Sunday 28 May 2017
(Bloomberg 03/28/17)
Ghana’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for a second time in four months as the cedi recovered from record lows and inflation slowed to the lowest rate in more than three years. The Bank of Ghana reduced the rate to 23.5 percent from 25.5 percent, Governor Abdul Nashiru Issahaku told reporters Monday in the capital, Accra. That’s the biggest single cut in borrowing costs since February 2010. Four of the seven economists in a Bloomberg survey forecast the rate would be reduced while the remaining respondents said it would be kept unchanged. “Underlying inflation pressures have eased considerably and inflation is projected to trend down towards the medium term target,” Issahaku said. Indications that growth is likely to...
(Ghana Web 03/28/17)
Parliament is today (Tuesday) expected to pass the bill that will allow the government to cap its budgetary allocation to statutory funds at twenty-five percent. The bill, on Monday, March 27th, passed the consideration stage. When passed, all allocations to the eight statutory funds will not exceed twenty-five percent of all government revenue for this year. Deputy Minority Leader, James Avedzi had stressed that the move will affect the operations of local assemblies with the reduction from 7.5 to 5 percent. But the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta maintains that the decision is necessary as it will afford the government some fiscal space to undertake other key economic policies outlined in the budget. There are currently eight earmarked statutory funds;...
(Ghana Web 03/28/17)
The Charge’ d’ Affaires of the European Union in Ghana, Mr Paolo Salvia, has reiterated the commitment of the European Union (EU) to continue its support to Ghana in the area of private sector competitiveness, trade facilitation and fiscal transition. This, he said, would be done through the regional envelope of the 11th European Development Fund. Mr Salvia made this remark at the final Steering Committee Meeting of the Trade Related Assistance and Quality Enabling Programme (TRAQUE) in Accra. He also said, “At the national level, important programmes are already ongoing to support decentralisation, stimulate job creation and improve social protection schemes. Future programmes are being prepared to support investments in the agricultural sector and public finance management.” Since its...
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
The World Health Organization and U.N. children's fund are spearheading a massive immunization campaign across Africa to rid the continent of the last vestiges of polio. Tens of thousands of health workers will fan out across 13 central and western African countries to vaccinate more than 116 million children under age five against the crippling disease. The U.N. agencies report more than 190,000 volunteers, traveling on foot or bicycle, will go house to house across all cities, towns, and villages in 13 countries to vaccinate every child under age five against polio. The synchronized vaccination campaign, one of the largest ever conducted in Africa, will run from March 25-28. Director of Polio Eradication at the World Health Organization Michel Zaffran...
(Xinhuanet 03/27/17)
There is need for China and its African allies to kick start a new dialogue aimed at revitalizing wildlife and ecological conservation in the world's second largest continent, a conservationist has told Xinhua in an interview. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), told Xinhua that Beijing is an indispensable partner in efforts to protect Africa's iconic wildlife species that are grappling with human and climatic induced threats to their survival. "China is playing a big role in Africa's economic development and would like to see it direct more support towards protection of wildlife and vital ecosystems in the continent," Sebunya said. Sebunya noted that China's growing economic and diplomat clout place it at a vantage position to help...
(Bloomberg 03/24/17)
Ghana’s central bank may have space to cut its benchmark interest rate for a second time in four months as the cedi started to recover from record lows and inflation slowed to the lowest rate in more than four years. Governor Abdul Nashiru Issahaku has enough room to cut the West African nation’s main rate by as much as 100 basis points, according to Courage Kingsley Martey, an Accra-based economist at Databank Group. Two of the four economists in a Bloomberg survey forecast the central bank will reduce the policy rate from 25.5 percent on Monday. The central bank reduced its key rate in November for the first time since May 2011 even as inflation remained outside the central bank’s...
