Morocco:Over 300 delegates Expected in Marrakech For The African Women in Agriculture Congress” May 8-10, 2018
March 27, 2018 | 0 Comments
-Marrakech will host the second edition of AWA “The African Women in Agriculture Congress” May 8-10, 2018
-More than 300 delegates will discuss the role of women in Africa’s agricultural development.
The congress “African Women in Agriculture 2018“, will take place in Marrakech from May 8 to 10, 2018 at the Mohammed VI Museum of Water Civilization in Morocco – AMAN, with the support of the Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation (AMCI) , UN Women, Initiative for Global Develop (IGD) US Africa Foundation (USADF), Forbes Africa, Africa Agriculture, and AllAfrica Magazine.
The main purpose of AWA“African Women in Agriculture” is to create a grid of influencers based on an exchange between high-ranking personalities and small scales producers. AWA’s aspiration is to boost women’s empowerment in agriculture, in rural areas particularly, by empowering them to become self-reliant, productive and competitive. AWA covers the four agricultural sectors, which are: agriculture, livestock, fisheries/fish farming and agro-forestry and handicrafts.
For Angelle Kwemo, Founder and President of Believe in Africa; “AWA is a unique place to share knowledge and experience where personal success stories are honored and analyzed and shared. “
Furthermore “The 2018 edition wants to take tangible actions and develop a roadmap for resource mobilization, training and optimization of production capacity, processing and marketing of agricultural products. “
AWA 2018 will be an opportunity to highlight the collective commitment of this network put in place for the empowerment of African women, and above all allow participants to find investors and partners for the marketing of their products on the African and global market.
*For more information at http://www.believeinafrica.org/, email: Believeinafrica1@gmail.com
Access Power launches 2018 edition of the $7 million Access Co-Development Facility (ACF) competition powering Africa & Asia
March 27, 2018 | 0 Comments
|The winners of ACF 2018 will be announced during a live final evaluation panel on June 19th 2018 during the Africa Energy Forum in Mauritius|
|DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, March 27, 2018/ — Access Power (www.Access-Power.com), a developer, owner and operator of power projects in emerging markets, today announced the launch of ACF 2018, the third edition of the highly successful funding and support platform for renewable energy projects in Africa and Asia. For this third edition, Access has included Asia for energy projects and invite entrepreneurs across both Africa and Asia to compete.
Now in its fourth year, the ACF is an innovative US$7 million financial support programme designed to provide local power project developers and originators with project development support, technical experience, expertise and funding required to bring their renewable energy projects to life.
ACF 2018 aims to further build on the success of the previous three years where a total of 234 projects have been considered for the prize with several winning projects now benefiting from the mix of funding and technical expertise provided by Access Power. This year’s finalists will once again be evaluated and scored by an independent panel of industry experts, similar to last year’s which comprised of senior representatives from Power Africa, InfraCo Africa, Proparco, and the Dutch Development Bank (FMO) .
The winners of ACF 2018 will be announced during a live final evaluation panel on June 19th 2018 during the Africa Energy Forum in Mauritius. The top three finalists from Africa and Asia will subsequently enter into direct Joint Development Agreement (JDA) discussions with Access Power.
Reda El Chaar, Executive Chairman, Access Power commented; “This year we are delighted to welcome projects across Asia too to compete. By introducing new markets, we hope this will enable us to reach a bigger network of innovative and pioneering entrepreneurs across Africa and Asia with the opportunity to develop their ambitious ideas into tangible projects.”
The ACF 2018 application form and guidelines are available on Access Power website www.Access-Power.com
The ACF 2018 is a financial support mechanism designed to provide local developers and entrepreneurs with the technical expertise and funding required to bring their renewable energy projects to life.
About Access Power
Why Africa’s free trade area offers so much promise
March 27, 2018 | 0 Comments
African leaders have just signed a framework establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area, the largest free trade agreement since the creation of the World Trade Organisation.
The free trade area aims to create a single market for goods and services in Africa. By 2030 the market size is expected to include 1.7 billion people with over USD$ 6.7 trillion of cumulative consumer and business spending – that’s if all African countries have joined the free trade area by then. Ten countries, including Nigeria, have yet to sign up.
