Business24 Newspaper 22 June 2022

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W E D N E SDAY, J UN E 2 2 , 202 2

BUSINESS24.COM.G H

NEWS FOR B U SINESS LEA DERS

Access Bank records growth across key indicators in 2021 //STORY PAGE 4

SSNIT takes steps to deepen informal sector contributions By Patrick Paintsil

//STORY ON PAGE 3

Parliament passes bill to increase Ghana’s export

By Eugene Davis

MTN Chief admits 5G licence not realistic this year The Chief Executive Officer of MTN, Selorm Adadevoh, has conceded that the application for 5G license is not attainable this year as anticipated by the telecommunications company. MTN has already modernised at least 1,322 sites in readiness for 5G rollout and have been engaging regulators on it to have started a pilot. Speaking at a virtual MTN Stakeholders & Media Forum 2022, the MTN boss underscored the need for the 5G licence which he reckons would make the technology centre more competitive in the sub-region. By Eugene Davis

“Yes, we state that we are hoping to do a 5G pilot before the end of this year, is slightly different from securing 5G[license], we are still in discussion with the regulator, I don’t think that timeline is realistic at this point because a lot of things need to happen, certainly an area of interest for us as a business. Our primary reason is we have seen the significant demand for digital services and we also see the lack of high-speed internet in the homes, and what people are trying to do as far as digitisation within the homes is concerned. //MORE ON PAGE 2

Selorm Adadevoh - CEO MTN

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News/Editorial

THEBUSINESS24ONLINE.COM

A collective climate action Today, June 10, 2022, public and private sector institutions and all well meaning Ghanaians will partake in the president’s climate action initiative dubbed “Green Ghana” to plant tress across the length and breadth of this country. The 2022 edition of the Green Ghana Day was launched on 1st March,2022 by the President of the Republic under the theme ‘’Mobilizing for a Greener Future’’ with a target to plant at least 20 million tree seedlings nationwide. The Green Ghana Project is aimed at planting hard wood, which could be used for timber in 10-20 years. It is expected that this exercise will improve the vegetation and forest cover as over 80 percent of this cover has been destroyed by human activity, the minister said at last year’s tree planting exercise. The Ministry of Communications and

Digitalisation has announced to plant orange trees, decorative palm trees, coconut trees, mango trees, pawpaw trees and more at its enclave as well as other premises of the various agencies. The initiative forms part of the efforts by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR) and the Forestry Commission to encourage Ghanaians to plant more trees to preserve and protect the country’s forest cover and the environment in general. The effects of climate change are dire and consequential with rippling impact on every sphere of the economy as already being witnessed in the agrarian sector. We urge the general public to join the Green Ghana initiative as we seek to restore the nation’s ever depleting vegetation, protect the environment and take the fight to climate change.

MTN Chief admits 5G license not realistic this year By Eugene Davis

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We don’t believe 4G will give the experience that is required and it clearly does not give us the opportunity to be competitive within the sub-region and we have seen in Nigeria already issue two 5G licences and we are seeing other markets go ahead. I do think for us to remain a competitive technology center especially within the West African sub-region, this is something that should be much higher in terms of priority to ensure we are not only competitive domestically but we can be a centre of excellence for the region as well.” he said. He, however, maintained that the company “will continue to work with the regular on this and hopefully we can get something more concrete when the discussions get to that stage” and their objectives According to Mr. Adadevoh, the company also plans to continue its network modernization and is on track to invest US$1bn in infrastructure by 2025 to maintain network leadership. The company also increased population coverage for 2G/3G/4G to 99.3% ,97.8%, 90.7% respectively, LTE population coverage improved from 71.72(20.34m) to 90.7% (25.69m), representing an increase of 5.35m. Under rural telephony sites, extending network to rural areas,398, with 260 districts covered with 4G. There are also plans to rollout 400 new sites(2G/3G/4G) and 746 sites (4G upgrades). A national long-haul fiber

backbone 8,784 and international internet capacity is 320 Gbps. The CEO also revealed that the company has to endure fibre cut challenges to deliver reliable services, stating that a total 939 cuts in the first five months in 2022 as compared to 819 cuts in the last five months in 2021 representing a

14.65percent increment. MTN experienced a monthly average of 11percent traffic affecting cuts in the first 5 months of the year 2022. The main driver of the cuts, Mr.Adadevoh said was due to road related activities and private development activities :31percent and 22percent respectively.

