Ghana Is the Star in IMF’s 2019 Economic Growth Forecast
Ghana will be the fastest-growing economy in the world this year, according to the International Monetary Fund. The lender’s growth forecast of 8.8 percent for the producer of cocoa, gold and oil dwarfs the 6.6 percent median in a Bloomberg survey. The IMF’s projection in its latest World Economic Outlook published Tuesday is “way too generous,” Neville Mandimika, an analyst at FirstRand Group Ltd.’s Rand Merchant Bank, said on Twitter.
Ghana holds rate but won’t hesitate to tighten if needed
Ghana’s central bank left its policy rate steady at 16.0 percent but said it would not “hesitate to take immediate and decisive policy actions including on a tighter monetary policy stance, should these risks materialize and threaten to dislodge the disinflation process.”
The Bank of Ghana (BOG), which has been in a monetary easing cycle since November 2016, said its monetary policy stance is still relatively tight and real interest rates in Ghana are comparatively high but there are risks to its outlook for inflation from the depreciation of the cedi.
After BoG cut its rate by another 100 basis points in late January, the cedi fell around 11 percent in February through mid-March, with BOG attributing this to seasonal pressures on the back of foreign exchange demand by importers and corporates, and sentiment over the economic outlook after the completion of the IMF-supported program and its implication for the next election cycle.
The cedi was trading at 5.35 to the U.S. dollar today, down 9 percent this year.
Although the full pass through of this depreciation to inflation has yet to be assessed, BOG noted the overshooting of the exchange rate had corrected to 5.2 percent at the end of March compared with 8 percent as of March 19, and is of the view that a slowing pace of disinflation and upside risks to the outlook for inflation are not enough to dislodge inflation expectations.
Since November 2016 BOG has cut its key rate by 10 percentage points as inflation has steadily declined.
Ghana’s inflation rate rose to 9.2 percent in February from 9.0 percent in January but this is well down from over 19 percent in March 2016, helped by the tight monetary policy stance, and inflation is still within BOG’s medium-term target band and inflation expectations remain well-anchored.
Ghana’s economy remains relatively strong, BOG said, adding the negative output gap seems to be closing at a relatively modest pace and 2018 growth is projected at 5.6 percent after average growth of 6.1 percent in the first three quarters, with 2018 non-oil output growing at 5.8 percent.
For 2019 growth is projected to rise to 7.6 percent, with the composite index of economic activity showing growth of 3.2 percent in January, up from 2.4 percent in December.
Helped by slightly higher crude oil and gold prices amidst lower cocoa prices – Ghana’s three main exports – Ghana’s trade surplus improved to 1.3 percent of GDP in the first quarter from 1.1 percent in the same period last year, leading to a 0.3 percent surplus in the current account.
Together with inflows from Ghana’s $3 billion Eurobond in March, the balance of payments is estimated to show a surplus of some US$3.135 billion, or 4.6 percent of GDP, for the first quarter. Excluding the Eurobond proceeds, the surplus is seen at $449 million.
Government of Ghana announces 10 measures to make Ghana an easier place to do business
A multisectoral technical team from across Government agencies presented the ambitious business reform plan to key stakeholders at Labadi Beach Hotel.
The planned reforms are within the framework of the World Bank Group’s Doing Business Report, which provides objective measures of business regulations for local firms in 190 economies and selected cities at the subnational level. The reforms will cover starting a business, obtaining construction permits, getting electricity, trading across borders, and resolving insolvency.
“These reforms are further demonstration of government’s commitment to removing the obstacles that have long kept businesses in Ghana from reaching their full potential. We aim to unleash the Ghanaian entrepreneurial spirit and open our doors to the world” Vice President Bawumia said.
The Doing Business Report has become the global benchmark for measuring how friendly countries are for businesses. The “zero-sum ranking” fosters keen competition among countries as those that don’t reform faster than their peers can go down in the ranking even if their business environment does not change. Ghana ranked 114thin the 2019 ranking, up from 120th in 2018.
“Through our work in advising Government in over 80 countries globally and over 30 in this region, we know that having the commitment at the highest level of leadership is one of most important ingredients of the reform agenda,”said Ronke-Amoni Ogunsulire, IFC Country Manager for Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger, and Togo. “With the appropriate reform structures in place, efficient coordination and accountability mechanisms, Ghana has the right formula to succeed and implementing an investment climate conducive to growth of businesses” she added.
Ghana’s reforms which will take effect between March and June 2019 include:
1. For companies applying to register without a TIN number, the TIN number will now be generated automatically online at the point of application;
2. Launch of a mobile app and an online platform for the ease of filing tax returns; Individuals will be able to file their taxes online by April 2019
3. Implementation of an electronic justice system that allows the automated serving of court process with speed and ease;
4. Removal of the requirement for a commissioner of oaths in registering a company when the companies bill is passed;
5. Merger of all four starting-a-business application forms: TIN application, SNNIT application, Business Operating Permit application and Business Registration forms;
6. Automation of the application for Business Operating Permit along with instant online issuance following payment;
7. Reduction and automation of the steps to getting electricity;
8. Automation of the construction permit system along with instant online issuance following payment;
9. Reduction in physical examination of containers through the use of risk engine;
10. Government is working towards the passing of the Insolvency Bill and the Companies’ Bill into law by Parliament.
The objective of the Doing Business Stakeholders workshop was to engage and create awareness within the private sector which is ultimately the beneficiary of the ambitious reforms introduced by the Government of Ghana.
Africa should strive for its own ‘Nordic values’
Norway and its Scandinavian neighbours have long been viewed as global leaders when it comes to gender parity and wider environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. I was therefore surprised to see that the Norwegian oil fund had only recently published its position paper on board diversity (“Norway’s oil fund backs gender equality push”, Report, February 16), views that it had reportedly held since 2018.
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How the UK can improve trade partnerships in Ghana
On the 17th of March 2022, our Managing Partner, Nana Adjoa Hackman was part of a delegation invited to No10 Downing Street for a roundtable discussion in commemoration of Commonwealth Day. The Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency, the Rt. Hon. Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, led discussions on ways in which the UK could strengthen partnerships in the Commonwealth to invigorate international trading links and commercial ties. The event was organized by the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, which is the Commonwealth’s business network whose objective is to facilitate trade and investment throughout the 54 member nations of the Commonwealth.
During the visit, our Managing Partner Nana Adjoa Hackman had very insightful and productive meetings with Adam Afriyie MP (former UK Trade Envoy to Ghana), James Duddridge MP (former Under-Secretary of State for Africa and current Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister), Harriett Baldwin MP (former Secretary of State for Africa and current vice-chair of the APPG for Africa) and Baroness Kate Hoey (current UK Trade Envoy to Ghana).
The focus of discussion during these engagements were on how the UK can improve trade partnerships in Ghana to mutually benefit both countries in the wake of Brexit and to strengthen #Commonwealth ties. Africa Legal Associates is proud to be part of these conversations and excited at the opportunities that lie ahead.
We are delighted to announce that Nii Odoi Odotei, a partner of the firm is now a licensed Insolvency Practitioner under the Corporate Insolvency and Restructuring Act, 2020 (Act 1015).
Many congratulations to him.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on everyone, but women have shouldered the bulk of the burden at home and at work.
Most years, International Women’s Day offers an opportunity to focus on the progress the world has made in pursuit of gender equality. Over the past decade, we have made huge leaps around the world. But sadly, this year feels different. The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on everyone, but women in particular have shouldered much of the burden at home and at work. Years of progress have ground to a halt or, in some areas, regressed.
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Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 02/11/21
> Chifeng Jilong Gold to acquire Golden Star for US$470 Million.
Canadian miner Golden Star Resources Ltd. agreed to be acquired by Chifeng Jilong Gold Mining Co. in a $470 million deal that gives the Shanghai-listed company access to a gold mine in Ghana.
> African Development Bank and AfCFTA Secretariat partner to stimulate industry
African Development Bank Group President, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, said on Friday that the Bank will integrate the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) into its country and regional integration strategies.
Credit: Africa Development Bank Group
> Banks upbeat BoG’s e-cedi will lower transaction costs in the country
Banks in the country are optimistic that introducting the Bank of Ghana’s (BoG) e-cedi will facilitate low transaction costs, improve security of payments as well as enhance higher monetary transaction limits, the 2021 PwC Ghana Banking Survey Report has revealed.
Credit: B&FT Online
> Volta Development Forum gets GH¢80,000.00 to promote 1D1F
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 04/11/21
> Government completes takeover of AirtelTigo
Government has finalized the purchase of AirtelTigo, Bharti Airtel has disclosed in a regulatory filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange. The Indian telecom operator, Bharti Airtel, in the filing noted that the government of Ghana has taken over the joint telecom venture and the shares have been transferred.
“This is in further to our announcement dated October 27, 2020, and April 16, 2021, regarding Government of Ghana’s takeover of ownership of Airtel/Tigo Joint Venture. We wish to update that the transaction has been completed and 100% shares of Airtel Tigo have been transferred to the Government of Ghana,” the statement read. Government, in April, announced that it has reached an agreement with telecommunications company AirtelTigo to take over ownership. The company is jointly managed by Bharti Airtel and telecom operator Millicom International Cellular SA (Tigo).
Credit: Graphic Online
> Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia to launch E-Pharmacy project.
The Vice President has hinted of plans by the government to launch an E-Pharmacy project to address challenges faced by members of the public in accessing medicines. He explained that several patients spend long hours searching for pharmacies where they can obtain prescribed medications, sometimes at very expensive prices.
Delivering a public lecture on Ghana’s digital economy, at the Ashesi University on Tuesday, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia revealed that the Pharmacy Council in collaboration with the private sector have been urged to digitize their activities.
> Tourism growth to stay within 5% by end of year
The contribution of travel and tourism in percentages to Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (% of GDP) is expected to stay within five percent by end of December this year, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal , has indicated. The percentage of tourism’s contribution to GDP was at a level of 5.5 percent in 2019, unaffected from the previous year due to notable events such as the ‘Year of Return 2019’ among others. However, the advent of COVID-19 and its climax in 2020 significantly impacted the sector’s growth; whereby the industry lost an estimated GH¢8billion, according to the Tourism Ministry
Credit: Ghana Web
> NPA confident fuel prices will be stable in November
The National Petroleum Authority, NPA, is confident that the two-month removal of the Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levies (PRSL) on petrol, diesel, and LPG will provide the desired relief to Ghanaians when it takes effect. According to the Authority, it will do everything within the law to ensure that the Price Stabilization and Recovery levy which took effect on Monday, November 1, 2021 remains suspended for the next two months.
The purpose of the Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy (PSRL) is to stabilise prices for consumers and pay for the subsidies on Premix Fuel and Residual Fuel Oil. Currently, the PSRL is 16 pesewas per liter on petrol, fourteen pesewas per litre (GHp14/Lt) on diesel, and fourteen pesewas per kilogram (GHp14/Kg) on LPG.
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 12/11/21
> GH¢34 million recorded as total revenue and grants for first seven months of 2021 – BoG
The Bank of Ghana has revealed the country’s total revenue and grants for the first seven months of 2021 amounted to GH¢34.27 billion. According to the central bank’s Fiscal Development report for September 2021, this represents 7.8 percent of GDP which is lower than the set-out target of GH¢38.83 billion representing 8.8 percent of GDP. “This outturn represented 88.3 percent of the January to July 2021 target and recorded a year-on-year growth of 19.9 percent.” “During the review period, domestic revenue amounted to GH¢33.73 billion (7.7% of GDP), below the target of GH¢37.84 billion (8.6% of GDP). The revenue outcomes reflected mixed performances of both tax and non-tax proceeds,” the report noted.