The goal is to create a
single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments.
The agreement has the potential to deliver a great deal for countries on the continent. The hope is that the trade deal will trigger a virtuous cycle of more intra African trade, which in turn will drive the structural transformation of economies – the transition from low productivity and labour intensive activities to higher productivity and skills intensive industrial and service activities – which in turn will produce better paid jobs and make an impact on poverty.
But signing the agreement is only the beginning. For it to come into force, 22 countries must ratify it. Their national legislative bodies must approve and sanction the framework formally, showing full commitment to its implementation. Niger President Issoufou Mahamadou, who has been championing the process, aims to have the ratification process completed by January 2019.
Cause and effect
Some studies have shown that by creating a pan-African market, intra-Africa trade could increase by about 52% by 2022. Better market access creates economies of scale. Combined with appropriate industrial policies, this contributes to a diversified industrial sector and growth in manufacturing value added.
Manufacturing represents only about 10% of total GDP in Africa on average. This falls well below other developing regions. A successful continental free trade area could reduce this gap. And a bigger manufacturing sector will mean more well-paid jobs, especially for young people. This in turn will help poverty alleviation.
Industrial development, and with it, more jobs, is desperately needed in Africa. Industry represents one-quarter to one-third of total job creationin other regions of the world. And a young person in Africa is twice as likely to be unemployed when he or she becomes an adult. This is a particularly stressful situation given that over 70% of sub-Saharan Africa’s population is below age 30.
In addition, 70% of Africa’s youth live on less than US $2 per day.
The continental free trade area is expected to offer
substantial opportunities for industrialisation, diversification, and high-skilled employment in Africa.
The single continental market will offer the opportunity to accelerate the manufacture and intra-African trade of value-added products, moving from commodity based economies and exports to economic diversification and high-value exports.
But, to increase the impact of the trade deal, industrial policies must be put in place. These must focus on productivity, competition, diversification, and economic complexity.
In other words, governments must create enabling conditions to ensure that productivity is raised to international competitiveness standards. The goal must be to ensure that the products manufactured in African countries are competitively traded on the continent and abroad, and to diversify the range and sophistication of products and services.
Drivers of manufacturing
Data shows that the most economically diverse countries are also the most successful.
In fact, diversification is critical as “countries that are able to sustain a diverse range of productive know-how, including sophisticated, unique know-how, are able to produce a wide diversity of goods, including complex products that few other countries can make.
Diverse African economies such as South Africa and Egypt, are likely to be the drivers of the free trade area, and are likely to benefit from it the most. These countries will find a large continental market for their manufactured products. They will also use their know-how and dense industrial landscape to develop innovative products and respond to market demand.
But the agreement on its own won’t deliver results. Governments must put in place policies that drive industrial development, particularly manufacturing. Five key ones stand out:
Human capital: A strong manufacturing sector needs capable, healthy, and skilled workers. Policymakers should adjust curriculum to ensure that skills are adapted to the market. And there must be a special focus on young people. Curriculum must focus on skills and building capacity for entrepreneurship and self-employment. This should involve business training at an early age and skills upgrading at an advanced one. This should go hand in hand with promoting science, technology, engineering, entrepreneurship and mathematics as well as vocational and on-the-job training.
Policymakers should also favour the migration of highly skilled workers across the continent.
Cost: Policymakers must bring down the cost of doing business. The barriers include energy, access to roads and ports, security, financing, bureaucratic restrictions, corruption, dispute settlement and property rights.
Supply network: Industries are more likely to evolve if competitive networks exist. Policymakers should ease trade restrictions and integrate regional trade networks. In particular, barriers for small and medium-size businesses should be lifted.
Domestic demand: Policymakers should offer tax incentives to firms to unlock job creation, and to increase individual and household incomes. Higher purchasing power for households will increase the size of the domestic market.
Resources: Manufacturing requires heavy investment. This should be driven by the private sector. Policymakers should facilitate access to finance, especially for small and medium enterprises. And to attract foreign direct investment, policymakers should address perceptions of poor risk perception. This invariably scares off potential investors or sets excessive returns expectations.
