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Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Inflow Begins to Rebound as Ghana Records FDI of 785.62 Million Dollars in First Half of 2020
October 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

Mr. Grant
Mr. Grant
The total FDI of US$785.62 million represents investment recorded by the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) and the Petroleum Commission

Ghana has recorded total investments of US$869.47 million, with total FDI value amounting to US$785.62 million between January to June 2020 as FDI inflow showed rare strength in the final moments of the second quarter of the year, undeterred by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The total FDI of US$785.62 million represents investment recorded by the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) (https://www.GIPCGhana.com/) and the Petroleum Commission.

Worldwide, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has estimated that the Covid-19 pandemic to send global FDI plunging by about 40 percent – driving the total value of FDI below US$1 trillion for the first time since 2005. However, in spite of a sluggish start in the first quarter of 2020 and a worrying slump in the beginning of the second quarter due to severe lockdown measures to contain the spread of the corona virus, FDI to Ghana have begun to rebound resulting in a notable increase in FDI inflow for the first half of the year.

At the GIPC, a total of 69 projects with a total estimated value of US$688.74 million was recorded by the end of June 2020. Of this, the total FDI component amounted to US$627.52 million while local component accounted for an estimated US$61.22 million. The FDI value of US$627.52 million was a considerable increase of about 409.10 percent from last year’s FDI value of US$123.26 million recorded within the same period (Jan-Jun 2019), depicting a strong performance irrespective of the global pandemic.

Out of the 69 projects recorded, the services sector registered a majority of 25 projects followed by the manufacturing and export trade sector with 21 and 11 projects respectively. With regards to value, general trading recorded the highest amount of US$246.05 million. This was tailed closely by the mining exploration sector with US$231.02 million having sealed some major investments such as the Chirano Gold mine project for the exploration of minerals. The manufacturing sector also saw significant investments valued at US$170.67 million on the back of some notable ventures such as a deal by Matrix industries for the manufacture of paper and aluminum products as well as the Rainbow Paints Limited project which is a joint venture between Ghana and Kenya for the manufacturing of paints and related products.

Geographically, the spread of the projects cuts across 6 regions namely, Greater Accra, Central, Eastern, Ashanti and Volta regions with most projects registered in the Greater Accra enclave. Together, the 69 projects are expected to make significant contribution to job creation in the country. Per estimations, a total of 14,614 jobs are expected to be created when the projects are fully operational. Out of this, 14,052 of the jobs representing 96.15 % will be for Ghanaians whilst the remainder of 562 jobs which represents 3.85% will be taken up by foreigners.

Meanwhile, additional equity totaling US$11.56 million was re-invested by existing companies within the first half of the year, while a total of GHC1,365.26 million was recorded as investments from 28 wholly owned Ghanaian businesses.

The seemingly positive performance of FDI inflows to the country has been to an extent attributed to the gradual easing of the Covid-19 restrictions as well as government initiatives and incentives rolled out to buffer businesses and the economy at the height of the pandemic.

Regardless of the upbeat performance, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) predicts that FDI will continue to see a decline of 5-10 percent in 2021 with a slow recovery to be initiated in 2022 driven by restructuring of global Value Chains and a general rebound of the global economy.

In this regard, the GIPC remains cautiously optimistic about the flow of FDI to Ghana, as we move forward. That notwithstanding, the Center will continue to assiduously pursue worthwhile investments for economic development as well as support government initiatives such as the COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprises Support (CARES) Programme to help bolster the Ghanaian economy towards a recovery and remain resilient pre and post pandemic.
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Apex Industries Commits to Fund Top Students at National University of Equatorial Guinea
October 24, 2020 | 0 Comments
 Leoncio Amada Nze
Leoncio Amada Nze

As part of Apex Industries social program, the company commits to financially support qualifying students during their academic progress for the next 5 years

Apex Industries, an oil and gas conglomerate based in Equatorial Guinea and headed by Don Leoncio Amada Nze has entered into a 5 year Funding Partnership Agreement with the National University of Equatorial Guinea which will see the company issue scholarships to top talent at the country’s main institution of higher learning. As part of Apex Industries social program, the company commits to financially support qualifying students during their academic progress for the next 5 years.