“This is in further to our announcement dated October 27, 2020, and April 16, 2021, regarding Government of Ghana’s takeover of ownership of Airtel/Tigo Joint Venture. We wish to update that the transaction has been completed and 100% shares of Airtel Tigo have been transferred to the Government of Ghana,” the statement read. Government, in April, announced that it has reached an agreement with telecommunications company AirtelTigo to take over ownership. The company is jointly managed by Bharti Airtel and telecom operator Millicom International Cellular SA (Tigo).
Credit: Ghana Web
> Ghana formally agrees to host 7th OACPS meeting
Ghana has signed a host-country agreement with the Secretariat of the Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) to host its 7th meeting of Ministers in charge of Fisheries and Aquaculture. Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, signed for Ghana while Ms Cristelle Pratt signed on behalf of her organisation. The meeting, set to come off from April 5 to 8, 2022, will be attended by policy makers, practitioners, and other stakeholders within the fisheries and aquaculture sector. The overall goal of the meeting, officially launched in Ghana on August 24, 2021, is to provide a forum for the engagement of the highest-level policy and decision makers on fisheries and aquaculture resources development to provide strategic policy direction and guidance.
Credit: Ghana News Agency
> Ghana to receive 20% equity share for refining gold locally
Ghana will receive 20 percent free equity share for gold refined locally when Royal Gold Ghana Limited begins operation this year. Currently, all the gold produced by mining companies in the country are refined outside, therefore, the government gains nothing from gold refined abroad. In that vein, the government entered into a public-private partnership with an Indian company, Rosy Royal Limited, to refine gold in Ghana. The agreement states that the government of Ghana will receive a 20 percent equity share in the gold refined by the Indian Company locally, while the Indian investor, which built the refinery gets 80 percent.
Credit: Citi Business News
> US$1.3 trillion global MICE tourism market entices industry players
The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) is seeking to prioritise infrastructure as the major attraction in the country’s quest to position itself as the preferred Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) hub in West Africa. Indeed, the global MICE tourism market – which forms part of business tourism – is expected to reach an estimated US$1.3 trillion in the next seven years. The GTA however said it is leveraging opportunities in the sector as most countries are returning to normalcy from disorders of the pandemic, and is hosting in-person meetings and conferences – albeit within the COVID-19 safety protocols
Credit: Ghana Web
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 13/12/21
> Economic outlook positive, but potential risks exist – Governor
The Bank of Ghana (BOG) says the 2022 economic outlook is positive but warns of uncertainties surrounding food prices and petroleum price adjustments, which are likely to exert inflationary pressures. Speaking at the 2021 Annual Bankers Week Dinner of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Dr Ernest Addison , the Governor of BoG, said the country had made a steady economic recovery from the pandemic effects since the last quarter of 2020. However, Dr Addison said there was a fiscal risk from a significantly increased projection of government expenditure in 2022. He said the market’s assessment of the 2022 budget suggested lingering doubts about the ability of the revenue measures announced to translate into a large increase in domestic revenue.
> Non-traditional exports earn US$2.85 billion in 2020 – GEPA
Ghana’s non-traditional export (NTE) trade earned US$2.8bn in 2020, a marginal 1.8 percent decline from the previous year’s figure of US$2.9bn, according to the latest NTE figures from the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA). The dip in 2020 was largely due to the harsh impact of the coronavirus pandemic on trade and a reflection of the downward trend in the performance of processed and semi-processed products, particularly cocoa butter and canned tuna. The top 10 leading products of the entire NTE sector and products in the processed, agricultural and arts, and craft subsectors showed increases in performance, with average growths of 24.11 percent, 21.28 percent, 13.49 percent and 472.81 percent respectively, signaling the buoyancy of the exports.
> Ghana was 32nd largest exporter of cassava in the world for 2019 – OEC
Data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) has showed Ghana made $3.4 million in export earnings from cassava in 2019 making it the 32rd largest exporter in the world. According to the data, the United Kingdom was Ghana’s main cassava export destination with 41.5 percent of the total export earnings ($1.42 million), followed by France with 38.1 percent of the earnings ($1.3 million). Other cassava export destinations of Ghana included: Turkey (US$145k), Italy ($128k), and Belgium ($112k). The data also showed the fastest growing export markets of Cassava for Ghana between 2018 and 2019 were the United Kingdom ($969k), France ($261k), and Turkey ($144k). In spite of this wonderful export performance, Ghana still imported cassava worth over $32, 000 making cassava the 1027th most imported product in Ghana.
> Ayensu Starch Factory to transform rural economy with 5,000 jobs
The rejuvenated Ayensu Starch Company is currently undergoing a test run and is expected to commence full operations from January 2022. The factory will produce 60 metric tonnes of food-grade tapioca starch at full operational capacity daily and it is expected to create, at least, 5,000 jobs. Mr Evans Ayim, the Manager of the Company, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said the resuscitation of the factory would help transform the rural economy as about GH¢25 million would be spent annually to buy cassava.
“We are now buying a tonne of cassava at GH¢350.00. If one supplies one acre worth of cassava, which is about 10 tonnes, then the supplier will be earning GH¢3,500 revenue.
Credit: Ghana Web
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 14/12/21
> Ghana is 8th biggest economy in Africa with size of $72.4bn – World Bank
Ghana’s economy has been ranked as the 8th biggest economy in Africa, according to the World Bank’s latest report dubbed “African countries with the highest Gross Domestic Product over time”. The report which was focused on the GDP growth of African countries in 2020 saw Ghana placing 8th in Africa and Nigeria placing 1st. The GDP of a country refers to the total monetary or market value of all goods and services produced within an economy in a particular year. This can be said to be an improvement in the country’s growth as compared to the year 2005 when Ghana did not make it into the top 10 biggest economies in Africa. Ghana’s economic growth can be largely attributed to oil production in the last 15 years. With an economic size of $72.4 billion, Ghana has witnessed consistent expansion in its economy.
> President Nana Akufo-Addo unveils EUR 82.5 million Team Europe backing for Ghana’s COVID-19 national response plan during visit to EIB
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo , has welcomed the €82.5 million support offered to Ghana by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to strengthen healthcare, provision of specialist medical equipment and medicines across Ghana under the national COVID-19 Health Response Plan. The concessional financing package, which comprises a €75 million facility from the EIB, and €7.5 million grant from the European Commission, was signed at the Luxembourg Headquarters of the European Investment Bank, following President Akufo-Addo’s official visit to Luxembourg on Monday, 13th December 2021. The new agreement with Ghana represents the largest national EIB financing for COVID-related health investment in Africa.
Credit: European Investment Bank
> Majority of insurance companies meet GH¢50m capital requirement – NIC boss
The National Insurance Commission has applauded some insurance companies for meeting the deadline for the minimum capital requirement of GH¢50 million cedis. According to the Commissioner of Insurance, Dr Justice Yaw Ofori, the majority of companies have recapitalized even ahead of the 31st December 2021 deadline. Speaking at the 2021 Chartered Insurance Institute of Ghana Educational Conference and Annual General Meeting, Commissioner of Insurance, Dr. Justice Ofori said the insurance commission is optimistic that the companies will be able to meet the deadline. “So far, they [insurers] are doing well, most of them have already capitalised beyond the GH¢50 million. We understand some are also trying to catch up…you know the Ghanaian always want to wait till the last minute. I know before the end of the month we will see some miracles.
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 24/12/21
> Producer Price Inflation For November Rises To 13.6 Per Cent
The year-on-year Producer Price Inflation (PPI) rate for November 2021 rose to 13.6 percent, up from 10.6 percent the previous month. The rate represents a 3.0 percentage point increase in producer inflation relative to the rate recorded in June 2021.
Professor Samuel Annim, the Government Statistician, who announced this on Wednesday at Winneba, said the month-on-month change in producer price index between October 2021 and November 2021 was 2.8 percent. The producer price inflation for the Mining and Quarrying sub-sector increased by 2.8 percentage points over the October 2021 rate of -1.0 percent to record 1.8 per cent in November 2021. The inflation for the Manufacturing sub-sector, which constituted more than two-thirds of the total industry, increased by 3.9 percentage points, to 20.0 percent.
> Bank of Ghana to start gold purchase from small scale miners – Bawumia
The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has indicated that in conjunction with the Bank of Ghana, government will begin a gold purchase programme which will involve the purchasing of gold from the small scale mining sector in the country. Speaking at the maiden edition of the Responsible Small Scale Mining Awards, Dr. Bawumia revealed that “after series of deliberations, the Bank of Ghana has been persuaded to start this programme which is going to be the first of it’s kind in history”. According to him, when started, ” the programme will be a boost for the small scale mining sector as purchases made will improve the country’s gold reserves”.
> Mixed reactions greet maiden cashew price of GH₵5
The maiden uniform purchasing price for cashew nuts for the 2022 crop season as announced by the government has been received with mixed reactions. This was after the government announced at a stakeholder’s meeting at Wenchi on December 15, 2021, that it has finally set GH¢5.002 as the minimum price for the purchasing of cashew nuts.
Although many of the farmers commended the government for the initiative as it will prevent buyers from cheating them, a section of them argued that the maiden price of GH¢5.002 is not adequate and could have been pushed a bit higher. A farmer, Mr. Anthony Oppong who was clearly not satisfied with the minimum price was of the opinion that it could have been pegged at GH¢6.00 to help farmers break even.
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 19/01/22
> Two local investors join race for Ghana’s home-based carrier
Two domestic investors have made presentations to the committee mandated to receive and peruse various proposals aimed at partnering government to establish a new home-based carrier for Ghana. This brings to four the number of firm proposals under consideration by the committee which operates under the Ministry of Transport. EgyptAir and Ethiopian Airlines’ proposals are the other two under consideration. AviationGhana sources say the two local investors have deep pockets and have business interests in real estate, hospitality, media, and manufacturing and collectively employ hundreds of people.
One of the domestic investors has gone a step further in obtaining an Air Carrier License (ACL) and is pushing to meet all requirements for the granting of an Air Operator Certificate (AOC). The two certificates are required by the sector regulator, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), to operate as an airline in Ghana.
The other local investor, AviationGhana sources say, has all the means to complete the ACL and AOC processes and has shown proof of funds. The Committee, chaired by astute aviation sector policy professional, Mr. Twumasi Ankrah Selby, is expected to make recommendations to the Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah who will then present the final recommended proposal to the cabinet.
> Ghana’s Ecotoursim contributes US$1.2 billion to GDP in 2020
Ghana’s ecotourism in 2020 contributed US$1.2 billion to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The contribution formed 5.5 percent of GDP in the year amid poaching, logging, and illegal mining activities. Poaching is hunting or capturing wildlife without permission from the respective authorities. Madam Ernestina Anie, the Public Relations Officer of Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, said the activities continued to pose threats to conservation and the promotion of ecotourism. She explained that aside from patrons paying to watch some animals at ecotourism sites, wildlife animals played an important role in the ecosystem.
Credit: News Ghana
> Tourism grew by 4 percent in 2021 – UNWTO
World Tourism Organization’s World Tourism Barometer has indicated that global tourism increased to 415 million in 2021 from the 400 million recorded in 2020. According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the 415 million recorded for 2021 represent a 4 percent growth rate from the level of global tourism recorded in 2020.
It, however, noted that the 4 percent growth was still 72 percent below the figures recorded prior to the COVID-19 era which started in 2019. “This follows on from 2020, the worst year on record for tourism when international arrivals decreased by 73 percent,” the report added. According to the report, the 4 percent growth recorded was due to the rising rates of vaccination, combined with the easing of travel restrictions due to increased cross-border coordination and protocols.
> GRA drags some OMCs to court over non-payment of taxes
The Ghana Revenue Authority is prosecuting about 30 oil marketing companies for failure to pay taxes to the tune of about GH220m. The GRA says it has decided to tow this line because the Oil Marketing Companies have failed to respond even after several attempts to get them to fulfill their tax obligations.
