Business24 Newspaper 5 August 2022

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FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2022

.COM.GH

NEWS FOR BUSINESS LEADERS

Telecel to re-engage government over Vodafone Ghana takeover

STORY ON PAGE 2

Access Bank records 43percent profit STORY ON PAGE 4

Ghana’s salt sector could become leading foreign exchange earner in the long term – MIIF CEO STORY ON PAGE 3

Akufo-Addo to receive star of the youth of Ghana award STORY ON PAGE 4


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News/Editorial

Horticulture fast becoming the new job-making machine “When the last tree dies, the last man dies” they say and truly so because flora and fauna preserve the environment and hence human life, and at a time that economies are grossly feeling the harsh outcomes of climate change, the need to preserve our environment and green resources have become even more critical. Aside the enviro-friendly outcomes, there is proven economic potential in the green economy, specifically the horticultural value chain. Recent statistics put proportions of the youth (15 to 35) that are unemployed and seeking work at 34.2percent. Unemployment is therefore considered by many to be the most critical issue affecting the country. It is trite to say that with the right national and individual orientation, policies, and drive, Ghana’s rich flora and fauna resources could provide millions of jobs to the country’s teeming youth. Stratcomm Africa is leading the charge to green

Ghana for the varied purposes of beautification, wealth and job creation as well as a sustainable fight against climate change. Now in is tenth year, the annual Garden and Flower Show challenges and motivates the youth and businesses in the sector to aspire to grow and reach their full potential, in order to improve their livelihoods and impact society. This year’s theme “Growth Unleashed” preps the mind of young Ghanaians to burst forth and to grow beyond the norms to achieve a blooming environment. The global horticulture market is estimated to be valued at USD 20.77 Billion as of 2021 and is projected to reach US$40.24bn by 2026 at a compound annual growth of 10.2percent whilst global flower and ornamental plants market was valued at US$475.6m in 2020 and is expected to reach US$725.4m by the end of 2027, growing annually at 6.3percent during 2021-2027.

Telecel to re-engage government over Vodafone Ghana takeover

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African Focus Telecom Company, Telecel has indicated that it will reengage the Government of Ghana over its takeover bid for Vodafone Ghana’s operations. This is coming after the authorities rejected its earlier request to take over the British telecommunication company In a statement, Telecel, confirmed that it has signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with Vodafone to acquire a 70% percent stake in its Ghanaian subsidiary, adding, the agreement is currently pending regulatory approval. “We have received their responses which have not granted the approvals yet and Telecel is willing to re-engage soon after putting together the necessary clarifications.”

“Telecel Group and Vodafone have been in touch with Ghana’s Ministry for Communications, the Bank of Ghana, and the National Communications Authority, to finalise all the regulatory requirements related to this transaction”, it pointed out. It disclosed that together with Vodafone, they have been in touch with the Ministry for Communications, the Bank of Ghana and the National Communications Authority, to finalise all the regulatory requirements related to this transaction. It further said the acquisition is fully financed by Telecel Group and its partner, adding, the potential sale of Vodafone Ghana Towers is not part of the acquisition funding.

It hoped to successfully conclude this transaction and looks forward to engaging with staff and customers who are important to the business. It concluded that Telecel business model is unique which focuses its strength on overcoming challenges through disruptive innovation, and therefore Ghana’s business climate suits the business models of Telecel Group and was the key enabling factor based on which the group was able to reach an agreement with Vodafone. Telecel Group has already made investments in Ghana as part of the agreement of the Africa Startup initiative Programme (ASIP) and it intends to spend around $500 million in the first three years to expand and refinance Vodafone’s network across the country.


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Ghana’s salt sector could become leading foreign exchange earner in the long term – MIIF CEO The Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) in line with its mineral investment diversification strategy is positioning to invest in the industrial salt sector. According to the Chief Executive Officer of MIIF, Mr Edward Nana Yaw Koranteng, salt is set to become one of Ghana’s major foreign exchange earners by 2026 and a top industrial earner by 2030 if the resuscitation plan of the Ada Songhor Salt project follows through as planned. This follows the plan of the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) to strategically focus on the sector. “The plan to boost salt production and the development of its allied

Brazil while the Songhor salt pans alone has the capacity to produce over one million tons at just 60% capacity. The Global Salt Market Salt has at least 14,000 uses with the chemical industry most reliant on the mineral to produce various chemicals. It is frequently used as a raw material in the production of chlorine, caustic soda, and soda ash. Aside from these, industrial salt is used to make sodium sulphate, sodium carbonate, hydrochloric acid, sodium bicarbonate, liquid sodium, metallic sodium, chlorine, and sodium nitrate. Salt is also used for detergents, de-icing, textiles,

The resuscitation project which includes construction of evaporating and crystallisation ponds, extensive civil works, restoration of the lagoon, desilting and development of new pans has seen an initial investment of $58 Million dollars through a combination of debt and equity from a local bank and Electrochem. The current state has created employment for 2,800 people directly and indirectly, Electrochem has developed a community salt mining scheme for the local community with Electrochem itself as the offtaker. Although current production is

value chain should yield about $2billion to the Ghanaian economy beginning 2027, with the potential to create more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in the next five years from just the Songhor Salt pans alone” Edward Nana Yaw Koranteng said after a one day working visit to the Ada. Classification of Salt as ‘High Priority Mineral’ by MIIF The Chief Executive Officer of MIIF, Edward Nana Yaw Koranteng is optimistic that the planned focus on the mineral will generate new economy vibrancy for the areas known for salt production such as Ada, Sege, Keta, Ningo and Winneba. Mr Koranteng intimated that, MIIF is developing a classification strategy for high priority minerals such as lithium, limestone, granite, diamond and salt. “Classifying Salt as a high priority mineral means we will invest in the mineral value chain development, we will derisk it’s funding methods and help with the acquisition of relevant technology that revitalises the industry”. Mr Koranteng said, Ghana and Senegal are the only countries in West Africa with the potential for large-scale industrial production of salt. He decried the fact that Nigeria with a demand in excess of 1.5 million metric tons (MT) per annum, imports 80% of its industrial salt needs from

fertilizers and is used heavily in oil and gas processing. The worldwide market for salt was valued at circa $28.5 Billion in 2020 with 270 million metric tons (MT) of salt produced that year. The market is projected to grow to $36 Billion in 2026 with China controlling 22.48% of the world’s production. Africa’s leading salt producing countries are Egypt, Tunisia, Namibia, Morocco and South Africa. Egypt produced 1.75 million MT of salt while Tunisia produced 1.6 million MT of salt. The total amount of salt produced in Ghana has remained relatively flat since 2013 at about 250,000 MT. The Ada Songhor Salt Resuscitation Project The Ada Songhor Pans, a 41,000acre salt project is currently being resuscitated by Electrochem, a fully owned Ghanaian company. The Ada Songhor Project in terms of acreage is the largest in Africa. It has been lying dormant as an industrial salt producing area since 1982 but has the potential to produce more than 1.75 million MT and to be the largest salt producing area in Africa. The resuscitation project by Electrochem which started in late 2016 with initial production starting in early 2021 has led to the full restoration of the Songhor lagoon which had dried out for eight years.

