ghana and my modest person are honoured by the invitation of the newly installed chairperson of the Assembly, president Alpha Condé, to move the vote of thanks to all who have contributed in their various ways to the outstanding success of this landmark summit. It may, somehow, be appropriate that, at a time when we are attempting to renew our organisation and its values, a Guinean should be in the chair and a Ghanaian at the podium, for this may recall the early days of Africa's independence, when the strategic alliance of Ghana-Guinea-Mali was one of the seminal events that paved the way for the establishment of our predecessor body, the Organisation of African Unity, in this historic, ancient city...
(Xinhuanet 02/06/17)
Ghana's new government seeks to develop an enhanced relationship with China, Minister for Finance Kenneth Ofori-Atta said here late Sunday. According to him the government would be holding its second meeting with the Embassy of China in Ghana on Monday to discuss ways of further cooperation. "We will be holding our second meeting with the Chinese Embassy since we came to government tomorrow, Monday to hold discussions on enhanced relations," the finance minister disclosed. Addressing a selected group of media houses here, Ofori-Atta said the purpose of engaging with China is to see ways China would support the government and the country's economic direction. Ofori-Atta who is expected to present the new government's first budget in March also indicated that...
(Bloomberg 02/06/17)
Ghana’s worse-than-expected budget deficit will heighten currency volatility and elevate the nation’s funding demands to finance previously undisclosed arrears of 7 billion cedis ($1.6 billion), according to Moody’s Investors Service. The discovery of the payment arrears reverses Ghana’s progress on consolidating its fiscal deficit since 2015 under an International Monetary Fund program, Moody’s said in an e-mailed statement on Monday. The shortfall is also weighing on debt dynamics and will undermine the cedi, “all credit negative for the sovereign,” it said. Moody’s rates Ghana’s long-term foreign debt B3, six levels below investment grade and on par with El Salvador, Pakistan and Argentina. Ghana’s debt will peak at more than 76 percent of gross domestic product this year before declining in...
(Bloomberg 02/06/17)
The West African nation’s ballooning budget gap has dismayed investors betting the combination of a new government and an International Monetary Fund program would bring the country’s finances under control. The discovery of a 7 billion-cedi ($1.6 billion) hole is reviving memories of 2015 when Ghana’s economy was in tatters amid a slowdown in commodity prices and excessive spending. “There were some hopes that finally, under the previous government, and with the IMF’s watch, fiscal slippage wouldn’t have been that bad,” said Nicolas Jaquier, a London-based emerging-markets economist at Standard Life Investments Ltd., which oversees $1.3 billion of developing-nation assets including Ghana’s 2023 Eurobonds. “It’s more of a disappointment that it actually hasn’t changed.” Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta dashed those...
(Bloomberg 02/06/17)
Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is expected to raise about $500 million for its new African investment fund, attracting less than its original goal as investor interest in the region proved weaker than anticipated, according to people familiar with the matter. The Toronto-based insurer sought to raise as much as $1 billion at $10 a share for Fairfax Africa Holdings Corp. in an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange, according to a regulatory filing in December. Fairfax said it had secured as much as $416 million in commitments for the African venture from both its own funds and partners, including the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, a Canadian pension fund and CI Investments Inc., according to the...
(AFP (eng) 02/04/17)
Alain Traore scored with one minute left to give Burkina Faso a 1-0 win over Ghana Saturday and third place in the Africa Cup of Nations. The Turkey-based attacker thumped an angled free-kick over goalkeeper Richard Ofori and into the net in Gabonese coastal city Port-Gentil. It was the second highest finish in the biennial African football showcase for the Burkinabe Stallions, who finished runners-up four years ago. The Black Stars of Ghana have played in five third-place play-offs, losing four. Ghana could have been several goals ahead by half-time as they dominated possession only to be let down by poor finishing and bad luck.
(AFP (eng) 02/03/17)
Michael Ngadeu and Christian Bassogog both netted in the second half as Cameroon beat Ghana 2-0 in Franceville on Thursday to reach the Africa Cup of Nations final. A finely-poised tie remained goalless until the 72nd minute, when Ghana goalkeeper Razak Brimah failed to deal with a free-kick into his area and John Boye's weak defensive header merely served as an assist for Ngadeu to control and fire home. Bassogog then broke away to clinch the win and spark wild celebrations as Hugo Broos's side progress to a final against Egypt in Libreville on Sunday. That will be the Indomitable Lions' first Cup of Nations final since they lost 1-0 to the Egyptians in 2008. Then they also beat Ghana...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/17)
Avram Grant could not hide his dejection after Ghana's 2-0 defeat to Cameroon in the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals on Thursday but he insisted it had been a good tournament for the Black Stars. It was a sixth successive appearance in the last four for the Ghanaians but they were defeated by second-half goals by Michael Ngadeu and Christian Bassogog in Franceville and have still not won the trophy since 1982. "I think we are successful even now," said Grant when asked about Ghana's inability to go the extra step in the competition in recent years. "We didn't win the cup but we have had a good tournament. Today we were the better side, and in the last tournament...