Rev. Amishaddai Owusu Amoah, who is the Director-General of the General of the Ghana Revenue Authority made the statement in an interview with JoyNews; “I think that we have seen a significant improvement in payment from the oil marketing sector as we focused more on them, for those who have not paid as you might be aware, there are over 30 of them that we are prosecuting. We have started prosecuting them in court, and since we started some of them have come to negotiate and started paying. But those who will fail, we will continue the prosecution”.
Credit: The World News
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 31/01/22
> Cost of borrowing generally decreased in 2021 – BoG
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has indicated that the cost of borrowing from financial institutions generally decreased in 2021. The Summary of Economic and Financial data report of the BoG showed that although the monetary policy rate set by BoG was 14.5 percent as at the end of 2021 and 2020, the interbank weighted average interest rate which was 13.56 percent in 2020 decreased to 12.68 percent in 2021. This implies the average cost of banks borrowing money among themselves decreased from 13.6 percent to 12.68 percent in December 2021. Also, in the credit market, the average lending rate decreased slightly from the 21.10 percent rate in December 2020 to 20.04 percent at the end of December 2021. This implies that averagely the interest paid by individuals on loans from financial institutions slightly decreased on average from 21.10 percent to 20.04 percent in 2021.
> Ghana’s total debt stock now GH¢344.5 billion as of November 2021
Ghana’s total debt stock hit GH¢344.5 billion at the end of November 2021, according to the Bank of Ghana ’s January 2022 Summary of Economic and Financial Data. This is equivalent to 78.4% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 77.8% as of September 2021. From the BoG’s data, between September and November 2021, GH¢2.7 billion fresh loans were added to the total debt. Meanwhile, in government’s issuance calendar, it had indicated that for the final quarter of 2021 it will borrow just about a billion cedis, and therefore many market watchers, analysts and economists said they were hoping the debt level for the final quarter of this year will remain stable from the present level.
> Ghana scores 66% in 2021 Customer Service Index
The Ghana Customer Service Index (GCSI) has ranked companies in customer service across all industries in Ghana for 2021. The 2021 research and survey collected data from over 3,000 respondents on key metrics such as Trust, Look & Feel, Competence, Professionalism, Ease of Doing Business, Processes, and Procedures, and Customer-Focused Innovations. The rest are Engagement with Customers, Complaints and Feedback, and Coronavirus Preparedness. In a brief ceremony to present its findings to stakeholders and the media, the Institute of Customer Service Professionals (ICSP) indicated the survey covered ten economic sectors, namely the banking, utilities, insurance, telecommunications, hospitality, healthcare, retail malls, public institutions, online businesses, and transportation. The institute scored Ghana 66.26% in its 2021 Customer Service Index representing C+.
> Gold Fields pays US$320 million to government in taxes
Gold Fields Limited paid US$320.2 million to the Government of Ghana in various taxes last year, Joshua Mortoti, Acting Executive Vice President, Gold Fields West Africa, has said. The Tarkwa and Damang Mines, in 2021, paid US$244 million in corporate taxes and royalties, US$48.2 dividend to the government while Pay-as-you- earn (PAYE) contributions stood at US$28m,” he told journalists at a media engagement session in Accra on Thursday, January 27, 2022. Mr Mortoti said in accordance with the company’s commitment to create an enduring value beyond mining, Gold Fields had since 2004, invested US$84m in socio-economic development of host communities.
> Tema Shipyard makes US$580,000 net profit in 2021
Tema Shipyard says it has made a net profit of US$ 580,000 in 2021 after overcoming a US$ 2.6 million debt and other challenges. Dr Alexander Yaw Adusei Junior, Chief Executive Officer of the Tema Shipyard, disclosed this when the Board of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) paid a working visit to the Shipyard. The Shipyard since 2016, was absorbed by the GPHA as one of its business units under the direction of the government. Dr Adusei said the achievement was made through the company’s prudent financial management: by controlling its expenditure, in addition to blocking leakages in the system.
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 09/02/22
> Ghana to receive US$1billion support from World Bank
The World Bank is advancing a policy dialogue as part of due diligence process to provide about US$1 billion financial support in a new country-partnership agreement to Ghana. The three-to-four-year agreement, which is be presented to the Board of the Bank in February this year for approval, will be intended for specific sectors of the economy such as education, health, and agriculture. Mr Ousmane Diagana, the World Bank Regional Vice President for Western and Central Africa, made this known at a press briefing in Accra. The financial support, he said was embedded in programmes that would among other things aid the country become resilient and adapt to climate change and promote inclusiveness in development with lessons of instability occurring within the sub region.
Credit: Modern Ghana
> Apiate explosion: Ghana fines explosive company US$6 million over 13 deaths
The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A Jinapor, MP on Monday (7 February) imposed a fine of US$6 million on Maxam Ghana Limited, the company at the centre of the explosion that occurred at Appiatse in the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality of the Western Region, which killed 13 people and razed the entire community down. According to a press statement issued by the Minister, the US$6 million is made up of US$1 million fine and US$5 million which the company agreed with the Ministry, after extensive discussions, to pay to the government. The statement said the fine was imposed after the report of the three-member committee constituted by the Minister to undertake independent investigations into the matter affirmed some regulatory breaches on the part of the company, in the manufacture, storage and transportation of explosives for mining and other civil works.
> SSNIT contributions: Government pays close to GH¢6 billion to clients
Government, since 2017, has paid close to GH¢6 billion to clear the social security contributions owed by previous administrations, Emefa Agonyo, SSNIT Public Affairs Officer, has said. Also, more than 500 employers of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), including government employees, have arranged for terms of settlement of their indebtedness to the scheme. She said the Trust continued to actively engage those entities to pay their workers’ contributions by the 14th day of the ensuing month to avoid penalties.
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 28/02/22
> Bank of Ghana to adopt cautious approach in piloting e-cedi – Kwame Oppong
The Bank of Ghana says it has adopted a cautious approach with the piloting of the digital currency – the e-Cedi, despite anticipation of the introduction of the electronic currency by a cross-section of Ghanaians. According to its Head of Innovation and Fintech, Kwame Oppong, the Central Bank is following the due process in piloting of the digital currency and is therefore not taking any risk and chances at all. The piloting of the e-cedi begun in September 2021 and is expected to last for about 18 months.
> 15% hike in transport prices comes into effect
The cost of transport services across the country have gone up 15% effective February 26, 2022. This comes after the transport operators in Ghana on Monday February 21, 2022, agreed to the rise in fares. According to the Road Transport Operators Union, the increment falls in line with administrative arrangements on public transport fares. The Union also cited the current cost of fuel prices and other expenses related to their trade as affecting the decision to increase fares following consultations with relevant stakeholders. The Road Transport Operators Union in an earlier statement said “we kindly request all commercial transport operators to comply with the new fares and post same at loading terminals.”
> Rice production in Ghana to get major boost
Rice production in Ghana is to get a boost with the intervention of a United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Technical Assistance Project contributing to the achievement of sustainable and higher inclusive value creation. The project will strengthen the competencies of the value chain in order to catalyze the use of modern technologies, realise higher value creation and comply with market requirements. Mr Frakhruddin Azizi, UNIDO’s Representative to Ghana, said the US$3.6million project would build the capacity of value-chain actors, mainly farmers, agro-traders, crop processors and public support institutions by way of a range of activities focusing on quality assurance, increased productivity and business competitiveness as well as the supply of equipment.
> Govt pays GHC16.45bn to power producers — Deputy Minister of Energy
Government has paid a total of GH¢16.45 billion to both Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and fuel suppliers between 2016 and June 2021 on behalf of the Electricity Company of Ghana. Out of these disbursements, GH¢12.08 billion was paid to the IPPs and GH¢4.36 billion was paid to fuel suppliers. William Owuraku Aidoo , the Deputy Minister of Energy, made the disclosure when he appeared before Parliament to respond to a question by Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh, the Majority Chief Whip, on how much money government had paid in relation to IPPs for the past eight years and what the breakdowns were.
Credit: Business Ghana
> US$13.2bn saved in power purchase agreement renegotiations
Ghana has saved about US$13.2billion in renegotiating power purchase agreements with six different independent power producers (IPPs), the Finance Ministry in its latest investor call update has revealed. The ministry, as part of efforts to assure investors and boost confidence in fiscal management of the economy, said proactive management of the energy sector is yielding results – given that the average cost of generation has declined, resulting in an estimated savings of US$13.2billion. “The renegotiated commercial agreement for the IPPs has been secured and documentation of the renegotiated agreement is underway and in-process toward completion. The average cost of generation has declined from 16.2 USc/kWh to 10.5 USc/kWh. This has resulted in estimated savings of US$13.2billion,” the ministry stated in the investor update.
Credit: B&FT Online
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 27/04/22
> 107th IDIF : $35m pharmaceutical plant opens
Government of Ghana has secured grants to the tune of GH¢415 million for local pharmaceutical manufacturers under the One District, One Factory (1D1F) initiative, Trade Minister Alan Kyerematen has said. The amount, aimed at providing long-term competitive financing, was secured from local lenders in partnership with the ministry. In all, 11 out of 13 pharmaceutical firms under the IDIF programme benefitted from the grant. Mr. Kyerematen spoke at the inauguration of Atlantic Lifesciences Limited, a new pharmaceutical company in Accra, and said the amount is to support expansion, retooling, working capital or build entirely new manufacturing facilities in the country.
Credit: Business Ghana
> Here are the Charging Entities to collect the E-Lev
The Ghana Revenue Authority has stated the designated charging entities for the implementation of the Electronic Transfer Levy. According to the Authority, the charging entities who will collect the levy from the public include, Electronic Money Issuers (EMI); Payment Service Providers (PSP); Banks and Special Deposit-Taking Institutions (SDI) and other Financial Institutions prescribed by Regulation made under the Act. This was contained in a guidelines documentation issued by the revenue arm of government at a media engagement in Accra. With the implementation of the levy set to take effect from May 1, 2022, persons who patronise electronic transactions will be charged 1.50 percent on all electronic transfers covering mobile money payments, bank transfers among others.
> CBI Ghana to build world’s largest calcined clay cement plant
CBI Ghana Limited, producers of Supacem Cement, have signed an US$80 million contract to construct the world’s largest calcined clay cement plant, a 405,000-ton-per-annum plant at the Tema Free Zones Enclave. The plant will use new technology to substitute 20 per cent of clinker, the raw material used to make cement, with environmentally-friendly clay from Ghana. A statement copied to the Ghana News Agency said the operation of the calcined clay cement plant would have impact on the Ghanaian economy.
Credit: B&FT Online
> Electricity and water tariffs likely to go up in July—IES
Electricity and water tariffs are likely to go up in July this year, the Institute for Energy Security (IES) has projected. Nana Amoasi VIII, Energy Analyst and Executive Director of the Institute, said “from all indications, there will be an upward review of the current tariff.” He said: “We must brace ourselves for electricity tariff increment so we can save both the distribution and transmission grid from collapsing and have some reliable power supply.” The Energy Analyst noted that Ghana had not seen any major tariff increases in the last seven years, yet the operational cost of electricity continued to rise, hampering the work of utilities.
Credit: Modern Ghana
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 13/05/22
> YouStart initiative to be launched in June – Ken Ofori-Att
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has announced that government’s flagship initative; the YouStart program is set to launch in June this year. According to him, the GH¢10 billion initiative which is part of the government’s efforts to curb unemployment will shape Ghana’s economy into an entrepreneurial one. The YouStart program is also part of the programs government intends to use revenue from the collection of the E-Levy. The initiative which was first announced during the reading of the 2022 budget in November 2021 proposes to use GH¢1 billion each year to catalyze an ecosystem to create 1 million jobs for the teeming youth. According to the Finance Minister, the initiative which is in partnership with Finance Institutions and Development Partners will create an entrepreneurial economy that empowers the youth to exploit their talents and “become job creators instead of job seekers”..