just about 12% capacity now, the redevelopment has garnered interest from the sub-region region and led to the first ever sea export of salt from Ghana through the Tema ports. The MIIF Initiative with Ada Songhor Salt MIIF intends to partner and support the full restoration of the Ada Salt project to its full capacity with an equity investment. “The place was completely dead. The lagoon had dried up, the ponds were heavily silted and the project previously looked like a high risk or a death knell for any investor to engage especially with factions among the chiefs and people of the various communities. It was considered in financial circles as a poisoned chalice for anybody to take on”, Edward Nana Yaw Koranteng said of the state of the project before the new investors arrived. Electrochem seem to have succeeded in reducing the daunting task into manageable pieces. Its chairman, Daniel McKorley told the MIIF team; “We realised the problem of factionalism the moment we conceived the project. We worked on uniting the community and seeking their support and that of the chiefs for more than two years before moving to site. We

needed to get it right with the community. Among other things, we created a beneficial financial scheme especially for the women and assured the leaders that there would be several hundreds of jobs for the youth in the area over the sixteen-year lease. It was when we started the process of trying to prepare the ponds for production through desilting that we realised we had taken on an unbelievably huge project.” “We are creating a wealthy ecosystem that feeds the community first and then business. Remember, Salt production is primarily from the sea and as long as the sea never dries, the community and the business will both progress”, Daniel McKorley said. “For us at MIIF, the fact that this project is wholly owned by Ghanaians and could integrate several parts of our development agenda such as the 1D1F where salt is used in virtually every industry excites us greatly. The focus for MIIF is to create value and derive even greater value to the community and to Ghana as a whole. We do this by building local participation into our mining model at the ownership level as well as developing the value chain to the benefit of Ghanaians. The Africa Continental Free Trade Area provides immense possibilities not only to Songhor but to a welldeveloped salt mining sector in Ghana. The Songhor salt project and the sponsors, Electrochem, tick the boxes for long term viability, environmental, social and governance, export potential, high salt density, infrastructure plans and the fact that all the engineers on site are Ghanaians. The corporate management suite is all Ghanaian and the project is supported by one of the best salt design and project managers in the world, Serra of Spain which is also responsible for the technical construction. This nexus of global experience and Ghanaian knowledge is what will make this project thrive and we believe with MIIF’s proposed investment, Ghana should be Africa’s largest salt producer by 2027” said Edward Nana Yaw Koranteng. Mr Koranteng further emphasised that, in line with ongoing discussions with the Ghana Stock Exchange, there is a plan of development to list most of MIIF’s investments on the Stock Exchange. This has been included in the proposed Electrochem investment plan. This would allow a greater number of Ghanaians to own a part of the company”. Mr Koranteng concluded. The Electrochem concession spreads through several communities including Sege, Ada Foah and Big Ada.


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Access Bank records 43percent profit Access Bank has posted a strong financial position for the first half of 2022, recording 26% growth in total assets, 28% growth in loans and advances and 7.8% growth in customer deposits. The bank also recorded significant growth in its financial performance, posting a 30.4% and 43.8% increase in total operating income and profit before tax respectively. Managing Director of Access Bank, Olumide Olatunji attributed the Bank’s impressive performance to the strong and disciplined growth, diversified business model and robust risk management framework which have positioned it to return value to shareholders. He noted that the half year results reinforce the bank’s commitment to generating sustainable returns amidst challenging market conditions. Olumide stated that Access Bank is on course with its retail dominance agenda and keeps

championing an expansion drive to ensure customers have easy access to banking services on and offsite. “The opening of our 54th branch at the Accra Technical University recently, demonstrates the Bank’s focus on expansion and determination to bring banking close to the doorstep of customers. We have also outdoored our agency banking services to make banking available to the ordinary person on the street through agents in the respective communities they reside”, he noted. Olumide thanked the Board, management and staff for their commitment to making Access Bank a respected global bank. He also thanked shareholders for the continuous confidence they repose in the Bank. Press Release 1 st August, 2022 He announced that the Bank has been recognized for championing SMEs advancement and its commitment to the communities

of operation, through the various interventions it has made. “Access Bank has been adjudged the Most Innovative SME Banking Brand and Best CSR Bank in 2022 by Global Brands Awards while the Global Finance Awards has adjudged Access Bank as Best Bank and Sustainable Finance for 2022”.

The Chief Finance Officer for Access Bank Ghana, Michael Gyabaah said, providing digital led solutions to customers is key to Access Bank’s agenda of becoming the world’s most respected African Bank Michael noted. “As our Bank strives to deepen digitalization towards a cash lite society, we have incorporated advanced analytics to tailor products to customers’ needs while we manage risks across multiple business and markets in the medium term”. Operating from 54 business locations across the country, Access Bank continues to build solid long-term relationships with customers based on trust, digital innovations, good customer service and transparency. The Bank has over the years developed a deep understanding of customers, delivering excellent services and empowering them to achieve more through financial inclusion.

Akufo-Addo to receive star of the youth of Ghana award The National Youth Authority (NYA) has announced that it will be honouring President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo with the Star of the Youth of Ghana Award in recognition of his exemplary leadership and numerous interventions in the affairs of the youth of the country. The award will be conferred on the President at this year’s

International Youth Day Celebration, scheduled to take place on August 10, 2022. Addressing the press in Accra, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NYA, Pius Enam Hadzide, noted that the youth of Ghana recognise that under his leadership, President Akufo-Addo has initiated a comprehensive agenda to elevate the stature of the youth in the crucial sectors of education and employment. He says the introduction of the free SHS policy which has removed the financial inhibition to secondary education and reduced the rate of qualified JHS leavers, and the guarantor-free policy which is further increasing access to tertiary education for the youth are some laudable interventions for the youth. “Beyond education, the industrialization agenda as seen through policies such as 1D1F and the sustained investment in TVET and the entrepreneurial spirit of the Ghanaian youth is grooming a new class of young Ghanaians as job owners and creators as opposed to jobseekers”. He adds that “the YouStart initiative which

seeks to inject some 10 billion Ghana Cedis into the youth of Ghana within the next three years for instance would create an estimated 1 million jobs.” The bold decision to construct 16 regional Youth Resource Centers, ten of which are currently under construction, is also worthy of note.” The NYA CEO averred that aside from all these programmes and interventions, President Akufo-Addo has also brought young people into his cabinet and around the decision-making table by appointing young men and women to positions of importance”. He said they included “the Minister for Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif; the Minister for Justice and Attorney General, Godfred Dame; the Minister for Works and Housing, Francis Asenso Boakye; the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Minister for the Western North Region, Richard Joojo Obeng; through to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives”. International Youth Day The 54th Ordinary Session of the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 54/120 to set aside August 12 as the International Day of the Youth in recognition of the enormous contributions of the

youth to community and national development. According to him, Ghana through the National Youth Authority and the Ministry of Youth and Sports will participate in this year’s global celebration of the youth in a remarkable manner. Ghana has commemorated the Day in years past to draw attention not only to the challenges and aspirations of the youth but also to amplify the creative solutions being formulated to deal with the challenges whiles at the same time highlighting the opportunities therein for the youth. The final Sustainable Development Goal, Goal 17, recognises that the realisation of the 2030 Agenda hinges on various sectors and actors working hand in hand and sharing their financial resources, knowledge, and expertise. The event is scheduled to begin from August 10-12, 2022, and will have activities such as the Maiden National Youth Conference, National Youth Policy Launch, and National Youth Policy Dissemination Forum. It will be held at the Anagkazo Bible and Ministry Training Center at Akwapem Mampong under the auspices and distinguished patronage of H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.


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Rehabilitated Sunyani Airport inaugurated The Rehabilitated Sunyani Airport in the Bono Region was Wednesday inaugurated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. The completed works is the Phase I of the Sunyani Airport Rehabilitation Project. The rehabilitation of the airport is a critical part of the government’s vision to expand the frontiers of the aviation industry in Ghana, and to help realise the dream of making Ghana an aviation hub in West Africa. The scope of works included the rehabilitation and extension of the runway from 1,280 metres to 1,400 metres; repair of the apron to accommodate small to medium size aircraft; minimal renovation of the Terminal Building; and construction of

some airport internal roads. With these, after today’s event, the airport is open for business. Air travel is picking up, following the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the aviation industry. It is expected that domestic passenger traffic will continue to grow over the coming years, and will require more infrastructural developments in the sector. There are projects currently ongoing in our nation’s aviation sector which will open up our country even further. They are Phases II & III of the Kumasi Airport project, which are presently some ninety-three percent (93%) complete, and Phase II of Tamale Airport which is ninety-five percent (95%) complete.