Apex Industries is a leading oil and gas services company in the central African region. Its activities include the delivery of offshore engineering and maintenance services, oil field logistics services and facility maintenance services. The company, which is headed by its founder and CEO Don Leoncio Amada Nze has an ambitious growth plan to widen its footprint across Africa and along the entire energy value chain.

In order to achieve that, it will have to ensure that it can rely on a constant supply of highly qualified youth. ‘’Our initiative is aimed at offering students in Africa the opportunity to quality education which the National University of Equatorial Guinea provides. We are enthusiastic about this partnership because the youth are the future, not just for Apex Industries, but for the entire continent. They will be in the position to meet the continent’s socio-economic needs and create an impact in their communities,’’ said CEO of APEX Industries and President of the African Energy Chamber, CEMAC Region.

APEX Industries and the African Energy Chamber continue to stress the importance of supporting African institutions and universities by highlighting the shortfalls and implementing strategic plans to address with them adequately, including financing shortfalls. This collaboration also includes a commitment of continuous assessment, in an effort to mobilise the energy sector as a whole to support talent development in Equatorial Guinea in particular and Africa in General.

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Paris Reinforce to hold its first virtual workshop on climate change in Kenya
October 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Paris Reinforce in collaboration with the Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) will on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, hold its first online workshop on climate change in Mombasa, Kenya.

Paris Reinforce is an EU research and innovation project aiming at bridging the gap in the science-policy interface and bolster climate policymaking with authoritative scientific processes.

The e-workshop aimed at capturing the Kenyan national context and stakeholders’ perspective

Its objective is to mobilise knowledge embedded in individuals working for governments, business, NGOs, academia and the civil society.

It also aims to design well-informed and meaningful scientific activities in support of climate policymaking at the national and regional level.

The event will comprise of sessions chaired and coordinated Dr Ioannis Tsipouridis and Prof. Michael Saulo (Technical University of Mombasa).

During the sessions, the participants will be informed about the capabilities of the Paris Reinforce models for Kenya and the broader region. To be presented also are the findings on climate action and sustainable development in East Africa as well as the definition of the most pertinent climate policy questions.

The event will run from 2 pm to 5 pm local time.

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AU Chair condemns violence in Nigeria, urges Buhari’s administration to open investigation into atrocities
October 23, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

AU Chair Moussa Faki has openly expressed his dissatisfaction with the handling of #endsars protest by Nigerian government (photo: diplomaticwatch)
AU Chair Moussa Faki has openly expressed his dissatisfaction with the handling of #endsars protest by Nigerian government (photo: diplomaticwatch)

The Chairperson of the African Union, AU, Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat has in very strong terms condemned the violence that erupted on 20 October 2020 during anti SARS protests in Lagos, Nigeria.

In a press statement earlier this week, Moussa Faki Mahamat called on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari  to open up an investigation into the protest that has resulted in multiple deaths and injuries.

While extending his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives during the protest that pushed for the discontinuation of the country’s special anti-robbery squad (Sars), the chairperson urged for the adoption of conflict de-escalation technics in a bid to proffering a solution to the crisis that has crippled economic activities in most states across the country.

“The Chairperson appeals to all political and social actors to reject the use of violence and respect human rights and the rule of law. He further urges all parties to privilege dialogue in order to de-escalate the situation and find concrete and durable reforms,” a section of the release read.
he also went ahead to welcome the decision by the federal government to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) describing it as an important step in this direction.

Reiterating the African Union’s commitment to accompany the government and people of Nigeria in support of a peaceful solution, the AU chair pushed for the Nigerian authorities to conduct an impartial investigation to ensure the perpetrators of acts of violence are held to account.

US Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, the UK foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, and the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, also joined in the condemnation of the killings and violent protest in Nigeria “The Nigerian government must urgently investigate reports of brutality at the hands of the security forces,” Raab said, adding that he was “alarmed by widespread reports of civilian deaths”.