The continental free trade area facilitates industrialisation by creating a continental market, unlocking manufacturing potential and bolstering an international negotiation bloc.
Finally, the continental free trade area will also provide African leaders with a greater negotiating power to eliminate barriers to exporting. This will help prevent agreements with other countries, and trading blocs, that are likely to hurt exports and industrial development.
*Culled from The Conversation.is a Distinguished Fellow at Stanford University’s Center for African Studies, David M. Rubenstein Fellow at the Global Economy and Development and Africa Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institution, and Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, Stanford University
IGAD Decided to Lift South Sudanese Rebel Leader Machar House Arrest, Proposes Relocation
March 27, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Deng Machol
Juba – The regional bloc of Inter –Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Council of Ministers has decided to release South Sudan’s exiled rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar from house arrest in South Africa.
Rebel leader Machar is a de facto prisoner in a farmhouse outside of Johannesburg. He is isolated from his friends and family, and has been frozen out of South Sudan’s peace process and the future of his country.
The IGAD’s communique issued following its 61st Extra-Ordinary Session held on Monday in Addis Ababa, said it would release Dr. Machar as soon as possible if he would agree to renounce violence, not obstruct the peace process and relocate to any country “outside the region not neighboring South Sudan.”
Meanwhile, the wife of Dr. Machar told the VOA that the family is disappointed in a decision made by IGAD calling for a conditional “lifting of house arrest.”
“If you read it carefully, actually, there is no lifting of any house arrest. Because what they said is very clear that they will transfer him from where he is now, which is South Africa, to another location that is not in the region, and that would not be in any proximity with South Sudan,” Angelina Teny, Machar’s wife said, who is also senior opposition member.
The statement said that IGAD ministers would decide on a possible location for prominent South Sudanese rebel leader Machar, something his wife said the ministers of the regional bloc are not being fair to her husband.
Dr. Machar, who ended up in South Africa, came in aftermath of a new outbreak of fighting in July 2016 destroyed a tentative peace deal that had restored Machar to his government post, and forced him to flee the country.
The opposition groups say they are upset by the government demand to exclude Machar from the SPLM reunification process, peace revitalization forum, and the national transitional government.
President Kiir government made it clear since last year that Machar can only run for president at the end constitutional process, insisting that he should remain away from the rest claiming he would obstruct the whole operation.
Over the weekend, the government Chief Negotiator for the peace process said they have rejected the opposition proposal at the High Level Revitalization Forum talks to reinstate 1st Former Vice President Riek Machar to his former position, describes as problematic.
“This of course is problematic and we don’t want to repeat that tragic history if that formula could work but we tried it could not work,” Chief Negotiator Nhial Deng Nhial said at the party rally, SPLM in Juba. “It’s an obstacle we hope that the SPLA/IO of Dr. Riek focus more on the representation of position as an institution rather than in the person of Riek SPLM/IO is fully entitled in key position in the government in keeping in its political weight that is something that we are already to consider.”
However, the observers said this new condition may obstruct the peace process as the third round of revitalization process is at doorstep.
Machar, who has long dominated South Sudanese politics, though he was rebelled against former SPLM leader Dr. John Garang De Mabior, was an instrumental figure in South Sudan’s fight for independence from Sudan, and has served as vice president twice in the very short history of the world’s newest nation. It became independent in 2011.
However, power struggling between Dr. Machar and President Salva Kiir sparked the civil war that began in 2013, leaving the country devastated in its wake.
The regional bloc also called upon the Transitional Government of National Unity and the nine opposition groups not to squander the opportunity for ending the suffering of the people of South Sudan.
IGAD did not set new dates for the resumption of the peace talks. Its special envoy, South Sudan Ambassador Ismail Wais, will consult various South Sudanese stakeholders to reconcile the position of the parties on power sharing and permanent security arrangements before the next talks.
ZIP: Blackmail won’t make us stop- Speaker Dogara
March 27, 2018 | 0 Comments
The Nigeria’s House of Representatives has said no amount of blackmail from any quarters will force the National Assembly to abandon Zonal Intervention Projects ZIP because it is the tool with which they ensure equity in project allocation nationwide.