Food for the Hungry celebrates World Breastfeeding Week As rates of childhood malnutrition rise to staggering levels due to the COVID-19 pandemic and an emerging global food security crisis, there is an effective way to give children a nourishing start to their lives and greater protection from disease and illness. Indeed one of the most significant and beautiful gifts a new mother can give to her child is breastfeeding. On this global celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, I want to add my voice to the conversation on the importance of breastfeeding and speak from my heart as a mother and advocate regarding the lifesaving difference of this most personal act. This year’s theme, Step Up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support, reflects the two primary priorities of FH’s breastfeeding programs, goals which are inextricably linked. Having grown up in Zimbabwe and worked throughout my career to build thriving communities, I know mothers want the best information to give their children a healthy start. And as any mother with a newborn can attest, they need support. What often serves as a barrier to these goals is a lack of information regarding the many benefits of breastfeeding. At Food for the Hungry, we employ an innovative model in communities around the world that educates, equips, and mobilizes groups of 10 to 15 mothers to implement breastfeeding best practices in their own lives, and then share their knowledge and support neighbors, family, and friends to do likewise. We call these care groups, and by leveraging social networks within communities, we work to provide resources, build capacity, and create enabling environments for optimal, evidence-based breastfeeding. This includes early

initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, and continued breastfeeding alongside nutritious complementary foods for up to two years and beyond. Through this care group model information and knowledge is shared among mothers. I can’t imagine a better way for a new mum to learn than from someone she knows and trusts - another mum in her own community. The evidence is clear that breast milk provides optimal nutrition for babies. It contains a perfect blend of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, as well as critical antibodies that strengthen a baby’s immune system and protect against deadly diseases like diarrhea and respiratory infections. It supports optimal physical and cognitive development. And breast milk provides truly personalized nutrition, changing composition though an amazing, dynamic biofeedback process that ensures each baby’s specific needs are met. Nursing mothers benefit, too, with breastfeeding shown to significantly reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Scaling up optimal breastfeeding practices could have an enormous impact, saving the lives of an additional 823,000 children and 20,000 women each year. Still, while progress has been made over the last decade, currently less than half of babies globally are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. But by partnering with women in communities around the world to share knowledge, address common breastfeeding challenges, and create environments that enable women to meet their breastfeeding goals, we can increase the number of babies who are breastfed. Working

in local communities across the globe allows us to walk alongside the most vulnerable as sisters and friends, sharing our experiences and encouraging sustainable solutions. We know that breastfeeding is critical in addressing the double burden of malnutrition by increasing food security and reducing inequality. The accessibility and affordability of breastfeeding make it a powerful tool in the fight against injustice and poverty. We also know that breastfeeding, a most personal decision, cannot and does not happen in a vacuum. Support systems must create an enabling environment for optimal breastfeeding, and that is why this year’s World Breastfeeding Week focuses on strengthening systems to scale up breastfeeding and builds the capacity and adaptability required for resilient individuals, families, and communities. May this World Breastfeeding Week be a call to action on behalf of the most vulnerable babies and mothers around the globe. Let us commit to working passionately, creatively, and urgently to strengthen breastfeeding capacity and support mothers and babies everywhere. Rudo Kayombo is Chief Operations Officer at Food for the Hungry and

currently lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She joined the organization in 2020, bringing more than 20 years of experience working in international development. She and her husband are the proud parents of six children. Food for the Hungry is a Christian humanitarian organization providing life-changing development programs, disaster relief, and advocacy since 1971. Inspired by our belief that every person has intrinsic value and inestimable worth, we seek to end all forms of poverty and combat injustice by going to the hard places and humbly walking with the world’s most vulnerable people. Through context-specific agriculture, health and nutrition, clean water, education, and disaster risk reduction programs, Food for the Hungry builds resilience and transforms lives. In 2021, we provided emergency and humanitarian relief to 3.1 million people and impacted over 10 million lives through our development programs. With over 99% of staff serving in their country of origin, Food for the Hungry develops sustainable, locally led solutions to fight poverty and injustice. For more information, follow FH on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, or visit www.fh.org.


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Takeover of Vodafone Ghana won’t be funded by potential sale of towers - Telecel

The Telecel Group says the potential sale of Vodafone Ghana’s towers are not part of a funding arrangement to acquire a 70 per cent stake in Vodafone Ghana. Telecel in a statement issued today confirmed that it had signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with Vodafone to acquire a majority stake in Vodafone Ghana. The statement added that Telecel will re-engage the government of

Ghana over its takeover bid after an earlier application to take over Vodafone Ghana was denied. “Telecel Group and Vodafone have been in touch with Ghana’s Ministry for Communications, Bank of Ghana, and the National Communications Authority, to finalise all the regulatory requirements related to this transaction,” the statement said. “We have received their responses which have not granted the approvals yet and Telecel is willing to re-engage soon after putting together the necessary clarifications. “The acquisition is fully financed by Telecel Group and its partners. Telecel confirms that the potential sale of Vodafone Ghana Towers is not part of the acquisition funding. “Telecel hopes to successfully conclude this transaction and looks forward to engaging with

staff and customers, who are important to the business”. A Bloomberg report indicated that Telecel plans to spend about $500million in the first three years to expand and refinance Vodafone’s network across Ghana. Vodafone entered Ghana in 2008 when it acquired 70 percent stake of Ghana Telecommunications Company for $900 million. The state retains 30 percent shares in the company. About Telecel The Telecel Group is headed by French tycoon Hugues Mulliez, a shareholder in the Association Familiale Mulliez - owner of French retailers including Decathlon and Leroy Merlin. Telecel Group has already made investments in Ghana as part of the Africa Startup Initiative Program “ASIP”, and it intends to spend around 500 million USD in the first three years to expand and

refinance Vodafone’s network across the country. It operates in four different lines of business all under the telecom industry: 1. Telecel Mobile, which owns and operates several mobile operators in Africa and Europe; 2. Telecel Global Services, which provides wholesale, enterprise, and digital security services to telecom operators and enterprises worldwide; 3. Telecel Play, a digital platform that is digitizing mobile users; and 4. Africa Startup Initiative Program supports innovative startups in Africa and provides these innovative startups with the funding and guidance to scale up.

Obuasi MCE presents medical equipment to the Sanso Health Centre By Sampson Manu Mr Elijah Adansi-Bonah, the Municipal Chief Executive for Obuasi, has presented health equipment worth GHc36,000 from the Assembly’s Internally Generated Fund to the Sanso Health center in Obuasi. The medical equipment according to the MCE is in line with the Assembly’s quest to improve health care delivery and to bring quality health care services to the doorsteps of the people. In all the MCE presented (2) Oxygen cylinder and flow meter, five (5) Penguin section devises, five (5) Drip stands, two (2) screens, a Suction machine, 15 bedsheets, Autoclave, 3 boxes of Cannula, 2 Fetal Doppler, 5 boxes of Giving set, Artery Forcepts, 2 delivery sets, drum, 6 kidney dishes, among others, to the health facilty. At a short ceremony to present the items to the Municipal Health Directorate, the MCE said the support was in response to a request by the health directorate concerning equipment challenge confronting the Sanso health center and other health facilties in the Municipality. He underscored the importance of having a well-resourced and functioning health center in that

enclave. He said “Sanso Health center is strategically located to deliver quality health care not only to the people of Sanso but the surrounding villages such as Suhyenso and Nyamebekyere. This informed the Assembly to come in and support the health center “ The Sanso Health center was built by the Chief and people of Sanso with the support of the Obuasi Municipal Assembly.