> Ghana to host AGMs of Africa Development Bank.
Final assessment is underway to evaluate the readiness of the country to host about 1000 delegates for the 57th African Development Bank (ADB) and 48th African Development Fund (ADF) Annual General Meetings. This is after two previous satisfactory assessment had affirmed the country’s preparedness to host the Annual General Meetings (AGM) of the two main entities of the African Development Bank in Accra at the Accra International Conference Centre for the first time. Delegates will be made up of Ministers of Finance, Governors of Central Banks, Leaders of local and international Finance and Development Organisations, captains of industry, and civil society organisations. These are from the 81 Member States of the AfDB that consist of 54 Regional and 27 non-regional member countries.
Credit: Ghana News Agency
> Free gas from Jubilee Fields for power generation to cease by year-end
Gas for electricity generation from the Jubilee Fields will no longer be free by year-end. Under the erstwhile Kufour government, Ghana negotiated this free gas arrangement with Tullow oil. Gas is cheaper than crude when used for a generation, but free Gas from jubilee had always been preferred due to the impact on pricing. But at a presentation on the proposed tariffs, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) said they had considered this development in their computation of gas prices.
> Government’s indebtedness to NEDCo amounts to GH¢1.06 billion – Report
A report submitted to the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission by the electricity Company to demand an increase in electricity tariffs has revealed that government owes the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) GH¢1.06 billion. The debt is however negatively impacting the operations of the company. “As of December 2021, the Government of Ghana owed NEDCo about GH¢1.069 billion with subsidies and street lighting in bills. These debts have made it difficult for NEDCo to meet its debt obligations to suppliers of electricity.” The proposal submitted by NEDCo to PURC on its 2022-2026 Tariff proposals noted that GH¢75.083 million out of the total amount government owes are subsidies it has not been able to pay.
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 19/05/22
> Togo opens land borders to Ghana, other neighboring countries
Togo officially opened its land borders on May 17, 2022, after two years of closure. This means traders and commuters can now freely move to and from the borders of Togo and Ghana. The closure of land borders came as part of measures by various Presidents to curb the importation of the global pandemic – coronavirus. Meanwhile, the Assistant Commissioner of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Frederick Duodu, in an interview with TV3 said, they are poised to ensure that commuters and traders are scanned properly before they are allowed entry into the country.
> Danish food & agriculture business delegation visits on May 17-20
A delegation of eight Danish companies are in Ghana to explore the market opportunities and expand the strong commercial relations between Denmark and Ghana in the food and agriculture sector. The trip is organised by the Embassy of Denmark in collaboration with the Danish Agriculture & Food Council. The main theme of the visit is the ’challenge of post-harvest food loss’ and the delegation will explore how innovative Danish solutions can help solve this problem and at the same time increase sustainable economic growth in the food and agriculture sector in Ghana. Through the interactions, the companies seek to gain market insights and build relationships with potential customers and key partners in the food and agriculture sector.
> Rising inflation is a surprise to us, we’ll deal with it decisively – Governor
The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, has described the rising inflation rate of nearly 24% as a complicated matter that will be dealt with decisively in the ongoing Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting that began today, May 18 , 2022. In most scenarios, the Policy Rate – the rate at which commercial banks borrow from the Bank of Ghana – is higher than the inflation rate, but that will not be the case this time around. Speaking to Bloomberg, the Governor said the rising inflation is a surprise to his team, but will take a major decision to address the issue. “It’s an issue which in a sense is baffling to all of us. A year ago, inflation in Ghana was near single digit, particularly we were at 7.5% and then we find ourselves a year later in high double digits. It’s a very complicated environment, as you yourself you are aware we have come out of COVID-19. But Ghana fortunately was able to weather the impact of COVD well without recording high interest rates.”
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 21/07/22
> Producer Price Inflation for June 2022 hits 38.0%
The Ghana Statistical Service has announced that Producer Price Inflation for June 2022 is 38.0% percent. This indicates that the current rate is 4.7 percentage points higher than the rate recorded in May 2022 (33.3%). However, monthly Producer Price Inflation between May 2022 and June 2022 was 4.6 percent. The Year-on-Year Producer Price Inflation across the sub-sectors for June 2022 was as follows: Manufacturing (51.8%), Mining, and Quarrying (25.5%), Utilities (1.2%). The Producer Price Index (PPI) measures the average change over time in the selling prices of goods and services as received by domestic producers. Meanwhile, inflation for the month of June hits 29.8%.
> BoG MPC begins 107th meeting to review economic developments
The Bank of Ghana Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will begin its 107th scheduled meeting of the year to review economic developments in the country from Wednesday, July 20 to Friday, July 22. The rather crucial meeting of the central bank is expected to entail the initiation of proposals for the formulation of the central banks’ policies, provision of statistical data and economic advice. Ahead of the meeting, some economists and market watchers are calling for an upward review of the policy rate from its current rate of 19 percent – a move they believe will respond to soaring inflation figures in the country. For instance, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has entreated the central bank to increase the policy rate by either 100 basis points or 150 basis points. This means, they believe the policy rate should move to 20 percent or 20.5 percent.
> $750 million loan agreement approved by parliament
A $750million Afreximbank loan agreement has been approved by parliament. The loan which forms part of a $1 billion loan government is seeking to pay for infrastructure projects across the country is to also help shore up foreign reserves according to 3news reports. The minority in parliament had earlier kicked against the loan whiles noting that some projects captured under the loan agreement were duplicated. However, whiles parliament was providing the details, the Minority withdrew its opposition.
Speaking on the floor of parliament, ranking member of the Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson said the move is to shore up the country’s international reserves. Ranking Member on the roads and transport committee Kwame Governs Agbodza however told journalists that the Minority was not necessarily opposed to the deal. However, it wants the finance minister to come clean on the components of the facility.
> Asante Gold announces US$140m forward gold purchase at 7.5% interest
Gold mining firm, Asante Gold Corporation has announced a forward gold purchase programme worth $140m. This programme is at an interest rate of 7.53%. In a statement issued on July 15, 2022, Asante Gold announced that it has already completed the first tranche of the programme earning some $100m from the total $140m. The $100m tranche, Asante Gold asserts, is from some strategic financial institutions in Ghana. According to Asante Gold, repayment terms are to be 25% of the principal and interest in four equal installments of $26.88 million, with the final payment due July 12, 2023. Settlement will be in US funds by delivery of gold at the financial institutions’ designated gold refinery in Switzerland and sold at a spot market price less 7%.
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 22/07/22
> Fitch Solutions revises Ghana’s growth rate downwards to 2.6% in 2022
Fitch Solutions has shockingly revised Ghana’s growth rate to 2.6% in 2022, from its earlier forecast of 4.8%. This is far lower than the projections by the International Monetary Fund (5.2%) and the World Bank (5.0%). The research arm of ratings agency, Fitch, is attributing this to the rising inflation rate, currency weakness, the Russian-Ukraine war, among other factors which it believes will erode the purchasing of consumers and affect the profit margins of businesses. Giving an update on Sub Saharan Africa economies for the first half of this year, Country Risk Analyst at Fitch Solutions, Mike Kruninger, said it expects the Ghanaian economy to expand to 4.9% in 2023.
> 15.7 million Ghana cards issued by NIA – Prof. Ken Attafuah
The National Identification Authority (NIA) says it has issued over 15.7 million Ghana Cards to citizens. According to the Executive Secretary of the Authority, Professor Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah, current data available has shown that 16,969,034 persons have been registered for the Ghana Card while 16,535,623 cards have so far been printed as at July 21, 2022. Speaking in an interview with Accra-based Citi FM and monitored GhanaWeb , Prof. Attafuah stated that some 808,493 cards have been printed but were yet to be issued to respective registrants. He noted that some persons have double-registered for the Ghana Card, hence, the reason for the delay in the issuance of their cards.
> Over $16 million invested in bottle-to-bottle rPET in Ghana
The Mohinani Group has pumped an amount of $16 million into Ghana’s first bottle-to-bottle recycling plant. This bottle-to-bottle recycling plant will supply food-grade recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) that will create new bottles and other high-quality food-grade packaging produced per global standards. According to the Executive Director of Mohinani Group, Ashok Mohinani, the plant will have the capacity to recycle 15,000 metric tonnes of plastic annually with an overall capacity of 30,000 metric tonnes by late 2024. Announcing this at a press conference in Accra on Thursday, July 21, 2022, Ashok Mohinani said, “The group’s vision is to deliver global quality to the local Ghanaian market and with this in mind, we are very proud to announce our investment of over $16 million in Ghana’s very first bottle-to-bottle recycling plant supplying food-grade rPET of European standards.”
> Catfish production in Eastern sees significant boost.
Catfish production increased by 276.92 per cent in the Eastern Region from 2018 to 2021 after the Fisheries Commission assisted producers with new technologies, extension services and training. Mr Francis Barnes, the Eastern Regional Director of the Fisheries Commission, who disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency, said in 2018 the Commission recorded about 60 catfish farmers who produced a combined total of 836.91 metric tons. However, by 2021, the number of catfish farmers in the region had more than doubled to 128, raising production to 3,151.91 metric tonnes. Mr Barnes linked the increased production levels to a slew of activities and sustained assistance provided by the Commission to catfish farmers and farmers in general who expressed an interest in catfish production.
Credit: Ghana News Agency
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 26/07/22
> Government revises 2022 growth rate to 3.7% – Ofori-Atta
The Government of Ghana’s projected economic growth rate of 5.8% for 2022 has been revised to 3.7%. This was disclosed by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta during the presentation of the mid-year budget to Parliament for approval on Monday. According to the Minister, the revision has become necessary due to global developments such as the Russia-Ukraine war which has caused the revenue measures to underperform and the surge in inflation to 29.8% as of June 2022. He also cited the cedi depreciation against the dollar which has resulted in high cost of living and labour agitations as the cause of the revision of the growth rate.
> Government revises fiscal deficit target in 2022 to 6.6% of GDP
The government has revised the country’s overall fiscal deficit target in 2022 to 6.6% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), from the earlier 7.4%. This is due to cuts in expenditure and expected improvement in revenue for the rest of the year. Again, the government has revised the primary surplus target to 0.4% of GDP, up from a surplus of 0.1% of GDP. Government in March 2022 announced the implementation of the 30% discretionary expenditure cuts and other expenditure measures.
> AAG, Brand Africa sign pact to inspire growth of local brands
The Advertising Association of Ghana (AAG) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Brand Africa (BA) to champion and inspire the growth of brands that are inspired by Africa and contribute to the country and the continent’s positive image. BA is an independent inter-generational movement which seeks to inspire a brand-led Africa renaissance to drive the continent’s competitiveness and creat and positive image of the continent. Under the agreement BA would provide opportunities for AAG representatives to participate in all of its events such as Brand Africa Forum, Brand Africa Roundtables and Brand Africa 100.
In addition, it would, from time to time, recognise the AAG and include its official logo or name in its related channels and events. The AAG, on the other hand, would promote BA events and initiatives through its websites and social media channels.
> Renegotiated power deals save Ghana $13.2bn – Finance Minister
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has disclosed that government has saved $13.2 billion from renegotiated power deals with six Independent Power Producers (IPPs). According to him, the companies are Karpower, Cenpower, Early Power, Twin City Energy (formerly Amandi), AKSA Energy and Cenit. He maintained that the renegotiated deal provides balanced, sustainable energy partnerships that has led to affordable power for industrial, commercial and residential use. Touching on happenings in the energy sector, Mr. Ofori-Atta said the raft of sanctions imposed on Russia are tightening supply conditions for energy products. In response, he stated that government is closely monitoring the stock of products at all depots.He added that government has also advanced the Volta-Achimota Lot of the 161KV Volta-Achimota-Mallam Transmission Line Upgrade Project to 85 percent, from 83 percent.