Several international actors have taken to social media to condemn the repressive measures of the Nigerian government stating that the #endsars protest would not have gotten here if not for the state forces violent clamp down on demonstrators.

In his address Thursday night, Buhari dismissed the international condemnation as hasty insisting that “the international community should seek to know all the facts available before taking a position or rushing to judgment and making hasty pronouncements”, he said.

Twenty-four-hour curfews have been announced in 10 Nigerian states hence shutting down many protests across the country.

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Mulee faces opposition from fans as the new national team coach
October 23, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

A section of Kenyan football fans has opposed the appointment of Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee as the new Harambee Stars head coach.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa confirmed Mulee’s appointment on Wednesday, October 21, and he succeeds Francis Kimanzi who quit on Tuesday. He signed a three-year deal.

The federation announced that Kimanzi and his coaching team left by mutual consent after being in charge for a year; however, there are speculations that he was sacked after opposing Mwenda’s candidature in the recently concluded FKF’s elections.

Mwendwa was on Saturday re-elected as Kenya’s FA boss and he is set to hold the seat until 2024. He beat the closest rivals with more than 70 votes at the federation’s Elective Special General Meeting (SGM) at the Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi.

Mulee returns to Harambee Stars after previous stints at the helm. It is 10 years now since he left the team but he is remembered for guiding the team to 2004 AFCON in Tunisia.

“It is an honour to be Harambee Stars coach for a second time and the task ahead now is to qualify for the Afcon”, Mulee said.

His first assignment will be back to back AFCON qualifier against Comoros next month.

Football fans have criticized the FKF boss for showing Kimanzi the door despite his good record including a recent 2-1 win over Chipololo of Zambia.

 What angered Kenyans most is that the new coach has not managed a top-flight team since 2010 but has been tasked to lead the team to next AFCON and World Cup.

“Kimanzi is better than ‘Ghost’ Mulee,” said Mathenge Charles.

“Why do we keep on recycling these couches? Don’t we have other coaches especially from Kenya Premier League?” posed Jeremy Beru.

Some fans projected poor performance from the national team which has garnered two points in their last two matches against Egypt and Togo while others reminded Mulee of a great threat Comoros will expose to him.

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Kenya improve by three spots in Fifa ranking
October 23, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Kenya has risen three places in the latest Fifa rankings released on Thursday.

The national team Harambee Stars is now in position 103, up from 106 following a 2-1 win over Zambia in an international friendly played in Nairobi early this month.

The world soccer governing body named Uganda as the top-ranked team in East African region. Uganda Cranes were ranked at 72nd followed by Kenya, then Sudan (128), Rwanda (133), Tanzania (134), Ethiopia (146) and Burundi (148) in the top 150 globally.

The top 5 teams in Africa are Senegal (22), Tunisia (26), Algeria (30), Nigeria (32) and Morocco (39).

Globally, Belgium, France and Brazil are the best top three teams in the world.

Comoros, Harambee Stars next opponent in the 2021 AFCON qualifiers next month are in position 132.

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Civil society condemn the latest attempt by the DRC government to undertake oil exploration in protected areas
October 23, 2020 | 0 Comments

Kinshasa, DRC — The Democratic Republic of Congo’s Minister for Hydrocarbons, Rubens Mikindo Muhima this week commissioned geological studies for 16 oil and 3 gas blocks in the DRC as a precursor to the awarding of tenders for exploration and exploitation. In his speech, Minister Muhima affirmed his belief that fossil fuels alone can revolutionize the economy of DRC.

In reaction to these developments, Ephrem Bwishe, an activist in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) said,

“This newest decision by DRC to undertake exploration of oil and gas is a threat to Salonga and Virunga Parks, which are UNESCO World Heritage sites and home to the critically-endangered mountain gorillas and many other endemic species. 

As we have seen in other countries, oil and gas exploration won’t directly benefit the local communities and will instead impoverish these people who depend on fisheries, farming and tourism.