Though the facility has been functioning, it has fallen short of the equipment needed to help it function optimally. Honorable Adansi-Bonah however said the Assembly is focused on making Obuasi the hub of quality healthcare delivery in the region, hence has made a lot of investments in the health sector. Madam Margaret Yaa Manu, the Obuasi Municipal Health Director

who received the items on behalf of the health center lauded the MCE for prioritising issues in the health sector. She revealed that the equipment will boost the morale of the workers at the facility to deliver on their mandate. “ These items will ease the work of the staff at the health center. They are befitting of the health center and we are grateful to the MCE “, She added.


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Audiomack launches ‘Keep The Beat Going’ campaign in Ghana Music streaming platform, Audiomack, has announced the launch of its continent wide #KeepTheBeatGoing campaign in Ghana. The campaign which was inspired by the heartbeat of music – the drum, is designed to empower creatives and inspire listeners to tap in with new music from across Africa. In Ghana, the Keep The Beat Going campaign will feature a creator workshop, billboards featuring top acts such as Stonebwoy, KiDi and MzVee, playlists from top Ghanaian artists, digital ads and a compelling documentary telling the Ghanaian stories through music. “The Keep The Beat Going campaign is our way of further connecting the Audiomack audience to the diverse world of African music. We care about the artist, the producer, and the fan, and want to make sure they are represented across billboards, radio ads, and more as we move music forward worldwide.”, said Jason Johnson, VP of

Marketing and Brand Strategy for Audiomack. Audiomack has also partnered with Y107.9 FM Ghana, Audiomack to launch ‘Audiomack Hour’ which will air every Friday

on #TheDryve show featuring interviews from major Ghanian artists as well as ‘Audiomack Top 10 Ghana’ that will include Ghanaian songs topping the Audiomack charts. Listeners can

also get to know facts about their favourite Ghanaian artists every Wednesday, on the Audiomack Hometown Hero: Ghana segment which will air on the #YLounge show. Make sure to follow Audiomack and Audiomack Africa on social media, stream your favourite African artists on the app, and use #KeepTheBeatGoing on socials to get in on the conversation! About Audiomack Audiomack, which launched in 2012, currently reaches more than 20 million monthly users globally. The streaming and discovery service has played an integral role in breaking new acts, such as Rod Wave and Kaash Paige; served as a trusted partner to Eminem and Nicki Minaj, among other notable artists, to debut exclusive releases; and helped rising African stars, such as Omah Lay, reach an international audience. As of December 2021, Audiomack is the top-ranked music streaming app on Apple’s iOS in Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Senegal, and Kenya.


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GSS report on sachet water lacks merit, motive unclear - NASPAWAP The President of National Association of Sachet and Packaged Water Producers (NASPAWAP)Magnus Nunoo has described the Ghana Statistical Service’s report on sachet water production as “lacking report and an unclear motive”. In a press statement signed by the president, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NASPAWAP noted with concern, that the Ghana Statistical Service’s report, purported to have been made by Dr Takyi, and making the headlines of newspapers, media houses and trending on social media platforms. According to NEC,” the report by the GSS lacks merit, and the motive is not clear. The NEC views this as a Malicious attempt to hack down another thriving industry, and to draw populous attention to oneself by hitting on targeted sensitive sectors to create the maximum effect of causing fear and panic. The NEC also wishes to put into proper context that the GSS report states that 34.1 % of all the sources of household drinking water (of which sachet water only holds 37.4% and the remaining 62.6% is held by other sources of household drinking water) is contaminated with E. coli. Also,

the focus on the findings is on the source of sachet water and not the final product (sachet water).” That said the NEC rejects the report by Dr Takyi on the following grounds; The survey was conducted in 2017, however, the damming report was put in the public domain in 2022 thus after 5 years. Considering the growth in consumption of sachet water which quadrupled over a decade as per the GSS own report, then the GSS silence over the past 5 years could have led 72% of our population that depend on sachet water suffering dire health consequences. Further in their press statement they indicated that the report focuses on sachet water alone, however bottled water uses the same sources (i.e., borehole, Ghana water or natural spring) thus the motive seems to be the victimization of only sachet water. It is important to note that about 95% of packaged water producers in the Greater Accra and other regional capitals source their raw water from the finish product of the Ghana Water company which is distributed to every household connected in Ghana, hence is the GSS trying to say that water from the Ghana Water Company contains fecal matter?

For NASPAWAP the GSS could have done justice to the report by providing further and correlating data on water and sanitation related diseases like cholera, guinea worm and river blindness over the same period and correlate how the health barometer relates to their findings. The GSS must know that sachet and packaged water companies do not package sourced water without subjecting it to treatment processes. Every sachet and packaged water companies subject sourced water through vigorous processes using state of the art filtration systems such as the reverse osmosis among others. In the event that the sourced water as the report suggests is contaminated then the filtration system is capable of removing deadly bacteria and viruses from the sourced water thereby making the water potable. The FDA FACTOR: The FDA is mandated by law to regulate the food industry. Every packaged water on the Ghanaian market registered by the FDA has an ID number printed on the packaged product which is unique to each SKU. Companies are mandated to renew their facility licenses yearly. By inference every brand goes through a rigorous renewal

process that will ensure that products that are challenged are corrected or recalled. They noted that the survey was conducted by an assistant field researcher Dr. Takyi at the GSS, and are looking forward if NEC could make its primary data and primary samples available for an independent analysis to be carry out to bring out the facts. “To our Consumers and the general public, NEC wishes to state unequivocally that the report by the GSS lacks merit, and the motive is not clear. We therefore wishes to appeal to the general public to disregard such one sided survey that has no merit to the packaged water industry, simply because the conclusion that sachet water sources is contaminated with fecal matter has no basis, as the water packaged industry do not package, distribute and sells sourced water but rather Treated water that goes through various protocols of production regulated by the FDA and other agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Factory Inspectorate, The environmental health Officers at the district and local levels within the local assemblies.” the release added.


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Biosecurity is national security If a cyberattack upended the global economy, effectively shut down major cities like New York, and put millions of lives at risk, governments and institutions worldwide would undoubtedly respond by investing heavily in defensive capabilities. They would beef up their cybersecurity, install new safeguards, and collect data and intelligence on future threats – just as many already do in response to acts of cyber warfare. When it comes to the equally disruptive COVID-19 pandemic, however, the response has been far less decisive. As new variants ravage the health and economic security of the world’s population, biosecurity measures – the early warning and monitoring technologies meant to prevent the spread of infectious diseases – are still not as layered, pervasive, or formidable as the cybersecurity systems we use to contain and mitigate the activities of computer hackers. But as COVID-19 continues to remind us, public health and biosecurity are vital for national security. Biological viruses, much like computerized ones, attack living systems. They are ubiquitous, and though we may not always be able to escape them, we can study them and learn how to defend ourselves. New biotechnologies are analogous to software patches that protect against cyberattacks. The mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are a case in point. The scientists who

developed them programmed cells to produce “good” code, giving our bodies instructions to neutralize the virus’s “bad” code. COVID-19 vaccines demonstrate biotech’s potential to save lives, but vaccines are only one part of our defense against future pandemics. We have the tools to predict the next pandemic and turn the tide on various health threats to individuals and communities. We need to leverage this new era of public-health technology and build a biosecurity infrastructure that mirrors our approach to cybersecurity in terms of both investment and engagement. To save as many lives as possible, governments must emphasize investments in biosecurity systems and technologies. The focus should be on expanding monitoring systems to discover biosecurity threats before they become widespread. More innovation is necessary. A safer future entails a strategic shift to regular testing in nontraditional places like schools and airports to detect infectious-disease threats before they overwhelm us. Patients with common respiratory symptoms – few of whom were ever tested for infectious disease in the pre-COVID-19 era – should be routinely tested to get a definitive diagnosis. Pathogen detectors should be more affordable and widely available. By incorporating these data, a global infectious disease “weather map”

– conceived and built as a layered and nimble system that evolves in response to the variety of threats facing humanity, much like cybersecurity systems – would help cities, states, and countries understand potential threats. Before the COVID-19 shock, complacent governments and institutions did not invest in large-scale infectious disease surveillance systems. While COVID-19 remains the center of attention, a disturbing rise in monkeypox cases is now occurring across several continents, and we are just now understanding the root causes of the increase in acute pediatric hepatitis cases that had confounded medical experts. Then there is the looming threat of new strains of bird flu and other viruses mutating and adapting to infect humans even more easily. We need to improve our ability to anticipate future outbreaks and understand where new variants are emerging. Most importantly, we need to detect novel pathogens before they become pandemics. The current pandemic is still far from over. In late May, a study posted on the pre-publication server MedRxiv suggested that the undercounting of COVID-19 cases may be 30 times higher than reported. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cases are nearly six times higher than they were this time last year, primarily owing to the emergence of new variants.