President Buhari knocks off tenure extension for Oyegun, others
March 27, 2018 | 0 Comments
Following the controversy generated by the decision of the National Executive Committee NEC of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC to grant a one year tenure extension to its National Working Committee NWC have been laid to rest as President Muhammadu Buhari described the action of NEC as an infringement on not just the party constitution but the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Louis Vuitton names Ghanaian-American as new creative boss
March 27, 2018 | 0 Comments
“I feel elated,” the 37-year-old , saying the opportunity was “always a goal in my wildest dreams”.
The news site says Abloh is one of the few black designers at the helm of a major French fashion house.
Others include Olivier Rousteing – the creative director at Balmain, and British designer Ozwald Boateng who led Givenchy men’s wear from 2003 to 2007.
Abloh will present his first menswear collection for Louis Vuitton in June at Paris Fashion Week.
Louis Vuitton chief executive Michael Burke praised the designer’s “sensibility towards luxury and savoir-faire” adding he would be “instrumental in taking Louis Vuitton’s menswear into the future”.
Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire Sign “Abidjan Declaration” On Cocoa
March 27, 2018 | 0 Comments
Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire have resolved to address the challenges of the cocoa sector, within the framework of the implementation of the Strategic Partnership Agreement which links the two countries, by signing the “Abidjan Declaration.”
With the two countries responsible for 60% of the world’s cocoa output, fluctuations of cocoa prices on the international market, marked by a fall of around 20% in 2017, have impacted negatively on the revenues of millions of cocoa farmers, as well as on the budgetary revenues of the two countries.
It is for this reason that President Akufo-Addo and His Excellency Alassane Ouattara, President of Cote d’Ivoire, on Monday, 26th March, 2018, held a consultation devoted to the cocoa economy, and, subsequently, signed the “Abidjan Declaration.”
Reading out the communiqué, the Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, who accompanied President Akufo-Addo to the bilateral discussions, stated that the Declaration is aimed at “better defending the interests of cocoa producers, as well as the economies of both countries.”
To this end, President Akufo-Addo and President Alassane Ouattara have reaffirmed their commitment to define a better, common strategy and a sustainable solution for the improvement of prices for cocoa producers, in their respective countries.
They also committed themselves to harmonizing their cocoa marketing policies, and agreed to announce, every year, in a concomitant manner, and before the beginning of the campaign, the price to cocoa producers.
Additionally, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire have also agreed to intensify collaboration, in the field of scientific research for the production of cocoa plants, the improvement of plant varieties, and also to adopt and implement a regional programme to fight against the swollen shoot disease.
A commitment by the two countries to process a major part of cocoa, and the invitation of the private sector, notably the African private sector, to invest massively in cocoa processing in Africa, was also reached.
In concluding, President Akufo-Addo and President Alassane Ouattara reaffirmed their commitment to promote jointly the consumption of cocoa on local, regional and emerging markets, and agreed that consultation between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, on the management of their cocoa sectors, should be done on a regular basis.
Ghana records US$584m trade surplus in two months
March 26, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Papisdaff Abdullah
Ghana has recorded a trade surplus of US$584.5 million, according to provisional trade data for the first two months of 2018, the governor of the Central Bank has announced.
The figure which represents 1.1% of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) according to Dr Ernest Addison was a result of higher export receipts from the country’s crude oil.
“This compares with a trade surplus of US$494.3 million (1.1% of GDP) recorded over the same period in 2017,” he stated at a press conference.
The trade surplus, Dr Addison noted, is expected to translate into a current account surplus in the first quarter of 2018, and further into a strong external position.
The governor continued that due to a drawdown in international reserves largely reflecting seasonal foreign exchange flows, planned sovereign bond coupon payments and Energy Sector Levy Act (ESLA) related payments, Ghana’s Gross International Reserves (GIR) stood at US$6.9 billion (3.8 months of import cover) as at March 20, 2018 compared to US$7.6 billion (4.3 months of import cover) as at December 2017.
On the foreign exchange market, he said it has remained calm over the first quarter of 2018 on the back of subdued demand pressures alongside improved foreign exchange liquidity and that cumulatively, the local currency has appreciated by 0.2 percent against the US dollar, in the year to March 23, 2018, compared with a depreciation of 5.0 percent during the same period in 2017.