As a citizen of DRC, I call on President Tshisekedi and his Government to cancel any oil exploration contracts signed in the past, and not undertake any future oil exploration activities in the protected areas. The government is an ally of its citizens and should act in their interests to protect and create opportunities that benefit the community’s livelihood and preserve the natural resources in the region.”

Landry Ninteretse, Africa Team Leader at 350.org, said,

“DRC has an abundance of natural resources that it can exploit to meet its economic and development ambitions. Virunga and Salonga National Parks host many of these oil and gas blocks, meaning that DRC could effectively stand to lose the outstanding universal value and significant income derived from these two protected areas. No oil exploration or extraction should happen in such fragile ecosystems where people have been living in harmony with nature for centuries.

We thus call on the DRC government to reconsider oil and gas exploration and instead focus on the more viable income opportunities available in the country such as tourism, mining and agriculture.”

On May 8, 2020, Minister Muhima presented the inventory of the oil and gas potential in the DRC and the Cabinet adopted a selection of 16 oil and 3 gas blocks, mostly in protected areas to undergo a tendering process that will culminate in the allocation of hydrocarbon rights.

Virunga and Salonga Parks have outstanding universal value, listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1979 and 1984, they play host to 43% of Africa’s bird species, 27% of African mammals and more than 10% of these reptiles, amphibians, medicinal plants and several other rare endangered species that do not exist anywhere else in the world. This rich biodiversity that supports the livelihoods of millions of people is threatened by a series of licenses for oil exploration by the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, through the Ministry of Hydrocarbons.

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EU disburses €25 million to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 crisis in The Gambia
October 23, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen

The European Union, EU disbursed €25 million of budget support for The Gambia’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. As part of the Team Europe global package, these funds contribute to the recovery from the pandemic and also support the transition towards democracy and medium-term development objectives.

Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said: “With this budget support, the EU is contributing to mitigate the most urgent budgetary needs of The Gambian Government in the context of the pandemic. As The Gambia’s key partner, the European Union encourages the Government to strengthen democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and to take the lead in building the necessary national consensus around the future direction of the democratic transition, with a new Constitution at its core.”

The pandemic constitutes an unprecedented global health and economic crisis with detrimental and long-lasting socio-economic impacts. This budget support serves to support The Gambia in tackling its economic and fiscal impact, including loss of government revenue, unforeseen additional expenses and the consequences of global disruptions to supply chains. This will contribute to The Gambia’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the democratic transition initiated in 2017.

Channelled to the National Treasury of The Gambia, the EU funds will be used in accordance with The Gambia’s own Public Financial Management systems and policy priorities. By providing fiscal space to address the pandemic and to continue financing basic public services such as healthcare and education, these funds will support The Gambia’s resilience to the crisis.

This funding also directly supports the long-term efforts to achieve debt sustainability. In addition, the EU will provide technical assistance and capacity building in areas such as public financial management and statistical development.

Background information

Since the democratic transition, the EU has provided to The Gambia €365 million in development funds during the period 2016-2020 and €38.95 million from the EU Emergency Trust Fund from 2015 to 2019.

The EU is committed to assist in strengthening the democratic and economic governance in The Gambia as well as its resilience capacity. The EU supports the priorities of The Gambian Government in view of encouraging inclusive and sustainable growth, achieving the necessary reforms related to human rights, to democracy, and on the rule of law.

The EU Delegation implements a broad project portfolio focusing on governance, energy and economic growth, providing budget support under a series of sequential state and resilience building contracts and accompanying the democratic reform and transitional justice trajectories.

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Kenya:Westgate terror suspects to know their fate next week
October 23, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

The two suspects implicated in the 2013 Westgate Mall terror attack will be sentenced next week, announce the Nairobi High Court.

The sentencing was slated for today (October 22) but has been postponed to Friday next week.

The case was adjourned after the prosecution failed to produce a pre-sentencing report.

Probation Officer Peter Macharia told the court that he needed more time to interview some of the victims.