This is particularly worrying because current mRNA vaccines reduce the risk of hospitalization and death but are less effective in preventing long COVID. Recent reports indicate that lingering disease can affect as many as 20% of COVID patients. The economic consequences are staggering, as evidenced by COVID-driven inflation threatening the global economy and supply networks. Public-health leaders warn that the growing threat of infectious diseases, whether naturally occurring or human-engineered, means we can’t afford the neglect-panic-neglect cycle that has defined the COVID-19 era. Pathogens are relentless in their ability to adapt, mutate, and thrive; they don’t care about “COVID fatigue” or our desire to return to the old normal. To prevent future pandemics, we must be as focused on adapting and surviving as the viruses are. We must address our vulnerabilities by funding technologies to help us identify and fight dangerous viruses and develop new defenses against potential outbreaks. Just as the advent of the information age underscored the need for cybersecurity, the rapid growth of biotechnology and the growing threat of pandemics should spur significant investments in biosecurity. Now is the time to build our publichealth toolkit to fight future viral threats. Project syndicate


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| NEWS

FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2022

Gov’t launches National AfCFTA Policy Framework and Action Plan Government has outlined interventions geared towards the harmonisation of existing laws, programmes, policies, and regulations to boost Ghana’s trade with Africa under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). The interventions were highlighted in a National AfCFTA Policy Framework and Action Plan that provided policy prescription and strategic objectives with focus on trade facilitation, trade policy, infrastructure, enhancing productive capacity, trade information, market integration and finance. The document was put together by the AfCFTA InterMinisterial Committee, National AfCFTA Steering Committee and seven Technical Working Groups that comprised of representatives from the private sector, Senior Government Officials, and other technical experts. At the launch on Tuesday, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister of Information, who launched the document on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, said the implementation of the framework was crucial to ensuring Ghanaian businesses exported significantly into the African continent.

He, therefore, cautioned against any delay in effective implementation of the policy and its action plan as that could impede the gains of the country from the agreement. “The effective operationalisation of the AfCFTA in Ghana would significantly boost Ghana’s balance of trade, stimulate investment and innovation, diversify exports, improve food security, foster structural transformation, enhance economic growth, and above all, provide jobs for the youth” he said. Mr Alan Kyeremanten, the Minister of Trade and Industry, called for stronger collaboration

between public and private entities to empower the private sector in Ghana to harness the full benefit of AfCFTA. “Government on its part, will provide the needed political impetus and create the enabling environment to ensure the successful implementation of AfCFTA in Ghana,” he said. He noted that government had a vision of transforming Ghana into a modern industrialised country, which would become the new manufacturing hub of the continent. In that regard, the effective implementation of the AfCFTA in Ghana through the policy framework and action plan,

would undoubtedly make a significant contribution in realising the vision. Mr. Mohamed Ali, Director of Trade in Goods and Competition, speaking on behalf of Mr Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, commended Ghana for the launch, especially after it had expressed interest in the secretariat-led initiative for guided trade under the AfCFTA. The initiative would facilitate direct trade between Ghana and Egypt, Cameroon , Kenya as well as Mauritius. “The Facilitated and Guided trade initiative will enable us to test the operational, institutional, legal and trade policy environment under the AfCFTA; allow commercially meaningful trading under the AfCFTA; and send an important positive message to the African economic operators about the veracity of the AfCFTA as well as its promise to create real opportunities in Africa. “This initiative seeks to facilitate commercially meaningful trading, among interested State Parties that have met the minimum requirements for trade, under the Agreement,” he said.

Parliamentary Select C’ttee on Education lauds ATP’s printing of 600,000 science textbooks The Parliamentary Select Committee on Education has expressed satisfaction with the ongoing printing of textbooks for basic schools by Appointed Time Press (ATP), a subsidiary of the Jospong Group of Companies ( JGC). So far, ATP has printed and distributed 600,000 Science textbooks to government basic schools in the country. ATP is one of five printing houses contracted by the government to print textbooks for basic schools across the country. The company is expected to print 800,000 basic school science textbooks for distribution across the country. In July, this year, the company announced that it was 50 per cent through with the project. This followed an inspection tour of ATP’s facilities by the Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum. The committee was particularly, excited at state-ofthe-art printing machines used by ATP in its operations. The Chairman of the committee, Mr. Kwabena

Amankwa Asiamah, said ATP has done an impressively good job. The committee members were on an inspection tour of ATP’s head office in Accra on Tuesday, August 2, 2022, to appraise the state of the printing project being undertaken by the company. Briefing journalists after the inspection tour of the printing house, Mr. Amankwa Asiamah,

said school children at the basic level will now get books to read and study. According to him, the quality of printing and the books was top notch, adding that it meets the required standard, especially for school children at the basic level. He, however, called on the government to take a critical look at the tax components on the

importation of printing materials. He noted that the prices of textbooks imported from India and China were cheaper. He attributed this to tax rebates given by the governments of these two countries to the printing firms in their respective countries. The Managing Director of ATP, Ms. Jacqueline Afful, disclosed her outfit had so far printed and distributed 600,000 basic Science textbooks across the nation. She assured that the remaining 200,000 textbooks will be ready on schedule. She rehashed her company’s commitment to print the remaining textbooks by the end of August 2022, for onward distribution to basic schools. She disclosed that the company paid particular attention to the quality of the books owing to the fact that children were going to use them.


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| NEWS

FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2022

GFA unveil betPawa as new Ghana Premier League sponsor in three-year, $6m deal The Ghana Football Association (GFA) have announced betPawa as the official headline sponsor of the Ghana Premier League ahead of the 2022/23 season. The deal will betPawa sponsor Ghana’s top flight until the 2025/26 season with the deal worth six million dollars ($6m). The official announcement

took place at the headquarters of the GFA in Accra on Wednesday, August 3, 2022. The GFA and betPawa’s cooperation aims to effectively advertise and position the premier league so that it becomes one of the most popular and alluring leagues on the continent. Signing on behalf of betPawa,

international superstar and betPawa stakeholder Mr Eazi highlighted that “the ’s high appetite for growing and harnessing talents, creating opportunities and rewarding fans across its markets are a few of the many reasons for partnering with the GFA”. The GFA President Mr. Kurt Edwin Simeon-Okraku on his part commended betPawa for the partnership. “On behalf of the Executive Council and the football fraternity in Ghana I wish to thank you for your support”. Mr. Okraku further pointed out that Ghana is blessed with a lot of football talents and evidence is seen through the display of soccer artistry across the various leagues. He further stated that “for the country to be able to compete fiercely and on equal footing with other talents across the globe, there is the need for companies like betPawa and corporate Ghana to contribute to complement to

the effort of the government. In order to promote responsible gaming, which is high on the ’s corporate agenda, betPawa has been engaging in a number of CSR initiatives over the years. These initiatives aim to give customers the ability to support themselves financially and to instil a sense of philanthropy in them across all of its markets. In the 2021/22 season, the GFA announced a sponsorship deal with Betway for the Ghana Women’s Premier League. Betway was recognised as the Development Partner of the Ghana Women’s Premier League. The provided training equipment for participating clubs, as well as amplified coverage of the league in collaboration with the Sports Writer’s Association (SWAG). The 2022/23 betPawa Premier League is scheduled to be launched on 2nd September 2022 with the league kicking off on the weekend of 9th to the 12th September 2022.