Selorm Adadevoh - CEO MTN


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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2022

SSNIT takes steps to deepen informal sector contributions By Patrick Paintsil

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) is embarking on a series of stakeholder interactions with informal sector workers to deliberate on workable ways to expand and deepen coverage of the basic national social security scheme to self-employed workers. According to the director-general of the scheme, Dr. John OforiTenkorang, the move forms part of efforts to get the buy-in and support of sector actors as it seeks to rope in every Ghanaian onto the state pensions scheme. “We must collectively endeavour to encourage theself-employed and workers in the informal sector to join the scheme [SSNIT]. It is one of the surest ways to reduce and prevent poverty among the aged,” he said at an engagement with the Christian community in Accra. “We simply cannot have a social protection system that protects only 1.7 million or so workers and neglects close to 10 million workers in the informal sector,” he added. Presently, over 14,000 selfemployed workers contribute to the SSNIT pension scheme, a seemingly low coverage largely attributable to the nature of the economy of the country, where most people are engaged in their businesses and do

not see the need to enrol onto the scheme. According to the SSNIT boss, it has become necessary to extend coverage to informal sector workers not only to increase the active membership and contributor base of the Scheme, but also to ensure that every worker in Ghana enjoys social protection. This, he added will help reduce poverty and over-dependence on family relations and friends during old age. The SSNIT Scheme offers unique benefits and provides value that no other Pension product offers. The Scheme gives superior value to invested Members’ contributions. The Trust pays minimum pension by subsidising pensions for pensioners whose salaries were woefully low during active service”. “The Scheme pays invalidity pension regardless of age and with minimal contribution and also the SSNIT Scheme provides a life policy by paying survivors when a Member passes on”, he enumerated. A former Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Ghana, Most Rev. Dr. Aboagye-Mensah, who chaired the meeting, lauded SSNIT management for spearheading such an initiative to extend coverage of the SSNIT Scheme to self-employed workers.

He explained that although some ministers retire and receive monthly pension from SSNIT which is augmented by in-house benefits paid by the church, most of its members, largely self-employed are not under any structured social security scheme. He noted that the church has a responsibility to promote the holistic development of Christians in the country by ensuring adequate preparation is made for a better

life when people retire from active service. “Most people believe the SSNIT Scheme is for formal sector workers. In the past, SSNIT has not reached out enough but I am happy we have this engagement today,” he noted. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Christian Council of Ghana, Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council, Church of Pentecost, Methodist Church, Action Chapel among others.

Parliament passes bill to increase Ghana’s export By Eugene Davis The Ghana Standard Authority Bill, 2022 which is expected to improve the country’s competitiveness in the international market, increase export and foreign exchange as well as to create jobs and protect consumers from consuming unwholesome products has been approved and passed by parliament on Tuesday. According to a report of the Select Committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism on the Ghana Standards Authority

Bill,2022, the purpose of the Bill is to establish the Ghana Standard Authority as the authority responsible for the establishment and promulgation of standards, enforcement of conformity assessment programmes and regulation of activities in respect of weights and measures in the country. The bill contains eighty 83 clauses and four schedules, some of the highlights includes; clause 1 to 3 provide for the establishment of the Ghana Standards Authority

Prof. Alex Dodoo -Director General, Ghana Standards Authority

and define its mandate. Clause 4 to 13 relates to the governance of the Authority. They provide for the governing board, its composition, tenure f office, disclosure of interest and payment of allowances. The passage of the bill will ensure that they also provide the recognition of the Authority as the National Metrology Institute in accordance with the requirements of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures and the appointment of Chief Inspector of Weights and Measures. The bill seeks to consolidate all the pieces of legislation including the Standards Authority Act,1973 (N.R.C.D 173), the Weight and Measures Act,1975 (N.R.C.D 326), LI 662, LI 664, LI 1541 and LI 1550 into one enactment for the effective administration of the responsibilities of the Authority. The bill further seeks to reestablish the Authority as the Ghana Standards Authority to reflect the nationality of the Authority and to meet the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) requirements. The Committee noted that local and international trade

markets have undergone several evolutions since the establishment of the Authority. For instance, the automobiles and rails industries have transformed significantly due to technological advancement rendering most of the standards and sanction regimes in the existing law non responsive to the changing trends and demands. Further, new and emerging trade markets such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and EU markets have placed additional conformity assessment requirement on the Authority. The bill seeks to strengthen the capacity of the Authority by expanding its scope and operations as well as reviewing the outdated and ineffective sanction regimes to meet the requirements of the new and emerging markets. The Committee also noted that the passage of the bill would establish a robust legal framework relating to quality assurance and standards. For instance, clauses 28 to 41 set out rigorous standards and conformity assessments, licenses and certifications and the appointment of Inspectors with the necessary powers to monitor compliance.