2017 growth momentum dovetails into 2018
According to the governor, since the last MPC (Monetary Policy Committee) all of the Bank’s core measures of inflation broadly declined, suggesting subdued underlying inflation pressures. The Bank’s main measure of core inflation, which excludes energy and utility he said declined from 12.6 percent in December 2017 to 11.3 percent in February 2018.
“Also, the weighted inflation expectations by businesses, consumers and the financial sector derived from the Bank’s surveys continued to decline indicating that inflation expectations remain well anchored towards the medium term target of 8±2 percent,” he observed.
He thus noted that “initial evidence from high frequency indicators show that the growth momentum experienced in 2017 has continued into 2018” with the Bank of Ghana’s Composite Index of Economic Activity (CIEA) growing by 3.1 percent year-on-year in January.
He further pointed out that the Bank’s confidence surveys conducted in February also indicated positive sentiments on growth prospects, realization of business expectations and general improvements in the economy.
“The pace of growth in key monetary aggregates has continued to moderate consistent with contained aggregate demand pressures. Annual growth in total liquidity slowed to 12.5 percent in January 2018 from 26.7 percent a year ago (also partly reflecting the reduction in the number of banks in the monetary survey from 34 to 32).
“There is also a gradual downward migration of all money market interest rates, as well as re-alignment of the yield curve in line with the monetary policy stance since March 2017.”
The interbank rate, the rate at which commercial banks lend to each other, he disclosed declined further to 18.3 percent in February 2018 from 19.3 percent in December 2017 and 25.2 percent a year ago as the interest rates on money market instruments also declined, especially at the short-end of the market.
In February 2018, rates on the 91-day Treasury bill instrument dropped to 13.3 percent from 15.9 percent in February 2017. Similarly, the 182-day instrument declined sharply to 14.9 percent from 18.5 percent, while the 1-year note also fell to 15.0 percent from 19.0 percent over the same period.
Reforms in the Banking sector to promote stability
The recovery in the private sector credit is still slow according to the governor as credit to the private sector grew by 11.7 percent in January 2018 compared with 15.2 percent a year earlier.
He explained that in real terms, private sector credit expanded by 1.2 percent against 2.1 percent growth in January 2017.
“The latest credit conditions surveys also showed overall net tightening in credit stance to enterprises. This was attributed to banks’ current and expected capital positions as well as changes in the share of adversely classified loans. The credit stance on loans to individuals also tightened as banks continue to repair their balance sheets,” he said.
The ongoing regulatory reforms in the banking sector, he said are to promote stability of the financial system and to properly position it to support the economic growth agenda.
“The banking sector as a whole continues to be liquid, profitable and solvent with some modest gains in asset quality. However, there remain few vulnerabilities and the Bank of Ghana expects banks to continue to implement their recapitalization plans in line with the new minimum capital requirement,” he stated.
Bank’s total asset increase
The total asset base of banks, according to the Central Bank increased to GH¢95.1 billion in February 2018 indicating an annual growth of 13.7 percent compared with the 15.3 percent recorded in December 2017.
He said the asset growth was mainly funded by deposits which went up by 12.6 percent on a year-on-year basis with the industry’s average Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) improving to 19.2 percent in February 2018, reflecting efforts by banks to recapitalize.
Morocco top ranked investment destination in Africa for 2017
March 26, 2018 | 0 Comments
|Egypt, Algeria, Botswana and Cote d’Ivoire amongst top five investment destinations|
|ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, March 26, 2018/ —
Morocco is the most attractive economy for investments flowing into the African continent, according to the latest Africa Investment Index 2018 (AII) by Quantum Global’s (http://QuantumGlobalGroup.com) independent research arm, Quantum Global Research Lab.
According to the AII, Morocco ranks first on the Index based on its increasing solid economic growth, strategic geographic positioning, increased foreign direct investment, external debt levels, social capital factors and overall favourable business environment.