Dr. Ofori is new CEO of Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors Dr. Patrick Kwaku Ofori has officially assumed office as the CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD), with a promise to lead the Chamber to pursue its vision of the overall growth of the industry and the country. He takes over from Senyo Hosi, the founding CEO of the Chamber.

Mr. Hosi stepped down in June 2022 after 10 years in office. Speaking at a brief handingover ceremony in Accra, Dr Ofori acknowledged the major contributions of his predecessor, Mr Hosi, to the industry and the national economy in general. “I believe the foundation has been laid, and I am receiving the

baton from arguably the best sprinter, to finish the race,” Dr. Ofori said to Mr Hosi. “We are going to achieve what you set out to do,” Dr. Ofori also expressed confidence in his ability to achieve the goals of the organization, and to proceed and move the industry to greater heights.

In his brief remarks, Mr Hosi advised Dr. Ofori to be bold, openminded, firm, and fair, urging him to “always pursue the sustainable good.” “It is in this, that you will earn the confidence of the public and the policymakers you need to best serve your members”, Mr Hosi said. Dr. Ofori has more than sixteen years of varied executive professional experience spanning Higher Education, Sports and the Oil and Gas industry. Prior to his appointment to the CBOD position, he was the Manager for Crude Oil and Products Marketing at the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation. He had previously occupied the position of Manager responsible for Institutional Reporting and Stakeholder Relations at GNPC. He holds a PhD in Sports Psychology from the University of Stirling, Scotland and an MSc in Accounting and Finance from the University of Ghana. He is a Commonwealth Scholar and an International Convention on Science, Education and Medicine in Sports (ICSEMIS) Scholar. Dr Ofori is also the Founding Head of the Department of Sports Science at the University of Cape Coast.


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| FEATURE

FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2022

Why might China avoid strong inflation? By Zhang Jun When high levels of capital investment spending fueled a sustained increase in Chinese inflation from 1991 to 2011, the authorities quickly brought the situation under control, and over the last decade, CPI has rarely exceeded 2%, compared to 5.4% in 2011. With policymakers in most major economies now losing their grip on price stability, can China continue to keep a lid on inflation this year and next? To answer this question, it is worth considering how China succeeded in curbing inflation for the past decade. Notably, the government refrained from new rounds of large fiscal and monetary stimulus, and thanks to the central bank’s increased autonomy, money creation and credit growth stopped passively catering to investment projects from below. After 2015, China’s central bank adopted a prudent tone and adjusted credit allocation to support sectors with excessive debt ratios. Highly polluting

a major contributor to aggregate demand – is becoming a drag on the economy. In 2020, China’s government introduced “three red lines” to constrain the sector’s access to credit: developers’ liabilities should not exceed 70% of assets, their net debt should not exceed equity, and their cash holdings must be equal to shortterm borrowing. The new debt metrics, together with the COVID-19 pandemic, have put intense pressure on the sector. Once-thriving developers are now facing serious debt crises. With some residential projects having been delayed or halted, home buyers in several cities have had to stop making monthly mortgage payments since the second half of last year. The good news is that China has indeed kept inflation under control. In the first half of the year, CPI rose by 1.7%, and the government’s inflation forecast for 2022 is about 3%. The bad news is that, while China’s economy has been spared from overheating,

to happen. Therefore, the central government would most likely need to revise the lower limit of its growth forecast for July-December downward to 6%, rather than 8%, implying an annual growth rate of 4-4.5% for the entire year. Given this, China’s government is planning to launch a new round of stimulus for the rest of the year. With unemployment rising – the rate for 16-24-year-olds reached 19.3% in June, up four percentage points year on year – stimulus is urgently needed. But Premier Li Keqiang has been very wise to highlight the importance of not overdoing it. In the past, stimulus has taken the form of excessive infrastructure investment. But China now has limited room for maneuver. One key constraint is the huge debt overhang from the massive round of stimulus in 2009-11, which poses a serious risk to the financial system. Most of the liquidity that could be used to invest in additional infrastructure projects will still

industries and the real-estate sector – both of which had driven rapid GDP growth in the past – faced financial repression. At the same time, the central government has tolerated the minimum growth rates that could accommodate steady employment growth. Today, that tolerance is being tested. Pandemic lockdowns, especially in Shenzhen and Shanghai, have taken a heavy toll on China’s economy. In the second quarter of 2022, Shanghai’s GDP fell by almost 14%. Meanwhile, the real-estate sector – traditionally

this has clearly come at the cost of a sustained slowdown in GDP growth, and even a recession in some areas. Given this, official forecasts of 5.5% economic growth this year will not be achieved. In the second quarter of this year, China’s growth was barely positive. Though GDP still grew by 2.5% year on year in the first half of 2022, thanks to relatively strong exports, real GDP growth would have to reach at least 8% in the second half of the year to achieve the 5.5% target for 2022, which is of course unlikely

have to be financed by local financing vehicles and local government bonds. While the authorities recently asked China’s policy and development banks to add a total of CN¥1.1 trillion ($163 billion) in new credit lines to support infrastructure projects, new budget outlays – and new debt – might still be required. Another constraint on stimulus is the threat of imported inflation. The effects of the pandemic, together with the fallout of the Ukraine war, are raising inflation expectations in most Western

countries, which are already experiencing rapid increases in consumer prices: CPI in both the United States and the United Kingdom exceeded 9% in June, while eurozone CPI exceeded 8%. Likewise, in Asia, South Korea’s CPI rose 6% year-on-year in June, the largest such increase since November 1998. The increase in Japan’s CPI – 2.4% – exceeded the central bank’s target for a third consecutive month. As a major energy and food importer, China will find it difficult to insulate itself from the global trend. Two factors explain why CPI in China has not already surged. First, China’s energy and food importers are all giant, state-owned, state-controlled enterprises whose pricing decisions are tightly regulated. Until inflation expectations are formed, the increase in import costs is not passed on to consumers. This is reflected in China’s producer price index, which has been less stable than CPI over the years. Second, even as China imports many critical goods, those that are included in the CPI are largely supplied domestically. And, as with importers, the prices charged by state-owned producers in the upper reaches of China’s economy do not fully reflect changes in their costs, owing to government controls. Consider pork – the single most important item affecting CPI in China, accounting for 2.5% of the index. The counter-cyclical regulation of hog rearing and state subsidies to pork producers have gone a long way toward keeping pork prices – and, thus, CPI – relatively stable. But, while such regulation can help to cushion external supply shocks, reducing revenues or increasing subsidies will add to the government’s fiscal burden, especially amid global inflation. Add to that already-strained localgovernment finances and the huge costs of maintaining a zero-COVID policy, and the government’s ability to expand and finance public capital spending will be severely limited. In this context, it is understandable that China’s government chose to adopt a modest stimulus package. An overly strong stimulus, experience has made clear, would almost inevitably entail excessive monetary expansion, leading to a surge in inflation that would create further challenges for China’s economy in the coming years.