Earlier this month, the court found Mohammed Abdi and Hassan Mustafa guilty of conspiracy to commit attack at Nairobi’s Westgate Mall that left 67 people dead and several injured.

Liban Abdullahi Omar, the third accused was acquitted of the charges due to lack of evidence.

“The irregularities in the process of issuing ID cards cannot be blamed on the third person. The accused was not at the Westgate building during the time of the attack,” ruled Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi.

Omar who is from Somalia and had been living in Kakuma refugee camp was kidnapped by gunmen after he was released by the Anti-terrorism Police Unit (ATPU).

Magistrate Andayi has directed the Kenya National Human Rights Commission (KNHRC) to probe Omar’s abduction.

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Kenya:Rare grand reception for Uhuru in Kisumu
October 22, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday received a warm welcome from the residents of Kisumu town.

The president, who is on the development tour at the lakeside city, was welcomed by songs and dances.

The ecstatic residents waved placards praising the Head of State and his handshake brother the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

The President was forced to wave atop his vehicle as the crowd cheered wildly.

 On Thursday morning, President and Odinga held a closed-door meeting with leaders hailing from Nyanza region.

The meeting was branded a consultative forum but its main agenda is still unknown.

It was attended by four governors, senators, women representatives, MPs, deputy governor, the Kisumu County Assembly Speaker and MCAs.

Previously, President Kenyatta experienced cold reception in the region and was heckled several times owing to the then frosty relationship between him and Odinga. Thanks to the handshake, now he is one of the leaders celebrated in Nyanza which is the AU envoy’s stronghold.

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Citizens Manifesto Takes Accountability, Investigations of Zimbabwe’s Perpetrations to Humanity Post Covid-19
October 22, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

Citizens Manifesto 3rd  National Citizens Convention 2020 holds the theme—- Non but ourselves. Re-Imagining the future we want post covid-19. This time again the organisation takes bold action to bring accountability, transparency, credibility, fairness and liberalism for human social justice through investigations on some issues un-addressed of late and recently. The action pack moves towards a National Citizens Convention, 4 to 6 November next month to adventure and explore on real issues affecting Zimbabweans.

In a press release issued to media in Harare on Thursday 22 October, the Civil Society group tells Journalists the convention is the third one since 2018. This is a platform to bring ourselves together to take into account what needs to be addressed as challenges at home post covid-19 exist.

‘’ We are in our third year with focus to issues to address post covid-19 . We have done it post political crisis, impasses and conflicts in recent years 2018 and 2019. This time we do it post covid-19 and post political issues woven as well in covid-19 pandemic.’’

‘’The convention is set to interrogate key questions around Zimbabwe’s on-going impasse and rising new abnormalities brought by covid-19 public health crisis. The key aim of the convention is to create an inclusive environment for citizens to participate in the national discourse defining and building solidarity towards this year’s theme ‘’ , reads the release .

Three main questions are – where are we? Why are we where we are? Where do we want to go? The convention will seek answers in the context of three proposed thematic areas. The three are  ..

Forging a new social contract based on trust, agency and solidarity begins with us…

The country is a wound that need treatment. It means communities are heavily affected. This has been more caused by covid-19 lockdown, restrictions, curfews and some increase of restrictions and more added days on top of 21 days. . This has diminished the social fabric.

Participatory Democracy and Constitutionalism. Creating room for every- one.

Human rights abuses have increased intensified by covid-19. How then can citizens enjoy their rights, freedom of expression and move towards hunger eradication, ameliorating poverty and moving out of vulnerability. Citizens need representative, participatory and liberal democracy for them to move towards total political, social and economic emancipation.

‘’To build this democracy from communities upwards, we need an honest and frank interrogation of how representative democracy and equity are experienced in Zimbabwe. There is need to create space for all citizens. All citizens must participate collectively in a manner that shows fairness, oneness’’.

An Inclusive and sustainable economy. Getting our national wealth to serve our community/communities and conserve our environment ..