Prof. Mthuli Ncube, Managing Director, Quantum Global Research Lab commented:
“In spite of the improvements to oil production and prices, African economies are turning their attention towards diversification to stimulate industrial development, and to attract investments in non-oil strategic sectors. Morocco has been consistent in attracting an inward flow of foreign capital, specifically in banking, tourism and energy sectors and through the development of industry.”
Top 10 and Bottom 10 countries
According to recent data by the Moroccan Exchange Control, Morocco attracted nearly $2.57 bn of foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2017, up from 12 percent compared to 2016. The country is being recognised as one of the best emerging markets for overseas investment. International investors are looking at wide range of sectors for investments including in areas such as energy, infrastructure, tourism, and ICT amongst others.
According to AII, the top five African investment destinations attracted an overall FDI of $12.8 bn in 2016. Cote d’Ivoire ranks 5th while being the fastest growing economy in Africa and scores relatively well in liquidity and risk factors such as real interest rate, exchange rate risk and current account ratio. The improved risk profile, combined with strong liquidity, business environment, demographics and the social capital record has rendered Algeria a rise to the 3rd position in the second edition. Botswana, previously ranked as Africa’s top investment destination in the first edition, ranks 4th scoring well in risk factors as well as the business environment.
Prof. Ncube further commented: “Continued FDI inflows will continue to drive the much-needed capital to develop Africa’s primary sectors to meet the demands of the continent’s rapidly growing middle-class, and into manufacturing sectors to create more jobs, enhance economic growth and support structural transformation.”
In terms of improvements in the ranking over the last 3 years, countries such as Swaziland, Angola, Rwanda, Chad, Comoros, Seychelles, South Sudan and Sierra Leone registered strong upward movements as shown in AII three-year rolling rankings.
Quantum Global (www.QuantumGlobalGroup.com) is an international group of companies active in the areas of private equity investments, investment management as well as macroeconomic research and econometric modelling. Quantum Global’s private equity arm manages a family of funds targeting direct investments in Africa in the sectors of Agriculture, Healthcare, Hotels, Infrastructure, Mining and Timber – as well as a sector agnostic Structured Equity fund. Our team combines a solid track record and proven expertise to identify and execute unique investment opportunities with focus on Africa. Quantum Global works in close partnership with key stakeholders to maximise investment value and returns through active management and value creation. For more information, visit www.QuantumGlobalGroup.com.
The AII is constructed from macroeconomic and financial indicators and the World Bank Group’s Ease of Doing Business Indicators (DBI). The DBI ranks countries in terms of a regulatory environment conducive to business operation. The AII focuses on 5 pillars or factors from a wider range of investment indicators, which include the share of domestic investment in GDP, the share of Africa’s total FDI net inflow, GDP growth rate forecast, population augmented GDP growth factor, real interest rate, the difference of broad money growth to the GDP growth rates, inflation differential, credit rating, import cover, the share of the country’s external debt in its GNI, current account ratio, ease of doing business and the country’s population size (Figure 1). The AII indicators are based on secondary data collected from World Bank Development Indicators, IMF World Economic Outlook, UNCTAD Data Centre and own estimates.
The AII is a combination of individual indicator’s rank into a single numerical ranking. It averages the country’s macroeconomic and financial indicators rankings on the five different factors. Each indicator, and hence factors, receives an equal weight. Their rank score is then averaged to produce the total average score, which is consequently ranked from 1 to 54. The higher the value of the ranking, the lower the implied business investment climate.
To produce an index score that captures medium-term changing aspects, individual country’s ranking is scaled relative to a benchmark or reference value (i.e., the past 3-year rolling average ranking). In addition to the intended measurement, this approach enables us to avoid periods of structural changes (which may compromise the index) that may be present in a longer time span, whether we consider a change from a reference average value or a historical reference period.
Investing in Ghana is safer – Akufo-Addo
March 26, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Papisdaff Abdullah
President of the republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo has said his government is keen on building a business-friendly economy. The President, at the 6th Africa CEO Forum assured potential private sector investors of the security of their investments.
In his address at the Forum, held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, President Akufo-Addo stressed that “Ghana is endowed with great potential, where security and the rule of law are upheld, where investments are secure.”