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| AGRIBUSINESS

FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2022

Agribusiness Entrepreneurs must take Advantage of AfCFTA -ADB MD The Managing Director of Agricultural Development Bank Plc, Dr. John Kofi Mensah has disclosed that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will help agribusiness entrepreneurs to access the African Market. The AfCTA is a single market (duty-free-quota-free) trading bloc covering the entire African Continent with a total population of 1.3 billion with the objective to create a single continental market for goods and services. Speaking on the side of the launch of the National AfCFTA Policy Framework Action Plan at the Kempinski Hotel, Gold Coast City in Accra, Dr. Kofi Mensah said Ghanaian entrepreneurs in the Agricultural sector can access a market with a combined Gross Domestic Product of almost

USD3.4 trillion. According to Dr. Kofi Mensah, government initiatives like the One District One Factory(1D1F) which ADB has been a key partner has the potential to help agribusiness entrepreneurs to expand their business for the African Market. “AfCTA is a major global gamechanger for entrepreneurs especially those in Agribusiness because as a continent we share similar agricultural products which can be cross traded,” he said. The ADB Managing Director indicated with the critical role the sector plays in the Ghanaian economy the Agricultural sector remains a low hanging fruit the country can pluck to benefit from AfCTA. Dr. Kofi Mensah therefore

urged players within the agricultural value chain to take advantage of the AfCTA to expand their business and export their products and services into other countries within the sub-region. In his remarks at the launch, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon. Alana Kyerematen said that the establishment of the AfCTA is arguably one of the most transformational decisions taken by the African Union. The recognition of the potential benefits it could bring to Ghana is the driving rationale for the development of the National AfCTA Policy Framework and Action Plan for Boosting Ghana’s Trade with Africa. “The agreement provides immense opportunities for industrialization and the development of regional value/

supply chains,” he said. According to the Minister ongoing initiatives under Ghana’s Ten Point Industrial Transformation Agenda such as National Export Development Strategy (NEDS), the SME Development Initiative, the Establishment of Strategic Anchor Industries, the One District One Factory Programme and the establishment of Industrial Parks across the country are all designed to transform the economy and enable Ghana optimize its benefit from AfCTA. The AfCTA is the most significant development in Africa since the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963. It is the world’s largest Free Trade Area with a membership of 54 States.


| FEATURE

FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2022

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A 20-year review of Ghana’s public debt (III) There have been notable gains in education. Total government expenditure on education as a per cent of GDP, which averaged 4.1 per cent in the 1990s, is now in a comfortable range, averaging six per cent and 5.3 per cent during the 2000-2009 and 2010 – 2019 periods, respectively. Indeed, the Education 2030 Framework for Action proposed two benchmarks as ‘crucial reference points’: allocate at least four per cent to six per cent of GDP to education and at least 15 per cent to 20 per cent of public expenditure to education (Unesco,2016). Average government expenditure on education as a per cent of government expenditure for the last two decades has remained well above the recommended thresholds. Despite government expenditure on education remaining above the recommended thresholds, Ghana’s educational outcomes, such as enrollment, completion, and literacy rates, lag behind countries with comparable or even lower educational expenditures This development suggests that the mere level of expenditure, though necessary, is not as important as the outcomes resulting from the spending. Kwakye (2012) reports that a disproportionately high percentage of expenditure on education goes to the payment of salaries relative to school facilities, resulting in adverse effects on the quality of education. Modest gains have been recorded in the area of health over the last three decades. Ghana has improved the under-5 mortality rate (per 1,000 live births), with the average rate declining from 115 in the 1990s to 56 over the 2010-2019 period. The under-5 mortality rate for Ghana in 2019 was 46, slightly lower than the 49 recorded for the lower-middle-income group of countries. Health expenditure as a per cent of GDP has decreased from an average of 5.2 per cent during the 1990s to 4.1 per cent over the 2010 – 2019 period. The current average of 4.1 per cent is similar to the average for the lower-middle income countries and lower than the SSA region of 5.1 per cent. Other Macroeconomic Indicators (CPI inflation) Prudent monetary policies implemented by the Bank of Ghana since 2017 anchored CPI inflation expectations to stable

levels, which resulted in singledigit inflation in 2018 and 2019. However, the fallouts from the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in double digits inflation by the end of 2020. By April 2021, the CPI inflation had returned to a single digit, reaching 8.5 per cent. However, these gains have been derailed primarily by global supply chain disruptions and a domestic surge in food prices, as the CPI inflation reached 12.6 per cent by December 2021. The Bank’s core inflation (excluding energy and utility) also increased from 8.6 per cent in April 2021 to 11.8 per cent as of December 2021. By April 2022, headline inflation reached 23.6 per cent. Unemployment Ghana’s unemployment rate witnessed a dramatic decline from 10.4 percent in 2000 to 4.6 per cent in 2007. At the start of the financial crisis in 2008, unemployment remained at a reasonable rate of 4.7 per cent. However, the unemployment rate began a steady rise from 4.7 per cent in 2008 and stayed around seven per cent from 2013 to 2016, and has since fallen to about four per cent. Relative to 2010, unemployment has improved for all groups in 2019. There is less variation in the unemployment rates by gender; however, youth unemployment has remained significantly high. The gap between the overall unemployment and youth unemployment rates which widened from 2008 to 2015, has narrowed.

However, a caution about the unemployment data is in order. Ghana’s unemployment data is spotty, and the ILO modeled estimates may not provide an accurate picture of the situation on the ground. A recent report by the World Bank estimates that youth unemployment is about 12.6 per cent, with more than 50 per cent underemployment, higher than overall unemployment rates in the SSA region (Dadzie et al., 2020). Tackling the worsening youth unemployment would require concerted efforts from all stakeholders. The new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development highlights the need to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all and would need to harness the benefits from upgrades in technological innovations and creativity, diversification, and improved access to financial services (Desa, 2016). The 2020 agenda of the United Nations, which aims to develop and operationalize a global strategy for youth employment, would be required for any domestic efforts aimed at tackling the youth unemployment problem. Challenges: domestic and external Factors The modest gains in Ghana’s recent economic growth and relatively stable prices, preCOVID-19, occurred despite challenges from domestic and

external factors. Unless otherwise indicated, the analysis in this section primarily utilizes information from the budget statements issued by the Ministry of Finance and Bank of Ghana reports. Domestic factors The importance of electricity in economic growth and development cannot be overstated. One major domestic challenge that Ghana has faced over the last two decades is the power supply, which has impacted Ghana’s economic growth over the period. Between 2006 and 2016 alone, the demand for electricity in Ghana increased by about 52 per cent (Kumi, 2017). However, the supply of electricity is yet to keep up with this high demand. The supply constraints have led to the perennial electricity crisis, a situation characterized as “dumsor” by locals, literally meaning “off-on.” In 2015 alone, Ghana experienced 159 days of a blackout. Estimates based on a 2014 study undertaken by the Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research at the University of Ghana suggest that Ghana lost about US$680 million (2 per cent of GDP) in 2014 due to the electricity crisis (Kumi, 2017). From 2017 to date, two main domestic developments are worth noting, the cost and implications of the financial sector clean-up and the expanded tuition-free high school for all program initiated by the current government.


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| ADVERT

FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2022


FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2022

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| MARKET REVIEW

FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2022

WEEKLY MARKET REVIEW FOR WEEK ENDING - JULY 29, 2022 MACROECONOMIC INDICATORS Q3, 2021 GDP Growth

3.3%

Average GDP Growth for 2021

3.3%

2022 Projected GDP Growth

3.7%

BoG Policy Rate

19.0%

Weekly Interbank Interest Rate

21.81%

Inflation for February, 2022

29.8%

End Period Inflation Target – 2022

28.5%

Budget Deficit (% GDP) – Dec, 2021

5.0%

2022 Budget Deficit Target (%GDP)

6.6%

Public Debt (billion GH¢) – Dec, 2021

393.4%

Debt to GDP Ratio – Dec, 2021

78.3%

STOCK MARKET REVIEW The Ghana Stock Exchange strengthened for the week on the back of price gains by 4 counters. The GSE Composite Index (GSE CI) gained 78.36 points (+3.21%) to close at 2,518.86 points, reflecting year-to-date (YTD) loss of 9.70%. The GSE Financial Stocks Index (GSE FI) however lost 12.03 points (-0.57%) to close at 2,115.61 points, reflecting YTD loss of 2.24%. Market capitalization inched up by 1.43% to close the week at GH¢64,383.34 million, from GH¢63,475.25 million at the close of the previous week. This reflects YTD decrease of 0.17%. Trading activity recorded a total of 314,961 shares valued at GH¢3,231,680.95 changing hands, compared with 2,086,473 shares, valued at GH¢1,865,540.47 in the preceding week. MTN dominated volume of trades, accounting for 16.96% of shares traded for the week whiles New Gold dominated value of trades for the week, accounting for 88.63% of values traded. The market ended the week with 4 leaders and 3 laggards as indicated on the table below.