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 29/07/22
> Ghana Parliament approves $1.3b syndicated loan for 2022/2023 cocoa season
Parliament on Thursday approved a $1.3 billion cocoa syndicated loan to finance the purchase of cocoa for 2022/2023 crop season by the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD). The receivable-backed trade finance facility is between COCOBOD and a Consortium of Banks and financial institutions, with the government of Ghana as the guarantor. The facility had a waiver of Stamp Duty amounting up to GH¢6.5 million, which is in accordance with article 174(2) of the 1992 constitution, Section 36 of the Stamp Duty Act, 2005 (Act 689) and Standing Orders of the House.
Credit: Ghana Business News
> Fuel prices may drop between 3% and 6% from August 1 – COPEC
Prices of petroleum products may go down between 3% and 6% from August 1st, 2022. According to the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), the expected reduction will have been bigger if not for the depreciation of the cedi against the U.S dollar. The drop in fuel prices will be the second consecutive time since oil prices started falling on the world market. “What, we picked from the market for the first window of August  is an indication that prices at the pumps should have gone down significantly. The unfortunate thing at this point happens to be with the currency [cedi]. As I speak with you, over the two weeks window, the FX has seen some depreciation, from about ¢8.30 to about ¢8.90 pesewas currently”, Executive Secretary of COPEC, Duncan Amoah, disclosed.
> African Development Bank, African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat, Sign $11 Million Institutional Support Grant Agreement.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat and the African Development Bank’s African Development Fund have signed a Protocol of Agreement as the two institutions formalize their shared commitment toward the effective implementation of the AfCFTA agreement. AfCFTA Secretariat secretary-general Wamkele Mene and African Development Bank’s acting vice president for Regional
Development, Integration and Business Delivery Yacine Fal signed the Protocol of Agreement for the grant of US$11.24m for AfCFTA implementation on the sidelines of the 9th meeting of the AfCFTA council of ministers responsible for Trade in Accra, Ghana on Monday.
Credit: African Development Bank Group
> 1D1F to create 282,792 jobs in 2023—Minister
Minister of Trade and Industry (MoTI), Alan Kyerematen , has said a total of 282,792 direct and indirect jobs would be created under government’s One-District, One-Factory (1D1F) industrialization programme by 2023. Presently, about 150,975 direct and indirect jobs have been created in about 125 factories, with 144 under construction and 29 awaiting financing support. Mr Kyerematen disclosed this in a speech read on his behalf by Mr John Hawkins Asiedu, the Technical Adviser in charge of Industrial Parks and Special Economic Zones at MoTI. He gave said this in his address at the opening of the Central Regional Trade, Tourism and Investment Fair 2022 at the Adisadel Park in Cape Coast.
Credit: Ghana News
> Government reviews E-Levy target from GH¢6.9 billion to GH¢611 million
Government has reviewed its revenue target for the controversial E-Levy from the initial GH¢6.9billion to GH¢611 million. This cut of almost 90% was disclosed in the 2022 mid-year policy review presented to parliament by minister of finance Ken Ofori-Atta on Monday, July, 25, 2022. The new tax which has been met with grave resistance has also been estimated to raise only GH¢93.7 million out of its GH¢1.46billion target for the first half of the year. Meanwhile, former Minister for Finance, Seth Terkper, says the government’s plan for revenue generation has a deficit of GH¢4 billion. Speaking to Francis Abban on the Morning Starr on Tuesday, Mr. Terkper stated that all levies including Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy ) does not make any significant amount to the revenue generation bucket.
Credit: Ghana Web
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 08/08/22
> S&P downgrades Ghana’s credit rating from B- to CCC+ – Report
Ghana’s debt further into speculative territory, lowering its foreign and local currency sovereign ratings to CCC+/C from B-/B.
According to a report by marketwatch.com, S&P said its outlook for the country remains negative, “reflecting Ghana’s limited commercial financing options, and constrained external and fiscal buffers.”
S&P which is one of the ‘Big Three’ credit-rating agencies, including Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings, in their report stated that the “Covid-19 pandemic and the conflict in Russia have magnified Ghana’s fiscal and external imbalances.”
Credit: Ghana Web
> Ghana’s debt-to-GDP ratio to hit 83% in 2022 – Fitch Solutions
Fitch Solutions has said that Ghana’s public debt will continue to rise to cover large deficits in the coming quarters, forecasting total public debt to rise from 79.0% of Gross Domestic Product in 2021 to 83.0% in 2022. Subsequently, the debt-to-GDP ratio will hit 84.5% in 2023. “As Ghana has effectively been cut off from international capital markets, the country will have to rely on domestic debt issuance over the short term”, it said in its monthly report. It added that Ghana’s domestic debt market is relatively shallow and banks are already highly exposed to government debt.
> Government implements 9 out of 13 tax measures in 2022 Budget.
The Government of Ghana has implemented nine out of the 13 tax measures captured in the 2022 Budget. This includes the reduction in the withholding tax rate for the purchase of unprocessed gold from small-scale gold miners from 3% to 1.5%; restriction of the VAT flat rate scheme to small retailers only, increase in the turnover limit for the Modified Taxation System from ₵200,000 to ₵500,000 and extension of the zero-rating of locally manufactured textiles. The rest are the introduction of the Electronic Transaction levy; review of benchmark (discount) policy for imported vehicles and selected
general goods; passage of the Tax Exemptions Bill into law, automatic review of government’s Fees and Charges, and taxation of High Net Worth individuals. Those that are yet to be implemented are the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) Customs Procedures Code (CPC); increased sensitisation of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET); intensification of Revenue Assurance and Compliance Enforcement (RACE) initiative and the implementation of a common platform for the administration of property rate.
> Price of crude oil falls to almost $90 per barrel
A barrel of crude oil is currently selling at nearly $90 after the commodity increased to about $130 in March 2022 due to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. This is the lowest the commodity has seen in the past six months. However the reasons given for the fall in the price are complicated according to JoyBusiness reports. Meanwhile, prices of petroleum products on the local market will see the biggest reduction in the next pricing window on August 15, 2022, if the reduction in crude prices persists. But in Ghana’s case, the cedi’s depreciation may not allow a significant reduction at the pumps.
Credit: Ghana Web
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 09/08/22
> Cedi maintains rank as worst performing currency in Africa – Bloomberg
The Ghana cedi is still the worst performing currency among African currencies with the “Worst Spot Returns,” according to Bloomberg. The cedi recorded -28.82% depreciation to the dollar as of August 8, 2022, to sell at nearly GH¢9 to a dollar. This means the currency could be heading for a record in the last 25 years. The low performance of the cedi has driven inflation to a record of 29.8% in June. However, despite the revenue the country is enjoying due to the high price of crude oil on the international market, the cedi’s depreciation has led to the increasing prices of petroleum products.
Credit: Ghana Web
> Cylinder recirculation module to commence from last quarter of 2022
The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has disclosed that the cylinder recirculation module will be rolled out from the fourth quarter of 2022. Communications manager at the NPA Mohammed Abdul Kudus said the NPA was ready for a possible take-off after successful piloting in 2019 and 2020. “The CEO of NPA Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, in the last month has been busy inspecting the necessary infrastructure that should come on board to support the implementation of the module. So, he has visited bottling plants, and manufacturing companies, both public and private.” “The last time he met the LPG marketers to give his word, he said we are looking at the last quarter of this year to roll out the scheme. That’s the expectation,” Kudus said in an Asaase News.
Credit: Ghana Web
> Interest rates hit almost 29%; government T-bills sale oversubscribed by 16%.
Interest rates surged marginally on the domestic market to almost 29%, enabling the government to achieve a 16% oversubscription of its Treasury bills sale. This is coming after remaining relatively stable for the last three auctioning or weeks. According to the latest auction by the Bank of Ghana, the government raised 1.33 billion from the sale of the short-term securities, as against the target of 1.153 billion. Interest rates on the 91-day T-bill went up by almost 1.0% to 27.04%, from the previous week, whilst that of the 182-day T-bill stood at 28.50%, from 28.25% the past week. The 364-day T-bill however went for 28.40%, lower than the 6-months bill. As usual, investors were more interested in the three months bill as ¢954.66 million was secured. Indeed, government accepted all the bids submitted for the 91-day bill.
> AfCFTA launches digital hub
The AfCFTA Hub digital platform was launched on July 8th, 2022 at the Boma of Africa (www.bomaofafrica.com) event convened to mark Africa Integration Day. The AfCFTA Hub platform was launched on behalf of AfCFTA Secretariat by the African Union AfCFTA Champion, H.E Mahamadou Issifou, former President of the Republic of Niger and 2020 Ibrahim Prize Laureate. The Boma of Africa was jointly convened by the African Union (AU), the AfCFTA Secretariat, AfroChampions and the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). It was supported by the AfCFTA Hub Network, with support from Afreximbank, MTN, Ecobank, the Village Foundation, IC Publications, Dominion Television and APO.
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 10/08/22
> Ghana maintains 5th position as most attractive automobile market in Sub-Saharan Africa
Ghana maintained its position as the fifth most attractive automobile market in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) region. According to the July 2022 Sub-Saharan Africa’s Auto Sales report by Fitch Solutions, a developing automotive sales environment amid a favourable political risk outlook has enabled policy certainty in the country. The country managed to outperform its regional peers under Fitch Solutions short- and long-term political risk scores in its Risk Reward Index, scoring a respective 51.2% and 70.2% under these indicators. However, the report said, Ghana’s underdeveloped road infrastructure remains a deterrent for potential as the country scores 16.9% under its ‘quality and extent of transport network’ indicator, underperforming the SSA region’s average score of 21.6% under the same indicator.
> BoG to purchase gold from local companies from September 1
Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has disclosed that the government would begin the purchase of gold from local gold mining companies from September 1, 2022. This is to help shore up the country’s forex reserves amidst the current woes of the Ghana cedi, he announced on his Facebook page adding that the purchase will be made in cedis.
“The Economic Management Team, the Bank of Ghana , Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Minerals Commission, and PMMC met with the Ghana Chamber of Mines this morning to draw a roadmap for the implementation of the Bank of Ghana ’s Gold Purchase Program across the industry. “It was agreed that to help shore up the foreign exchange reserves of the Bank of Ghana , starting September 1st (next month), the Bank of Ghana will purchase a portion of the output of the gold mining companies on a continuous basis at world market prices but payment will be made in cedis,” Bawumia indicated in a Facebook post.
Credit: Ghana Web
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 12/08/22
> Government receives US$30m worth of farm machinery to boost agric sector
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has received an estimated $30 million worth of farm machinery to commence the third phase of the Planting for Food and Jobs. The farm machinery from the Brazilian government is the last tranche of a $96-million deal with Ghana under the South-South cooperation. The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto disclosed that the government has subsidized the cost of the farm machinery by 40 percent to cushion farmers. “The composition of the machinery this time around is slightly different; there’s more emphasis on harvest, post-harvest and value addition”, he said.
Credit: Ghana Web
> Gov’t subsidises 6,000 fishing nets to artisanal fishermen
The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD) has procured some 6,000 assorted fishing nets valued at about GH₵6 million for distribution at a subsidized cost to artisanal fishermen across the various fishing communities in the country. The fishing nets, which are expected to be distributed soon, with the opening of the new fishing season, according to the Principal Procurement Manager of MoFAD, Samuel Denkyi Antwi, is a strategic decision to help address ‘fishing illegalities’. The ministry wants to rid the local fishing industry of monofilament fishing nets (fishing nets made of rubber), as well as other illegal fishing nets widely used by artisanal fishermen.