The Ghanaian leader noted that over the last 14 months, his administration has focused its energies on trying to build a resilient economy, and put in measures aimed at helping move Ghana to a situation beyond aid. With some degree of success, President Akufo-Addo told the Forum that “we have put in place, in Ghana, since I took office, a monetary policy that has stabilized our currency, and has reduced significantly inflation and the cost of borrowing.”
President Akufo-Addo stated that the Ghanaian economy, whose growth rate stood at 3.6%, in 2016, the lowest in two decades, grew by 7.9% in 2017, and is expected to grow, in 2018, by 8.3%, which, according to the IMF, would make it the fastest growing economy in the world this year.
He added that “we have implemented a raft of tax cuts which has brought relief to businesses, and, at the same time, reduced substantially our fiscal deficit. These interventions are lowering the cost of doing business, and are shifting the focus of our economy from an emphasis on taxation to an expansion of production.”
In order to create a Ghana that is “able to mobilize our own material and human resources to develop a strong economy, capable of generating prosperity for the mass of our people, and construct a Ghana no longer dependent on handouts and charity”, the President stated that the rapid growth of the private sector is an essential ingredient in realizing his government’s vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid.
“There are many projects in roads, railways, water transport, industry, manufacturing, agriculture, petroleum and gas, renewable energy, the exploitation of our mineral wealth of bauxite, iron ore and gold, and ICT, amongst others, which, if properly structured, can attract private sector financing,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo continued, “Key to attracting private sector investment is not only creating a conducive, business friendly and peaceful environment, but, also, fashioning a state machinery fit to provide strong, regulatory support for private enterprise to thrive. That, for us, is the heart of the private-public-partnership that can fast-track our development.”
He further indicated that the aim of his government is to create a state machinery that can manage efficiently its fiscal and monetary responsibilities that can reform its tax administration to ensure that all private sector operators discharge their full tax obligations to enhance domestic resource mobilization, and that can promote the rule of law.
“It is important that all of us make systematic efforts to turn our backs on the sad history of massive flights of capital out of our country and continent from unconscionable inter-company pricing and other practices, and lay the conditions for fairness in the administration of our economies,” he added.
He told the Forum, comprising African CEOs, bankers and investors that Ghana wants to participate in the global market place “not on the basis of the exports of raw materials, but on the basis of things we make. We want to bring greater dignity to the lives of millions of people in Ghana. We want to build a Ghana Beyond Aid.”
Too early for us to comment on military deal –Pastor
March 26, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Papisdaff Abdullah.
Rector of Pentecost University College, Apostle Dr. Daniel Walker, has said it is too early for pastors and other religious leaders in Ghana to comment on the controversial military agreement between the West African country and the United States.
He said it is important for Ghanaians to understand that the nation does not live in isolation thus the need to assist other nations when they are in need.
The comment comes on the back of concerns by some Ghanaians over the seeming silence of the clergy, who were deemed very active under the erstwhile Mahama administration. Terms of the military agreement which was approved by a one-sided
Apostle Walker nonetheless said it is important that the interest of the nation will be put first by government as they go into agreements of this kind.
“I think it is early days yet, I’m sure they’ll come out at the appropriate time. Let’s not forget that we live in an international community therefore we can’t live in isolation, we help each other. As to whether the agreement is right or wrong, that’s another thing. The debate will continue and we’ll see the outcome by praying that every decision we take as a country should be to the benefit of our people.
“We have one country and I think that our sovereignty is crucial when we come to such matters. Any decision that government takes they should put the will of the people first, the comfort and peace of the country as a priority. I believe at the appropriate time the Christian Council or whoever is responsible will come out,” he said.
Meanwhile, former President John Mahama has described the Ghanaian clergy as hypocrites.
“Now today look at it, that’s the new standard and yet civil society is quiet, religious and traditional leaders are quiet. When NDC comes the next time and Alabi or Bagbin or who is the President and they appoint their relatives into government are they now coming to come out and say it? Must the standards of measuring standards differ because of who is in the presidency? That is the hypocrisy of our politics, that’s the height of hypocrisy we have in Ghana,” Mahama told the NDC gathering in the United Kingdom where the party is on a rebuilding tour.