(Xinhuanet 02/03/17)
T20 Africa Conference, the meeting for the G20 think tanks and African countries, ended on Friday in Johannesburg with a commitment to accelerate cooperation between the G20 and Africa. The three-day conference aimed to chart a course for the future cooperation between Africa and the G20. The day ended with the formulation of the communique which will be given to the current G20 chair Germany. The communique will also be the reference for further discussion between Africa and T20. T20 comprises of the G20 think tanks. Dr. Christine Hackenesch, researcher at the German Development Institute (DIE) said, "There was an agreement that there must be a continuous and sustained engagement between G20 and Africa because there is a strong dependence...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/02/17)
Ghana's new government has inherited a budget deficit of around 10 percent of economic output, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta told Reuters on Wednesday, double the 2016 target set by the previous government. A deficit higher than the target would reduce the amount President Nana Akufo-Addo's government can spend on programmes to create jobs and reduce poverty. The issue is politically sensitive because Ghana is more than half way through a three-year, $918 million International Monetary Fund programme aimed at stabilising the economy after the deficit ballooned during the previous election year, 2012. The IMF and the government of former President John Mahama said repeatedly during 2016 that budgetary targets would
(Ghana Web 02/02/17)
A Member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Isaac Adongo, has described as a sham claims of a hidden GHC 7 billion expenditure by the previous government, by vice president, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia. According to him, the claims are nothing, but deliberate attempts to bait the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to soften its loan access mechanisms towards the NPP government. Dr. Bawumia on Tuesday disclosed that the Akufo-Addo administration has discovered a whopping unaccounted GHc7 billion expenditure made by the previous administration. According to him, the said expenses ranged from 2014 to 2016, and that it was detected as the new government prepares the 2017 budget which is expected to be presented in March. “As we interrogated the data to see exactly...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/02/17)
African leaders have backed a "strategy of collective withdrawal" from the International Criminal Court (ICC), but it came with unspecified reservations, an African Union official said on Wednesday after this week's African Union summit. The official did not give details about the strategy or the reservations, but it highlights broad antipathy towards the court among Africans who feel the ICC unfairly targets them. A document seen by Reuters before the summit proposed a co-ordinated withdrawal unless the ICC was reformed. It included a call for "regionalization" of international law, a reference to proposals for an African war crimes court. Almost a third of the ICC's 124 members are African, and a withdrawal by a large number of them would cripple...
(Bloomberg 02/01/17)
Ghana’s budget deficit could be twice as big as previously forecast, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said a day after the government revealed a 7 billion-cedi ($1.6 billion) hole in the budget. The disclosure sent bonds tumbling. The shortfall as a percentage of gross domestic product could be close to “double digits” for 2016, Ofori-Atta said Wednesday in an interview in Accra, the capital. “We’re still in the process of gathering information” on the undisclosed expenditures, said Ofori-Atta, who will propose the 2017 budget next month. The secret spending dates back three to four years, he said. The budget hole was disclosed by Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, who along with President Nana Akufo-Addo arrived in office only three weeks ago after...
(AfricaNews 02/01/17)
Ghana’s parliament had part of its roof ripped off and water dripping into the main chamber on Tuesday night after a severe rainstorm hit the capital, Accra. While some media report that the incident brought an abrupt end to parliamentary sitting for the day, others said it occurred not long after the house had adjourned. The Members of Parliament (MPs) had been called to consider a bill brought to the house under a certificate of urgency. Local media portal, myjoyonline.com reports that the main chamber of the edifice was flooded after the incident. They added that electronic gadgets installed in the chamber were left at the mercy of the weather. Pictures on most local websites show some staff of the...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/01/17)
Ghana's sovereign dollar bonds fell as much as two cents in price on Wednesday after the country's finance minister told Reuters he had inherited a budget deficit that was far bigger than the previous government's target. Ken Ofori-Atta said the deficit was "certainly closer to a double-digit" percentage of GDP rather than the 5 percent targeted for 2016, and attributed the overrun to "unchecked overspending". The issue is sensitive because Ghana is following a three-year International Monetary Fund programme aimed at stabilising the economy. The 2023 issue fell 1.3 cent while the 2026 and 2030 bonds fell 1.6 cent and 2.1 cents respectively, Thomson Reuters data showed. (Reporting by Sujata Rao; editing by Claire Milhench)
(Ghana Business News 02/01/17)
The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, on Tuesday expressed shock and dismay over the $13 million being expended on the construction of an accommodation for the Vice President. He said such a huge amount could have been used to construct many boreholes and believed that the award of the contract might not have gone through competitive tender process, adding; “if it had, then Ghanaians would have known about it.” He said this scenario showed many contracts in the country which were sole- sourced and were contracted to defraud the nation adding; ‘‘is the gate made of gold, pavement made of gold and blocks made of gold…. a house built in Ghana, I can’t believe it’’. The Vice President made this...
(AFP (eng) 02/01/17)
The nearly men of African football in recent years, Ghana go into a sixth consecutive semi-final at the Cup of Nations when they face Cameroon in Franceville on Thursday. The Black Stars have not won the trophy since 1982, instead gaining a reputation for coming up just short all too often over the last decade. Avram Grant's side lost on penalties to the Ivory Coast in the final two years ago, while their current run of near misses began with a 1-0 defeat to Cameroon at home in Accra in 2008. But in Gabon they have seemed like a side on a mission to end their long title drought and a 2-1 quarter-final win over DR Congo in Oyem on...

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