> Kumasi Customs Division mobilizes GH₵184.5m as revenue by July
The Ashanti Regional Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) generated a total of GH₵184.5 million as revenue at the end of July 2022. The amount is out of the total target of GH₵383.913 million for this year. Mr. Edmund Augustine Omari, Ashanti Regional Sector Commander said the collection was behind the target of the region by 50.1 percent. He explained this was due to the inability of the taxpayers to rake in enough income because of the current economic situation in the country. “The Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Co Ltd (BOST) our major taxpayer, is not making enough,” he explained. He assured management of working hard to meet the target before the year ends.
Credit: Ghana Business News
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 15/08/22
> Bank of Ghana Forecasts Supply Deficit For Cocoa Market In 2021/22 Crop Season
The Bank of Ghana is forecasting a supply deficit for the cocoa market in the ongoing 2021/22 season with cocoa prices forecast to average about $2,450 in 2022, before increasing to $2,500 in 2023. The outlook, it said, stems from some production challenges in Ghana notwithstanding good production prospects in the largest grower, Côte d’Ivoire. In its July 2022 Monetary Policy Report, the Central Bank said crude oil price will average $108 per barrel.
“Analysts project crude oil prices to average about $108 per barrel for the second half of 2022, lower than current prices.”
Credit: African News Agency
> Genser Energy secures $425m loan for gas project in Ghana
Genser Energy has successfully secured a loan of $425 million to develop a gas pipeline project in Ghana. The loan will be paid within a period of 8-years. The fund, which comprises of a syndicated loan facility of $325 million and a $100 million mezzanine loan facility, will be used to refinance existing debt and finance the next phase of expansion projects by the company. The projects to be financed with the facility includes a 100 kilometer natural gas pipeline to Ghana’s second largest city, Kumasi from the Western region; a 200mmscfd gas conditioning plant at Prestea, Ghana and a Natural Gas Liquid (‘NGL’) storage terminal at Takoradi Port as a major step in Genser’s decarbonization strategy to achieve net zero carbon by 2035.
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 18/08/22
> Bank of Ghana increases policy rate to 22%; cost of borrowing to shoot up significant
The Bank of Ghana has increased the policy rate by 300 basis points to 22%, after an Emergency Monetary Policy Committee meeting today, August 17 , 2022. The move is part of measures to address the risks to the inflation outlook. However, cost of borrowing is expected to go up significantly, and consequently increase cost of living and doing business.The MPC also took additional measures including raising the primary reserve requirement of banks from 12% to 15% to be implemented in a phased manner. Therefore, the reserve requirement will go up to 13% from September 1st, 2022 and subsequently to 14% by October 1st, 2022 and then 15% by November 1st, 2022.
> Dollar shortage hits forex market, cedi depreciation nears ¢10 mark
Checks with some banks and forex bureau by Joy Business indicate that whilst some banks are quoting GH¢9.95 to the dollar, others are selling a dollar for GH¢9.90. However, the situation is worst at the forex bureaus as they are quoting between GH¢9.97 and GH¢10.5 to one American greenback. As of Monday, August 15, 2022, the cedi had lost about GH¢3.15 on the face value to the dollar since the beginning of the year. Some Senior Relationship Managers and Treasurers that Joy Business spoke to confirmed the scarcity of the US dollar, adding, “the situation is bad and could get worse by the end of the week if the authorities including the Bank of Ghana do not intervene”.
> Joshua Mortoti appointed Gold Fields West Africa head
Gold Fields Limited has announced the appointment of Joshua Mortoti as its Executive Vice President and Head of its West Africa region. Mr Mortoti is the former Vice President: Operations for the region and has been in the role since January 2022. He joined Gold Fields in April 2021. “Joshua is highly experienced in mine operations, engineering, strategic planning, business development and leadership. “We believe he can successfully steer the affairs of the West Africa region in line with Gold Fields’ strategy and in line with our purpose of creating enduring value,” said Chris Griffith, Gold Fields CEO.
Credit: Gold Fields
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 19/08/22
> Producer Price Inflation rate for July hits 41.2%
Producer Price Inflation (PPI) for July this year recorded 41.5 percent, Ghana Statistical Service has reported. The year-on-year producer inflation for all industries was 41.2 percent in July 2022. The monthly change rate was 1.9 percent. The manufacturing sub-sector recorded the highest year-on-year producer price inflation rate of 57.4 percent, followed by the mining and quarrying sub-sector with 23.9 percent. The utility sub-sector recorded the lowest year-on-year producer inflation rate of 1.3 percent. In a press release, it said, The Producer Price Inflation rate for July 2022 was 41.2 percent. This rate indicates that between July 2021 and July 2022 (year-on-year), the PPI increased by 41.2 percent. This rate represents a 2.5 percentage points increase in producer inflation relative to the rate recorded in June 2022 (38.7%).”
> Licenced gold dealers to start filing monthly returns
Beginning October 2022, gold licence holders are mandated to file monthly returns on all gold purchases in the country, the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) has directed. This new directive is in line with the PMMC’s efforts and mandate – as the sole assayer of gold in the country – to sanitise, improve and properly regulate the downstream sector of the precious minerals industry. It is also in line with government’s objective to make Ghana a responsible sourcing hub for gold. The directive, which forms part of a review of certain terms and conditions for the sector by the PPMC, will be closely monitored and evaluated – with defaulting licence holders risking non-renewal of their licences.the end of the week if the authorities including the Bank of Ghana do not intervene”.
Credit: B&FT Online
> Vodafone Ghana expands 4G LTE sites, upgrades network
Vodafone Ghana is rolling out 300 4G LTE sites and 3G sites in several communities across the sixteen regions of Ghana by the end of October 2022. This represents a 30% increase in the current network capacity. The move is in line with the company’s commitment to creating an inclusive digital society in the country as part of its purpose-led agenda. Vodafone Ghana has completed more than 50 per cent of this significant network improvement, which is already promoting equitable digital growth and enhancing online activities in various communities.
Credit: B&FT Online
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 22/08/22
> Fitch projects Ghana’s interest cost to exceed 45% of revenue till 2024
Rating agency, Fitch, is projecting an interest cost of more than 45% of revenue for Ghana from now till 2024. It says government interest costs reached 47.5% of revenue in 2021, considerably above the current ‘B’ median of 10.7%. “Interest costs largely reflect high yields on domestic debt. Yields have climbed higher in 2022, following inflation spikes and monetary tightening by the Bank of Ghana (BoG)”, it mention. Furthermore, it said “yields on the 91-day treasury bill reached 26% in July 2022, up from 12.6% in July 2021. Moreover, the government has reported under-subscribed yields, necessitating the tapping of existing medium-term issuance”. It also said the government has increased its outstanding advances with the Bank of Ghana, providing some additional domestic financing and could conduct another private debt placement with the Central Bank as it did in 2020. However, the rating agency said, such a measure would necessitate parliamentary approval.
Credit: Radarr Africa
> BoG could get $4bn every year under FX sale from mining firms
The Bank of Ghana could be getting about $4 billion every year under the proposed sale of Foreign Exchange from gold exports proceeds by mining firms in Ghana. This is based on some analysis of the Revenue of the Mining companies for 2021, which showed that firms together, returned more than 80 percent. So if this performance is repeated this year or next five years then, the Bank of Ghana could be getting this Foreign Exchange, only if the firms also decide to sell all their Foreign Exchange to Central Bank as well. This is to help take care of their recurrent expenditure and other expenses. Speaking on PM Express with host, George Wiafe, the Chief Executive, Suleman Koney noted that, they are currently studying the proposal from the Bank of Ghana on the framework that will guide the sale of the Foreign Exchange earnings from exports to the Central Bank.
> Absa Group 2022 interim earnings increase 27%
Absa Group’s headline earnings increased 27 percent to R11 billion in the first half of the year as revenue increased, demonstrating a continued strong recovery from the global economic downturn in 2020. Absa reported solid pre-provision profit for first-half of the year, supported by revenue which rose by 14 percent – underpinned by growth across our business units and supported by a rebound in the
insurance business in South Africa and increased interest rates across key markets. Net interest income and non-interest income rose 12 percent and 18 percent, respectively. “Our strong results reaffirm the strategic choices we made in 2018, and are testimony to the work we have undertaken in creating a business that is closer to customers,” said Arrie Rautenbach, Absa Group Chief Executive Officer. “With a strong, experienced leadership team and an improved operating model, we now have a strong foundation for outperformance.”
In June, Absa announced a strengthened and more diverse executive leadership team. Absa refined its operating model – adopting a flatter structure, bringing management closer to customers and allowing the Group to accelerate strategy execution. Effective 1 July, Absa has five business units from two previously.
Credit: B&FT Online
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 23/08/22
> Government signs landmark $3.2bn agreement to upgrade western railway line
Government of Ghana has signed a US$3.2 billion agreement with South African firm, Thelo DB, to upgrade infrastructure on the western railway line. This is expected to ease transport of mineral resources. The move when successfully completed will be one of the biggest investments in the country’s railway master plan which is in its first phase of implementation. Speaking at a short ceremony to sign the agreement, Minister for Railways Development, John Peter Amewu, assured that the project will help reduce the cost of transporting goods along the corridor as well as reduce traffic pressures on the road.
> Ghana, 7 others to begin actual trading under AfCFTA
Ghana and seven other countries including Kenya, Egypt, and Cameroon have agreed to begin actual trading among themselves under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). This will be the first since the agreement was signed about two years ago. Speaking at the Export Trading Company Seminar by the Africa Export and Import Bank, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Herbert Krapa, said this will be a historic move for the continent and expects other member nations to emulate. “So far, 54 African countries have signed the AfCFTA Agreement. 46 have submitted their tariff offers, including Customs Union. Also, 29 tariff offers have been technically verified for trading. 87.7% of tariff lines have been agreed upon under the Rules of Origin negotiations and phase two negotiations on Investment, Intellectual Property Rights, Competition Policy, Women and Youth in Trade and Digital Trade are ongoing”.
> Egg prices hit GH¢30 per crat
The prices of poultry products are topping the chart of expensive food items in Ghana and retailers of poultry products, particularly eggs, have bemoaned the sharp increase in the price of the commodity. A crate of eggs that was previously sold at GH¢12 currently sells at GH¢30 at the Accra-Lapaz New Market. The traders attributed the increase to general inflationary pressures and other external factors. They told GhanaWeb during a market survey on August 15, 2022, that the prices of poultry feed have also gone through the roof as a result of COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
> SLTF: GH¢15 million disbursed to 12,000 students without guarantor – CEO claims
Chief Executive Officer of the Student Loan Trust Fund (SLTF), Nana Kwaku Agyei Yeboah has revealed that some GH¢15 million have been disbursed to some 12,000 students in tertiary institutions across the country without guarantees to aid in their education. He stated that everything possible would be done to ensure that payment of funds to students would be made timeously to the beneficiaries to ensure that the students did not have challenges with funding. Speaking on OTEC FM’s afternoon political show dubbed, ‘Dwabrem’ Mr Asiedu Nkatiah on Friday, August 19, 2022, Nana Agyei Yeboah stated that after the introduction and launch of the ‘No Guarantor’ policy, the SLTF has upgraded itself to be able to reach out to every Ghanaian student who wishes to acquire a student loan.
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 25/08/22
> DESICCATED COCONUT – COMPETITOR REPORT 2022
Ghana’s exports of Desiccated Coconut to the world recorded a significant jump of 249% in value in 2021 compared to the previous year. According to the Ghana Exports Promotion Center (GEPA), exports stood at $21.985 million in 2021 compared to $6.3 million in 2020 and $3.8 million in 2019. This ranked the nation 9th in global exports of Desiccated Coconut. From 2017 to 2021, growth in exports earnings from Desiccated Coconut exported by Ghana averaged 45%.