Public accountability, transparency and anti-corruption are deeply entangled in questions of ownership and wealth distribution in Zimbabwe. Under this thematic area deliberations will make link between personalisation and national wealth, natural resource governance, environment and climate justice. The Third convention invites an exploration of how citizens and communities are breathing life into alternative local economies.

‘’Zimbabwe is a whole bag of abnormalities. These are human made through error and negligence. There are economic issues building up to an impasse pulling society down. Society is totally divided. We need to look at inclusivity and participation of all citizens. This is done through public accountability, transparency and anti-corruption to stabilise the nation.’’ It reads in conclusion.

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Sinking island gets livelihood support through funding from the Government of Japan
October 22, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Uzman Unis Bah

Yeliboya, the sinking island in the north of Sierra Leone receives livelihood support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR).

The intervention provides fish processing and preservation equipment to the Yeliboya Fishing Community, which is primarily reliant on fishing to meet its social and economic needs, in the Kambia District.

“Our presence here today is made possible by the generosity of the Japanese Government who recognized the needs of Yeliboya community, so I must start by thanking the Government of Japan for providing these funds for us to be able to bring these equipment today,” the country Representative for FAO, Dr Nyabenyi Tito Tipo said.

FAO provided fish landing equipment, fish hygiene and processing equipment, preservation and transportation materials, which included solar freezers and iceboxes. Dr Tipo said, Yeliboya is a place with lots of potentials, but with climate variability and change, the island is adversely impacted, and that prompted FAO to come to the aid of the needy community.

Hon. Minister of MFMR, Hon. Emma Kowa Jalloh expressed gratitude for FAO’s support in complementing the effort of the Ministry and the Government of Sierra Leone in implementing diverse development projects in the country. She thanked the Government of Japan for helping the Ministry through FAO to aid the deprived community.

Hon. Jalloh admonished recipient of the items to handle them with care to help improve their source of revenue; she said the ministry is committed to providing the necessary support and facilitate the required measures to develop the fishing sector of the country.

The Director of Fisheries, Mrs Khadija Jalloh said FAO started with Yeliboya because it is the most vulnerable area, and the impact of climate change is taking a toll on the community; she admonished the people to take good care of the equipment and ensure they use it for the rightful purposes.

The National Project Coordinator, Abdulai Amadu Bangura, said the donation was a means of support to help the deprived community maintain its source of revenue. There are frequent fire incidents in the island that occur due to the use of local kilns (Banda) made with wood to process their  fish products, most of the women have been exposed to smoke while burning woods to process fish, and that is affecting their health, he said.

According to Abdulai, the project targeted women because they are the most disadvantaged in the fishing communities; women are responsible for processing and preserving fish; the donated equipment will enable them to do their work with less burden to get their goods to the market without wastage.

The next step will see the construction  of smoke ovens, known as the FAO- Thiaroye Processing  Technology (FTT), a new technology that would be fitted inside a structure to support women in drying their fish; the FTT structure is smokeless, and it is more improved and easily adaptable, Abdulai Said.

According to the project coordinator, ten FTT units will be constructed on the island to help the women in drying their fish. He stated that this would enable the women to preserve fish and supply the market in Freetown, where they will get the right value for their fish products.

Chief Pa Adeakalie B Bangura of the Yeliboya community thanked FAO and the MFMR for supporting their community; he said Yeliboya was open to receiving more support from government and its donor partners. He encouraged the men to believe that even though the donation targeted women, men should be proud because besides being on the marketing side of fishing sector; women are the backbone for providing food in the homes while the men are off to fish in the sea.

FAO consulted the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources in developing the project proposal, which was design to address policy issues in combating Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing activities and the Voluntary Guideline for securing Sustainable Small-Scale fisheries for sustainable fisheries and maritime security.

The Director of Fisheries warned the indigenes of the Yeliboya community to take heed and be ready to evacuate at any time, as it is evident that climate change is taking a toll on the island, and the sea level is swiftly encroaching on the land, and the best way out is to start making alternative plans.

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