(Ghana Web 03/24/17)
Net debt owed banks and fuel suppliers alone under the energy sector debt hit 1.2 billion cedis at the end of 2016. According to documents cited by Citi Business News as at 31st December, 2016 Government’s net debt in the Energy sector was 2.3 billion dollars. A breakdown of the debt shows that the banks are owed 782 million dollars, while fuel suppliers are owed 440 million dollars. The 782 million is debt owed the banks by state owned power producer Volta River Authority (VRA). VRA also contributed 278 million dollars to the 440 million dollars owed fuel suppliers, while TOR contributed 162 million dollars. Other entities owed Other entities owed include GRIDCo, NEDCo, Asogli, CENIT, Bui, Ghana Gas, BOST,...
(Bloomberg 03/24/17)
After overseeing sub-Saharan Africa’s fastest-growing economy and six years of relative peace, Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara is in the midst of a year from hell. First soldiers staged a mutiny, then public workers went on strike and now cocoa prices have fallen. All told, the West African nation is facing the worst social unrest since Ouattara, 75, assumed power in 2011. With cocoa prices in London dropping more than 30 percent from July, the government in the world’s top producer may have to take a decision that could overshadow the achievements of Ouattara’s first term: cut payments paid to cocoa farmers as soon as next week. That will affect about 6 million people -- a quarter of the population...
(Citifmonline 03/24/17)
Ghana’s unemployment rate stood at 11.9 percent in 2015. This is according to the latest Ghana Labour Force Survey Report by the Ghana Statistical Service. This is about twice the figure recorded in 2012/2013 (5.8%) based on the Statistical services strict definition of unemployment – where “one was not working, actively looking for a job and available for work.” However, the definition has changed for the 2015 studies, was based on a relaxed definition where “one was available for work and not working within the last seven days before an interview.” The report which is the first of its kind and most detailed is to guide the government’s plan in solving the alarming rate of unemployment in the country. Speaking...
(Ghana Web 03/24/17)
The Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Security Systems International Limited (3SiL) the parent company of Strategic Power Solutions (SPS), the only solar panel manufacturing plant in West Africa, Mr. Ofori Boateng has lauded plans outlined by government in the 2017 budget statement towards the development of renewable energy. Government has initiated plans to increase access to lighting in deprived off-grid homes by increasing solar lanterns in rural non-electrified households to two million. It has also promised to scale up the Renewable Energy Programme. Mr. Boateng said these are initiatives that can easily be attained with the right private sector partnership. “As the preferred developers for the 50 Megawatt solar hybrid Bui Power Authority project, SPS is willing to work with...
(Myjoyonline 03/24/17)
The Ghana Water Company says chiefs hold the key to ending the destruction of critical water sources through illegal mining activities. As the world marked World Water Day on Wednesday, the destruction of Ghana’s water bodies due to pollution through illegal mining activities fell under the spotlight. The Ghana Water Company revealed that almost every major source of water has either dropped low or is heavily polluted to the point where the company currently uses high quantities of chemicals to purify the water before pumping to homes. This has translated into high water tariffs. In some instances, however, especially water sources close to gold-rich areas, the level of pollution has destroyed aquatic life and the ecosystem. During a discussion on...
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
A group of non-government organizations (NGOs) on Friday called on African leaders to find practical solutions to protect and assist Somali refugees and asylum seekers facing ongoing conflict and a humanitarian crisis in Somalia. In a joint statement issued on the eve of the regional summit on refugees, members of the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS), Somalia NGO Consortium and the Inter-agency Working Group (IAWG) expressed hope that the leaders will take practical steps towards the development and implementation of a comprehensive regional approach. "It is hoped that such an approach, developed in the spirit of the New York Declaration, will support countries and communities that host Somali refugees in improving asylum space, integrated access to services, inclusive economic opportunities...
(Graphic Online 03/23/17)
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced the establishment of an integrated bauxite and aluminium development authority tasked with mobilising the relevant resources towards the development of an integrated industry right from the extraction of bauxite to the production of aluminium. He said the country had enormous natural resources such as bauxite and iron ore that remained untapped and under-developed. “We have taken the decision that, come what may, we are going to bring those resources into play. The integrated bauxite and aluminium authority will be established in the next three months,” the President announced.