Credit: Ghana Exports Promotion Council
> COCOBOD starts roadshow to raise about US$1.3bn for 2022/2023 cocoa crop season
The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has begun a roadshow in Europe to raise about US$1.3 billion dollars for the 2022/2023 cocoa crop season, a move that will bring inflows of dollars into the economy to slow down the depreciation of the cedi. A statement from the organisation said the Light Cocoa Crop Season, will end on Thursday September 8, 2022. The announcement kick-starts the preparation for the main crop season. The main crop season, which starts from October to May is the period within which the regulator buys most of the cocoa beans from farmers for export.
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 26/08/22
> President Akufo-Addo Commissions 13mw Kaleo Solar Power Project
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has commissioned the Volta River Authority’s 13 megawatt (13MW) Solar Power Project, a project whose sod he cut in February 2020. According to President Akufo-Addo, the Project, which is the first phase of what will, eventually, be a 28 megawatt (28MW) plant at Kaleo, and reiterates Government’s commitment to diversify further the country’s energy generation portfolio, and increasing the nation’s renewable energy generation mix.
Credit: Business Ghana
> GSE, DBG and AGI to bring relief to GAX-listed SMEs
Small and Medium-sized enterprises listed on the Ghana Alternative Market (GAX) will be able to access low-cost, long-term debt following an arrangement between the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), Development Bank Ghana (DBG) and Association of Ghana Industries (AGI). This was disclosed by the Deputy Managing Director of the GSE, Abena Amoah, when food processing company Samba Foods took its turn at a Facts Behind the Figures session organised by the Exchange.
Credit: B&FT Online
> Apple users in Ghana to pay more for apps soon
App Store, in an announcement, urged Apple users to brace themselves up for the new pricing. Meanwhile, the upward review of the prices for iOS applications will not only affect Ghanaian users but Turkish users of apple devices as well.
In Ghana, a new value-added tax of 12.5% and additional levies of 6% were put into consideration..
> GIADEC seeks US$6bn for integrated aluminium industry
The Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Corporation (GIADEC) is confident of attracting over US$6 billion private capital to actualise a harmonised aluminium industry. The country envisioned an integrated industry soon after independence, but GIADEC is now stepping up efforts to develop a comprehensive aluminium industry in line with the country’s renewed commitment to use its bauxite endowments to become an automobile and industrial hub within the continent. It is also banking on the integrated aluminium development plan to unlock the potential of Ghana’s construction, pharmaceutical, electric cable manufacturing and packaging industries.
Credit: B&FT Online
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 29/08/22
> Fitch downgrades 3 Ghanaian banks’ viability rating to ‘CCC’ from ‘B- ‘
International rating agency Fitch has downgraded the viability ratings of three Ghanaian banks to “CCC”. The Banks are Ecobank Ghana Limited, Guaranty Trust Bank (Ghana) Limited (GTB Ghana), and United Bank for Africa (Ghana) Limited (UBA Ghana). The downgrade came after the rating agency downgraded Ghana’s creditworthiness to “CCC” or Junk status on August 10, 2022. On key drivers of the downgrade, Fitch said “The downgrade of the three banks’ VRs follows the downgrade of Ghana’s Long-Term IDRs as the banks’ standalone credit profiles are closely linked to that of the sovereign. This reflects the concentration of their operations within Ghana, strong reliance on sovereign-derived income, and high exposure to the sovereign relative to capital. The VRs are one notch below their ‘ccc+’ implied VRs, reflecting the operating environment/sovereign rating Constraint.”
> We’re ready to help stabilise Ghana’s economy’ – IMF boss says after meeting with Ken Ofori-Atta
The Chair and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Ivanova Georgieva-Kinova, says her outfit is willing to assist Ghana to put the country’s economy on a better footing. The Bulgarian economist made this known in a tweet on Friday, August 26, 2022. According to her, the IMF’s decision to support Ghana stems from a ‘constructive meeting’ she had with Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta and his team. The meeting, she disclosed bordered on the challenges of Ghana’s economy and how to address them.
“Constructive meeting with [Ghana’s] Finance Minister Ofori-Atta & his team on Ghana’s economic challenges and the way forward. We are ready to do our part to help the authorities stabilize the economy, lay the ground for stronger growth & help the most vulnerable”, the tweet said.
> Gold Fields H1 2022 results show strong operational performance and cash generation
Gold Fields Limited had a strong H1 2022, with production increasing by 9% year-on-year and all-in costs rising only 6% year-on-year, according to a statement by the company. The gold mining company, which operates in Ghana, Australia, South Africa, Chile, and Peru, released its half-year results on Thursday, showing strong operational performance and cash generation despite “elevated mining cost inflation driven by rising commodity and fuel prices”. “As a result of the increased production combined with a 3% higher gold price, the company increased its normalized earnings by 16% YoY and generated a strong free cash flow of US$293m. This enabled us to declare an interim dividend of 300 SA cents per share and further reduce our net debt by almost US$120m from the end of FY 2021,” said Chris Griffith, Gold Fields CEO.
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 30/08/22
> Ghana’s trade surplus projected to widen by 4.4% of GDP in 2022 – Fitch Solutions
Fitch Solutions has predicted that elevated movements in global commodity prices will likely result in Ghana’s trade surplus widening to about 4.4 percent of GDP in 2022 from 1.4 percent in 2021. The projection, according to a Citi Business report comes after Ghana in the first half of this year recorded a trade surplus of US$1.4 billion, representing a rise from the $886 million recorded during the same period in 2021, which is equivalent to 2 percent of GDP. In terms of trade volumes, the research agency predicted Ghana may record a decline of 1.3 percent in oil output for 2022, indicating the country will likely not rake in the full benefits from elevated energy prices.
> Cedi strengthens against dollar; $750m Afreximbank loan, BoG actions yielding results
The value of the cedi has begun strengthening against the US dollar, following its consecutive sharp depreciation against the American currency for almost six weeks. Joy Business checks at some forex bureaus indicate that the cedi sold at ¢10 or below on Saturday, August 27, 2022 and the price is expected to go down in the coming days. This is as a result of the $750 million Africa Export-Import (Afrexim) bank loan that came in last week and the actions by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to close down licensed forex bureaus flouting foreign exchange laws. Officials of the Central Bank had embarked on some field exercises to check the state of compliance with some bureaus in the metropolis, believing that actions by some operators have been contributing to speculation in the foreign exchange market, hence affecting the stability of the cedi.
> SIM card re-registration falls by 98% after extension of deadline
Data from the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications has shown that the number of subscribers undertaking the SIM re-registration exercise saw a significant drop after the government announced an extension of the deadline. According to the figures, the number of subscribers re-registering their SIM
cards fell to 5,861 on August 19, 2022, from about 235,000 recorded on July 31, 2022, when the extension was announced. This represented a 98% decline. The data also showed that by August 1, 2022, the number of registration fell to 62,715, compared with the 235,460 recorded on July 28, 2022.
Credit: Adom Online
Business News – Ghana and Beyond – 01/09/22
> Fuel prices to go up between 5% and 10% – IES
Beginning September 2022, fuel prices are set to see a sharp jump between 5% and 10% at the various pumps. According to the Institute for Energy Security, this will add close to 70 pesewas to the current prices. Presently a liter of petrol is going for about GH¢11 on the average and GH¢13.70 on the average for diesel. The IES attributes the increase in fuel prices to the sharp depreciation of the Ghana cedi to the US dollar which it puts it at over 10% during the last two weeks. It is therefore advising consumers to plan accordingly to the expected price hikes in the coming days.
Credit: Ghanaian Times
> Government yet to settle ¢4.33bn public sector SSNIT contributions – 2021 Auditor-General’s Report
The Government of Ghana is yet to settle public sector workers’ contributions to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), amounting to GH¢4.33 billion, the 2021 Auditor-General’s Report has revealed. The report is therefore recommending that management should liaise with the Controller and Accountant General’s Department and the Ministry of Finance on the payment plan for defraying the outstanding debt. It, also, wants management to explain that SSNIT already has a payment plan with the Ministry of Finance to ensure that the outstanding debt is paid.
> Award public projects to professional engineers – GhIE
The President of the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE), Ing. Rev. Prof. Charles Anum Adams has inducted 122 Professional Engineers with a call on the government to ensure that all public projects awarded in the country are given to professional engineers and engineering registered firms under the Ghana Institution of Engineering. The induction ceremony was held on Thursday, August 25, 2022, at the Ghana Institution of Engineering, Engineering Centre, Roman Ridge, Accra. According to the President of GhIE, the Institution is the Professional body that is responsible for the certification of engineering practitioners which comprises Professional Engineers, Professional Engineering Technologists,
Engineering Technicians, and Engineer Craftsmen, prior to registration with the Engineering Council of Ghana.
Credit: Ghanaian Times
The Role Of The Company Secretary Under The Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992)
Over the years, ALA has been approached by various groups of people wishing to incorporate their new entities with wide ranging objectives and activities. Very often, the request for these services, have come with an additional request for our company secretarial services.
It is observed that whiles a number of companies routinely engage the services of Company Secretary in satisfaction of the requirements for the incorporation of a company, a vast majority of these companies do not seem to appreciate the nature and role of the Company Secretary in the governance structure of a company. Indeed, this paucity of knowledge regarding the role of the Company Secretary in the day-to-day operation of a company also holds true as far as the nature and role of the Board of Directors (“Board”) of a company is concerned. It is envisaged that the role and legal remit of the Board will be the subject of another publication in the future.
The aim of this article is to outline the role of the Company Secretary as enshrined in the Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992) (“the Act”), which is the current legislation relating to companies. The Act was immediately preceded by the Companies Act, 1963 (Act 179) (“the previous Act”).
The Appointment of the Company Secretary
Usually, Company Secretaries are appointed by the first directors at incorporation. The appointment is done by letter, which would indicate the conditions of service, including remuneration. The candidate would then have to consent to the role in writing and the written consent must be filed at the Registrar Generals Department (“RGD”). The requirement to consent in writing is a requirement imposed by Act 992; which is perhaps a reflection of the gravity of the task the Secretary is required to perform under the Act.
The Company Secretary can be changed subsequently by the passing of a resolution by the Board.
Who qualifies to become a Company Secretary?
In terms of qualification, it can be observed that Act 992 departs radically from the repealed Act 179. The repealed Act 179 provided that all companies must have a Company Secretary (above the age of majority) without spelling out what qualifications the proposed Company Secretary should have. In contrast, Act 992 outlines various stringent requirements that a person ought to satisfy to qualify for appointment as Company Secretary.
The enhanced role of the Company Secretary under the current arrangements is a reflection of the centrality accorded to the Company Secretary in keeping the corporate governance machinery in motion. It also stems, in part, from lessons drawn from the recent corporate governance failures arising from lack of control and supervision of several financial institutions, lack of governance policies and programmes, inefficient Boards and Board Action which culminated in the collapse of several financial institutions in Ghana.
Under Act 992, the Company Secretary for any Company must have:
i. obtained a professional qualification or a Tertiary level qualification as that equips the Company Secretary to have the requisite knowledge and experience to efficiently perform the functions of a Company Secretary; or
ii. must have previously been appointed as a Company Secretary; or
iii. been practicing under the supervision of a qualified Company Secretary for a period of at least three years; or
iv. is a member in good standing of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators; or the Institute of Chartered Accountants; or a barrister or Solicitor in good standing, or
v. by virtue of an academic qualification, or as a member of a professional body, appears to the directors as capable of performing the functions as the secretary of the company.
It is observed from the foregoing, that the qualifications for the Company Secretary are enhanced under Act 992, with the expectation that a person who occupies that position has a sufficient level of education, skill and experience to perform the now broadened functions under Act 992.
It is further explained in the Act that “a professional or tertiary level qualification is a discipline with an offering in company law practice and administration”.
The new requirements suggest that at the minimum, the Company Secretary should have a good knowledge of company law and legislation. This is critical because of the advisory role they play to the Board of Directors. In practice, the Company Secretary must also be conversant with relevant regulations governing the sector or industry to which the company belongs, in particular where they relate to corporate governance.