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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2022

Access Bank records growth across key indicators in 2021 Access Bank Ghana Plc. recorded a strong growth trajectory across key indicators in the financial year ended 2021. Profit before tax grew from GHS 355 million in 2020 to GHS 501 million in 2021, recording a 41percent growth while total operating income grew from GHS 567 million in 2020 to GHS 728 million in 2021, recording a 28percent increase. These were revealed at the annual “Facts behind the Figures” session, held virtually in collaboration with the Ghana Stock Exchange. The platform offers an opportunity for listed companies to present their performance to key stakeholders including investors and shareholders while receiving feedback from these stakeholders. Speaking at the event, Managing Director of Access Bank Ghana Plc, Olumide Olatunji was excited about the confidence reposed in the Bank by its customers, evidenced by the Bank’s significant growth recorded across key performance metrics and commended the efforts made

by all stakeholders to achieving the feat. “The 28precent growth in gross earnings is mainly due to increase in interest income from increased yields on the back of reduced cost of funds from 5.87percent in 2020 to 4.76percent in 2021. He said due to efficient treasury activities, the Bank recorded a 101percent increase in net trading income, from GHS 151 million to GHS 305 million as well as a 26percent year-onyear increase in fee and commission income from GHS 69 million to GHS 87 million. Olumide noted that the Bank had a deliberate and disciplined outlook for 2022, with a targeted focus on strategic expansion and growth. The Bank is focused on optimizing operational efficiency to ensure it is well positioned to withstand any shocks in an increasingly volatile operating environment as the world continues to learn to live with Covid-19 and rising inflationary pressures. The Bank will continue to invest in tailored products to meet the needs of customers by offering

best-in-class user experience in retail and consumer banking services. All these are aimed at enhancing customer satisfaction and returning value to customers”, he added. Olumide also hinted among other things that Access Bank is committed to becoming a bank of choice in Ghana, as part of its retail banking growth and wholesale banking consolidation aspiration. He touched on the Bank’s commitment to international trade and payments; “Under our universal gateway strategy, we are optimizing payments, remittances, transfers, trade, cross-border, and electronic banking to serve our customers to achieve our strategic vision of being the preferred bank in international trade transactions within the African continent and beyond”; he said. He assured stakeholders that the bank is safe, strategy is strong with a committed team to deliver value to customers and shareholders. Executive Director for Retail and Digital Banking Pearl Nkrumah assured customers of the Bank’s steadfastness in pursuing digital-

led solutions by enabling clients to transact online. “E-levy is not going to halt our plans as a Bank. We have digital products and technology that are user friendly and provide solutions for customers. We have commenced our Agency banking offering, packaged as AccessCLOSA which brings banking even closer to customers by using agents in our neighborhood” Pearl noted. Sharing her remarks at the event, the Deputy Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange, Abena Amoah, revealed that Access Bank posted the highest dividend yield with 34.62% and the lowest price to earnings. She commended Access Bank for listing on the Ghana Stock Exchange. The Bank’s performance was recognized in various awards in 2021 including the Most Innovative Retail Banking Brand and Best CSR Bank by the Global Brands Awards, The Best Bank in Customer Service and Best Retail Bank by the World Economic Magazine among others.


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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2022

MTN, Bui Power Authority, others honoured at 2022 HESS Awards By Mabel Korkor OCANSEY 2.

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7. Ghana’s leading telecommunication company, MTN swept the highest honours at the 2022 Health Environment, Safety and Security (HESS) Awards, taking awards for Company of the Year; Team of the Year; Management of Driving Safety (MODS) Excellence; Most Outstanding Contribution for Sustainable Development; Employee Empowerment Excellence Award; Health and Safety Management Practices; and Customer Safety and Security Management Practices. MTN Ghana’s Chief, Risk & Compliance Officer, Winifred Dela Setor Smith was also adjudged Manager of the Year. Bui Power Authority also scooped five honours on the night including Compliance, Reporting & Monitoring; Sustainability and Operational Excellence; Environmental Management Practices; Employee Safety and Security Management; and Employee Health & Wellbeing Initiatives. A night of glamour and glitz, top brands in the country were honoured for their consistency when it came to the health, safety and security of their work environment. The event, organized by Ianmatsun Global Services was on the theme ‘Building a resilient workspace and a sustainable business post-COVID-19 – the role of HESS. This is the fourth edition. Addressing the ceremony, Board Chair of Ianmatsun Global Services Limited, Diana Heymann-Adu said it is vital that the rehabilitation process following the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic begin with the building of a stronger and more health-conscious working environment. “Being aware of the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic around the world, of which Ghana is no exception, it is imperative that the recovery process begins with the building of more robust workspaces and workforce. This will ensure that companies are better equipped for sustainability and a better future,” she said. Alexander Ayatah, Executive Director, National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) added that although Health, Environment, Safety and Security are all basic necessities

of life, they still receive little in terms of financial resources and attention within organizations. “We must know that the cost of failing to address these issues are enormous, both for businesses and the economy. We must be more committed and concerned with environmental well-being, as well as the health, safety, and security of their employees and other stakeholders. I appeal to all companies here to make deliberate attempts to invest in health, safety, an- security initiatives to protect employees and work to