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Slumping cocoa prices are testing to the limit top producer Ivory Coast’s efforts to ensure stability for farmers, heightening risks for the domestic economy and world markets. Authorities have warned they’ll have to cut payments to growers. That follows a wave of defaults by local exporters who’d bet on higher prices, costing the government more than $300 million and pushing cocoa futures even lower. The more than 30 percent drop in London benchmark prices from a six-year high in July has parallels with a 1980s crisis that saw farmers’ payments shrink by half and bankrupted the marketing system. Like then, they’ll see sharp cuts, with a reduction for the smaller of two annual harvests starting next month from the current...
(Graphic Online 03/23/17)
As Ghana joined the international community to mark World Water Day yesterday, the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and its stakeholders have warned of a possible scarcity of potable water nationwide in the near future if the pollution of water bodies is not addressed Painting a picture of a possible bleak future, the GWCL explained that although all the treatment plants in Ghana drew raw water from the various water bodies, the spate of water pollution was approaching alarming levels. According to the company, currently some of the water bodies had been polluted beyond treatment and the GWCL feared that soon Ghana would not be able to produce drinking water. “Water crisis looms,” it said. It attributed the development to...
(AfricaNews 03/23/17)
The mission is part of the department’s week-long trade and investment mission to Ghana and its neighbour, Nigeria. South African business people who participated in a trade and investment mission to Ghana have expressed confidence that they will soon see tangible results from the trip, the department of trade and industry (dti) said on Wednesday. The mission is part of the department’s week-long trade and investment mission to Ghana and its neighbour, Nigeria, which runs until Saturday, March 25. The two-day Ghanaian leg included a trade and investment seminar, business to business meetings and site visits to the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority, Group Five and the Ghana Energy Commission. One delegate, Christopher Moonien, said his company, Conlog Solutions for...
(Graphic Online 03/23/17)
Six vehicles and operational equipment valued at $185,000 have been presented to the Ghana Police Service to help combat child trafficking in the country. The vehicles and equipment that were presented by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Ghana, included three pickup trucks, three buses, computers and accessories and cameras. The items are to be used by the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Ghana Police Service to conduct investigations and rescue operations of trafficked children in the Volta, Central and Greater Accra regions where child trafficking is high in the country. These were aquired with funding from the United States Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. The five-year project forms part of a $5 million child protection...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
N'DJAMENA French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen pledged on Wednesday to break with her country's decades-old relationship with Africa known as "Francafrique" and abolish the CFA franc currency policy that binds Paris and its former colonies. Francafrique describes an informal web of relationships Paris has maintained with its former African colonies and its support, sometimes in the form of military backing, for politicians who favor French business interests. Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the presidential election, spoke at the end of a two-day visit to Chad where she sought to outline her policies regarding the continent, which has long held an important place in French foreign policy. "It was only in coming here and explaining that I...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Frank Adansi-Bonnah sat on his bed Monday in the Kintampo Municipal Hospital in central Ghana, his lips covered in bruises and cuts, and his arm in a sling. He was swimming with his friends on Sunday afternoon at the popular tourist destination of Kintampo Falls, when a massive tree crashed into the water, crushing everyone around him. Eighteen students died at the picturesque spot in the Brong-Ahafo region, some 450 kilometres (281 miles) by road from the capital, Accra. Two others died later in hospital. At least 22 were injured. "What I remember was I was struggling with the tree," said the 21-year-old Adansi-Bonnah, who is a student at University of Energy and Natural Resources in the regional capital, Sunyani...
(Graphic Online 03/21/17)
Ghana’s headline inflation eased for the 5th consecutive month as it settled at 13.20 per cent in February 2017. This represents a 0.1 percentage point reduction from January’s figure of 13.30 per cent. The downtrend emanated from lower rate at the non-food component of the CPI as it trimmed 0.2 percentage point as against the food component which added 0.1 percentage point. Inflation at the food and beverages component of the CPI settled at 7.10 per cent whereas the non-food component recorded a rate of 16.40 per cent. Cedi performance The local currency stood strong in the week under review against its major trading partners. The Ghana cedi recorded its first week-on-week gain against the dollar by 1.28 per cent...

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