It must be noted that these restrictions on the appointment to the role of Company Secretary applies to both public and private companies.
What does the Company Secretary do?
Compared to the previous legislation, the Act broadens the duties of the Company Secretary and elevates the role. In addition to the traditional duties of issuing notices, recording minutes, drafting resolutions and filing statutory documents, company secretaries now play an advisory role to the shareholders and the directors of the company. The company secretary per the Act steers the affairs of the Board for the effective governance of the company.
The duties of the Company Secretary as provided for by Section 212 of the Act include the following: –
a) assisting the Board to comply with the constitution of the company and with any relevant enactment;
b) keeping the books and records of the company;
c) ensuring that the minutes of the meetings of the shareholders and the directors are properly recorded in the form required by the Act;
d) preparing and issuing out notices in the name of the company;
e) ensuring that the annual financial statements of the company are despatched to every person entitled to the statements as required by the Act;
f) ensuring that all statutory forms and returns are duly filed with the Registrar;
g) maintaining the statutory registers of the company;
h) providing the Board with guidance as to the duties, responsibilities and powers of the Board and on the changes and development in the laws affecting the operation of companies;
i) informing the Board of legislation relevant to or affecting meetings of shareholders and directors, and their failure to comply with the legislation and reporting accordingly at any meeting; and
j) advising the directors on their responsibilities as directors.
How important is the role of the Company Secretary?
The importance of the company secretary’s role has thus far merely been seen to be akin to the role of an office secretary, which is a very flawed perception of who a company secretary is.
The current as well as the previous Act makes it mandatory for every company to have a company secretary – which may be either an individual or a corporate body. Section 211(6) of the Act provides that “where a company carries on business for more than six months without a Company Secretary, the company and every officer of the company that is in default is liable to pay to the Registrar an administrative penalty of twenty-five penalty units (GHC300.00) for each day that the company continues to carry on business without a Company Secretary after the expiration of the period of six months”.
Where the position of the Company Secretary becomes vacant, the Act provides that “an act required or authorised to be done by or to the Company Secretary may, if the office is vacant or there is not for any other reason, a person capable of acting as Company Secretary, be done by or to an assistant or a deputy Company Secretary or any other officer of the company appointed by the directors to be acting Company Secretary”.
The foregoing is a depiction of the importance of the role of the Company Secretary. The role is indispensable and is the fulcrum that underpins the effective management of any corporate entity.
Although there is still the traditional “secretary” aspect of the role of a Company Secretary, this aspect is no longer the most relevant. The role of the Company Secretary has evolved from merely being an administrative assistant to the Board, to one which embodies a wider role of guiding and advising the Board and being at the helm of affairs where corporate governance is concerned. As stated above, the Board depends on the Company Secretary to guide and advise them not only on their statutory duties but also on corporate requirements and changes to the law.
In Ghana, we have in recent years come to learn the importance of maintaining governance structures that work for the effective running of our companies. The recent banking sector clean up clearly highlights the lapses in our governance structures and/or the flagrant disregard for corporate governance. Act 992 strengthens our corporate governance systems in many ways that would go a long way to ensuring the right checks and balances are in place for our companies to succeed. The role of the Company Secretary has no doubt grown in importance.
This specialised role of the Company Secretary in the Act requires the services of a qualified and competent individual or organisation to ensure compliance with the laid down requirements. The effective functioning of the Board, no doubt depends on the competence of the Company Secretary. The Company Secretary can be seen as the guardian of the company’s proper compliance with the law and best practice.
By Mansa Williams
Associate | Africa Legal Associates
ALA’s Nana Adjoa Receives Scholarship Award from 30% Club
The 30% Club is a global campaign led by Chairs and CEOs of top companies in the world, taking action to increase gender diversity at board and senior management levels to 30% and beyond.
By this award, Nana Adjoa, who is pursuing an Executive MBA at Imperial College, will represent the school as an Ambassador for Women in Leadership and will support the recruitment of high calibre candidates for future years in different ways, including: attending recruitment events, being featured in promotional materials and contributing to social media activity.
The Executive MBA Scholarship, was awarded to Ms Hackman based on the strength of her application and interview performance.
Already with a distinction in LLM from University of Dundee in Petroleum Law & Policy, obtained in 2009, her Executive MBA programme, which starts this February, will provide her with a thorough knowledge of all the essential business disciplines, as well as opportunities to specialise in areas that will directly benefit her role as Managing Partner of ALA, one of Ghana’s leading corporate law firms.
Nana Adjoa is a leading woman entrepreneur in Ghana, and has over the last 18 years, established and helped run businesses in real estate and mass media. She co-founded ALA in 2015, and before her current role, was the Company Secretary and Head of the Legal Department of United Bank for Africa (Ghana) Limited.
She is a member of the board of Asaase Broadcasting Company Ltd, which owns Asaase Radio in Accra and Kumasi. She is also a director of Gab Productions Limited, which owns the daily newspaper, The Statesman. Nana Adjoa served as a director of the eighth board of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation.
She will play a particular role in initiatives to encourage women’s participation in MBA education and to champion gender parity within Imperial and beyond.
Under the leadership of Global Chair, Ann Cairns, the campaign of the 30% Club continues to expand its international footprint with presence in multiple countries/regions around the world.
“DEMOCRACY HAS BEEN BENEFICIAL FOR GHANA AND AFRICA” – PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO
“Democracy has been beneficial for the continent and for our country. We know, however, that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and vigilant we shall be here in Ghana. We shall not let our guard down, and allow the clammy embrace of the people by anti-democrats, who are disdainful and incapable of effective popular mobilisation through accepted channels, but who want shortcuts to power without the express support of the people.”
These were the words of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, when he delivered a speech at the 2021 Ghana Bar Conference, held in Bolgatanga, capital of the Upper East Region, on Monday, 13th September 2021.
Addressing the gathering, President Akufo-Addo data and history have proven, beyond all reasonable doubt, that all aspects of national life have witnessed significant improvements under democratic dispensations, in comparison to periods of military rule.
According to the President, “The 1970s and 1980s, the periods of unbridled authoritarian rule on the continent, were the eras of economic decline, worsening poverty, collapsing infrastructure and insecurity on our continent. GDP per capita in 1970, for example, according to the World Bank, stood at $220”.
He added that the “third wave of democratization” in Africa, beginning in the 1990s, saw GDP per capita rise, substantially, to six hundred and five dollars ($605) in 1995, declined marginally to five hundred and forty-seven dollars ($547) in the year 2000, and, in 2017, increased to one thousand, five hundred and fifty dollars ($1,550).
In Ghana, President Akufo-Addo stated that GDP per capita was three hundred and ninety-eight dollars ($398) in 1990, declined to two hundred and fifty-eight dollars ($258) in 2000, and it is now two thousand, two hundred and twenty-three dollars ($2,223).
Another key index of Human Development, life expectancy at birth, he said, was estimated by the World Bank at forty-five (45) years in 1970 in sub-Saharan Africa.
“By 1990, this had increased to fifty (50) years, and, in 2019, life expectancy at birth on the continent was sixty-one (61) years. In Ghana, it was forty-nine (49) years in 1970, and sixty-four (64) years in 2019. According to data from the World Bank, primary school enrolment in sub-Saharan Africa in 1970 stood at 54%, and had increased to 98.9% in 2019. It was 64% for us in Ghana in 1970, and by 2019, stood at 105% in 2019,” he said.
According to the President, the implementation of the Free Senior High School policy has brought 1.2 million Ghanaian children into the education ecosystem, the highest number of students in secondary school in Ghana’s history, four hundred thousand (400,000) of whom would otherwise have been excluded.
Additionally, he indicated that the National Health Insurance Scheme is operating more adequately, and is enjoying the confidence of the increasing numbers of its users, with the number of active members up from 10.6 million in 2016 to 12.3 million at the end of 2019, stressing that “the goal in sight is to attain Universal Health Coverage for all”.
With next year marking the 30th anniversary of the 1992 Referendum, President Akufo-Addo noted that the Ghanaian people showed through that process their commitment to democratic governance under a Constitution that guarantees the full enjoyment of fundamental human rights and civic liberties.
“The decision has ushered our nation into the longest, uninterrupted period of stable, constitutional democratic governance in her history, which has experienced, under the 4th Republic, three (3) peaceful transfers of power through the ballot box on three (3) separate occasions. The anti-democrats, who are always looking for occasions to sneer at democratic governance, should also bear the following data in mind,” he said.
Bar Conferences, the President explained, became concerned with constitutional rule, freedom of the press, independence of the judiciary and other matters that were of paramount interest to the citizens, who wanted to live under a governance structure that was insulated from authoritarian rule, whether of the one-party Union Government or military variety.
“The Bar joined, wholeheartedly, in the search of the people for democratic governance, where power emanates from the open decision of the ballot box, not from the coercive force of the gun, secretly undertaken behind the backs of the people,” he added.
“GHANA, GUYANA MUST BRING OIL RESOURCES TO PRODUCTION QUICKLY FOR BENEFIT OF CITIZENS” – PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO
“It is, thus, of the utmost necessity that countries like Guyana and Ghana find ways of bringing their substantial hydrocarbon resources to production, and quickly too. We must add value to these resources, and not export them in their raw form if we are to transition to the status of developed countries. The effective management of these resources will determine whether we make it or not.”
These were the words of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, when he delivered a keynote address at the maiden International Energy Conference and Expo in Georgetown, Guyana, on Tuesday, 15th February 2022.
Whilst bringing these fields to production as quickly as possible, President Akufo-Addo urged that Ghana and Guyana must balance carefully social, economic and environmental benefits of these hydrocarbon resources in a continuously changing world.
“No energy project, therefore, no matter how high its return on value, is worth it if the interests of some or majority of the stakeholders are not properly represented, and they are left impoverished and dissatisfied,” he added.
According to the President, the discovery of oil resources in Ghana, in 2007, offered a unique, historic opportunity the country to leverage its new found oil and gas resources for the development of the Ghanaian economy, and to finance priority domestic investments crucial for diversified growth.
“By the Grace of God, many more discoveries have since followed, and Ghana’s ability to use these resources for the development of the economy, and for enhancing the welfare of citizens remains robust,” he said.
With some resource endowed nations in Africa failing to achieve sustainable development from the exploitation of their natural resources, President Akufo-Addo noted that Ghana has implemented a number of policies and initiatives to change the narrative.
These policies, he explained, are focused on ensuring sustainable growth of the sector through legislative development, employment creation, protection of the environment, revenue and cost management, transparency, diversification of the economy, capacity building, and local content development.
“We resolved, soon after our oil discovery, to improve the legal, regulatory, and institutional framework for the efficient management of our oil and gas industry. To demonstrate further our commitment to ensuring transparency and accountability, Ghana set up a Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) to deal with challenges relating to transparency and accountability, with respect to the use of petroleum revenues,” he said.
The President continued, “Ghana has also signed up to the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiatives (EITI) in relation to oil and gas, which requires that we publish revenues from petroleum resources, and agree to use these resources efficiently for the benefit of the people.”
He told the gathering that a major challenge Ghana has been confronted with is how to develop the oil and gas industry with optimal local content and participation, enhance national development, and create jobs.
To this end, President Akufo-Addo noted that Ghana resolved that the involvement of Ghanaians, in the exploitation of oil and gas resources, could be achieved through mandatory local content in all aspects of petroleum activities, hence the adoption of a Local Content and Local Participation Policy in 2010.
“We have been relatively successful in creating skilled and internationally competitive domestic suppliers through this law. It is important to note that Ghana’s local content law is not about nationalisation of the petroleum sector or a protectionist initiative, but a vehicle for partnering investors to develop domestic capacity that will bring mutual benefits to the investors and the citizens of the country, who own the resources, and, thereby, ensure social harmony and cohesion,” he said.
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