THE CURRENCY MARKET The Cedi continued its downward trend against the USD for the week. It traded at GH¢7.6120/$, compared with GH¢7.4745/$ at week open, reflecting w/w and YTD depreciations of 1.81% and 21.10% respectively. This compares with YTD depreciation of 0.71% a year ago. The Cedi also weakened against the GBP for the week. It traded at GH¢9.2642/£, compared with GH¢8.9915/£ at week open, reflecting w/w and YTD loss of 2.94% and 12.27% respectively. This compares with YTD depreciation of 2.34% a year ago. The Cedi again weakened against the Euro for the week. It traded at GH¢7.7658/€, compared with GH¢7.6409/€ at week open, reflecting w/w and YTD depreciations of 1.61% and 12.07% respectively. This compares with YTD appreciation of 2.67% a year ago. The Cedi further weakened against the Canadian Dollar for the week. It opened at GH¢5.8120/C$ but closed at GH¢5.9388/C$, reflecting w/w and YTD depreciations of 2.13% and 20.16% respectively. This compares with YTD depreciation of 2.62% a year ago.


FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2022

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| MARKET REVIEW

BUSINESS TERM OF THE WEEK Defensive Stock: A defensive stock refers to a company that tends to outperform the share market in periods of economic downturn. A defensive stock can provide a stable dividend yield, earnings and cash flow, regardless of external events that are happening. Its share price remains mostly unaffected by high volatility or economic uncertainty. Source: https://www.cmcmarkets.com/en-gb/ trading-guides/defensive-stocks

ABOUT CIDAN COMMODITY MARKET Crude oil prices rose on the back of next week’s OPEC+ meeting and dimming expectations that the producer group will boost supply. Brent futures traded at US$110.01 a barrel on Friday, compared to US103.71 at week open. This reflects w/w and YTD gains of 6.07% and 41.44% respectively. Gold prices also inched up as the dollar softened, while investors awaited more economic readings that could determine the pace of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes. Gold settled at US$1,781.80, from US$1,727.40 last week, reflecting w/w gain and YTD loss of 3.15% and 2.56% respectively. Prices of Cocoa inched up for the week. The commodity traded at US$2,323.00 per tonne on Friday, from US$2,292.00 last week, reflecting w/w gain and YTD loss of 1.35% and 7.82% respectively.

INTERNTIONAL COMMODITIES PRICES

CIDAN Investments Limited is an investment and fund management company licensed by the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA).

RESEARCH TEAM Name: Ernest Tannor Email:etannor@cidaninvestments.com Tel:+233 (0) 20 881 8957 Name: Audrey Asiedua Wiafe Email:aaudrey@cidaninvestments.com Tel:+233 (0) 57 840 2700 Name: Moses Nana Osei-Yeboah Email:moyeboah@cidaninvestments.com Tel:+233 (0) 24 499 0069

CORPORATE INFORMATION GOVERNMENT SECURITIES MARKET Government raised a sum of GH¢1,083.55 million for the week across the 91-Day and 182-Day Treasury Bills. This compared with GH¢3,524.70 million raised in the previous week. The 91-Day Bill settled at 26.71% p.a from 26.34% p.a. last week whilst the 182-Day Bill settled at 28.26% p.a from 28.06% p.a. last week. The table and graph below highlight primary market yields at close of the week.

CIDAN Investments Limited CIDAN House Plot No. 169 Block 6 Haatso, North Legon – Accra Tel: +233 (0) 26171 7001/ 26 300 3917 Fax: +233 (0)30 254 4351 Email: info@cidaninvestmens.com Website: www.cidaninvestments.com Disclaimer The contents of this report have been prepared to provide you with general information only. Information provided on and available from this report does not constitute any investment recommendation. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources that we believe to be reliable, but its accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed.

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NO. B24/317 | NEWS FOR BUSINESS LEADERS

FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2022

Ad Dynamo by Aleph Group launches free digital academy in Ghana Ad Dynamo by Aleph Group today announced the launch of its free Digital Ad Expert programme in Ghana. Coming fresh off the back of its recently announced opening of a first physical office in Ghana, the programme is designed to equip young Ghanaians with the skills they need to pursue the growing number of opportunities in digital marketing. Hosted on the Aleph Group’s proprietary learning platform, Digital Ad Expert is a free 12week peer-to-peer learning and certification programme that aims to educate, certify, and connect thousands of Africans with the digital skills needed to succeed in a rapidly digitising economy, allowing them to compete at a global level for jobs in this growing industry. “With more than 53% of Ghana’s population online and internet access growing more than six percent between 2020 and 2021, we want to ensure that young people have the best possible chance of benefiting from the opportunities presented by that growth and expansion.”says Ad Dynamo CEO Sean Riley Aleph has set a goal of using Digital Ad Expert to educate 50,000 digital learners worldwide with digital marketing skills,

and Ghana is a big part of this ambition. Anyone over the age of 18 can apply, the only requirement is access to a laptop and internet connection. The course is 100% free. In the 12-week program, the students will learn the basics of digital marketing, developing marketing strategies, basic digital analytics, content creation and more. They will also dive deeper into how to advertise on some of the largest digital platforms, such as Meta, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Spotify. Finally, they’ll learn about job opportunities, the labour market and how to continue developing their skills. At the end of the degree, profiles of certified students will be shared with Aleph’s network of advertisers and industry partners. This way, they will have the possibility to be connected with agencies, companies, and other talent seekers in the 90 countries where Aleph has a local presence, providing job mobility and limitless growth potential. “We have no doubt that Ghanaian youth have immense digital potential,” Riley concludes. “We’re proud to play a role in ensuring that they’re given the necessary help to unlock that potential.”

MSport launches two new games Ghana local top sports betting brand, MSport, has launched Superkick and Aviator, two brand new online games that are gaining so much popularity and traction that they are often pushed to the top of Twitter trends. This brand-new offering is the latest in a suite of fresh online experiences launched by MSport as the company continues its commitment to quality entertainment and its promise to delight its customers with more

rewards. MSport’s promise has always been to offer best betting experiences, fast deposit and withdrawal, functions exclusive to the brand, 24/7 customer service and support, amongst others. The Aviator game, an immensely popular game new on the MSport platform, encourages the gamer to remain alert as the pilot navigates the skies with increasing odds as he flies higher. While in Superkick, players

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place their bets before every new round begins, and a multiplier jet will boost the odds once the game start. The most unique gaming element of both Aviator and Superkick is that players have complete control over the game and instant cash out at any time before the round ends, which means the nature of these games are the most intense and thrilling any player can experience. In addition, MSport also offers plentiful rain bonuses for players, while players can also grab free vouchers to bet on these two games from time to time. These revolutionary and engaging games are already touted as leading games in the industry

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and Superkick is exclusive only on the MSport platform in the entire African region. Any new players who join MSport can also take advantage of the mouth-watering freebies promotions and at the same time be assured of being serviced with only the highest professional standards. Player can easily enjoy a lot of fun time on these two evolutional innovative fun games and control the winning totally by themselves, of course as always gamers are advised to bet responsibly and practice maturity in the pursuit of these games. To play both games, kindly visit https://www.msport. com/gh/web