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14. save the environment,” she noted Events Director for HESS Awards, Isaac Adu-Gyamfi said the purpose of the award is to encourage businesses in Ghana to implement health, safety, and security initiatives as a method of building a more resilient workspace and workforce as they fight to recover from the consequences of

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19. the pandemic. He said measures are being put in place to ensure that government passes the health and safety bill into law. “We are advocating for the bill to be passed. For the past four years, we have been going to the ministries and they have been telling us on the process and progress of the bill but this is yet to go to parliament for a review then later passed but we are hopeful because there are so many things that the bill will help solve when it is passed,” he said. Full list of award winners 1. Best Company in Customer Safety and Security Management Practices 2022-MTN Ghana

20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26.

Best Company in Eco-Friendly Product Manufacturing/ Supply 2022-- Blow Chem Industry (Bel Aqua Bottle) Best Company in Employee Health & Wellbeing Initiatives 2022-- Bui Power Authority CSR excellence Award 2022-FBNBank Ghana Limited HSE Consulting Firm of the Year 2022-- JIK Man. Consultancy Services Best Company in Fire Safety and Security Management Practices 2022-- Fidelity Bank GH. Best Company in Employee Safety and Security Management 2022-- Bui Power Authority 8. Patient Safety & Security Excellence Award 2022-- Sam J Specialist Hospital Ltd Best Company in Health and Safety Management Practices 2022-- MTN Ghana Best Company in On-Site Safety Awareness and Communication 2022-- SunonAsogli Power Ghana Best Company in Process Safety & Quality Management Practices 2022-- Blow Chem Industry Best Company in Waste Management & Recycling Practices 2022-- Accra City Hotel Best Company in Environmental Management Practices 2022-- Bui Power Authority Healthcare Facility Excellence Award 2022-- St. Johns Hospital & Fertility Centre Employee Empowerment Excellence Award 2022—MTN Ghana 16. Educational Facility Excellence Award 2022-- DPS Int. School Most Outstanding Contribution for Energy Conservation 2022- Puma Energy Gh. Ltd Most Safety and Security Conscious Company of the Year 2022-- Fidelity Bank Gh. Ltd Physical & Integrated Security Solutions Company of the Year 2022-- Delta Flash Interventions Ltd 20. Sustainability and Operational Excellence Award 2022-- Bui Power Authority Waste Management & Recycling Facility Excellence Award 2022-- Blow Plast Ltd Best Company in Data Security Management Practices 2022-Fidelity Bank Gh. Ltd Best Company in Employee Road Safety Education 2022-Puma Energy GH. Ltd Construction Safety Company of the Year 2022-- B5 Plus Ltd Food Safety Company of the Year (Hospitality) 2022-- Accra City Hotel Management of Driving Safety

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(MODS) Excellence Award 2022-- MTN Ghana, Service Station Facility Excellence Award 2022-- Puma Energy Distribution Ghana Limited Best Company in Product Safety & Quality Management Practices 2022-- Interplast Ltd Hess Indigenous Manufacturing Company of the Year 2022-- JRA Cosmetics Ltd Food Facility Excellence Award (Hospitality) 2022 -- Accra City Hotel Most Outstanding Contribution for Sustainable Development 2022-- MTN Ghana Hess Indigenous Product of the Year 2022—JRA Bone to Bone Excellence in Innovative Solutions for Sustainable Waste Management-- Zoil Services Best Company in Health & Safety Campaign 2022-- Blue Ocean Investment Ltd. HESS Team of the Year 2022-MTN Ghana Best Company in E-Waste Management Solution Practices -- Zoil Services Ltd HESS Company of the Year 2022-- MTN Ghana 38. Best Company in Hess Compliance, Reporting & Monitoring 2022-- Bui Power Authority HESS Personality of the Year 2022-- Mr. Ebenezer Gbolonyo (Hse Man. Fidelity Bank Gh. HESS Manager of the Year 2022-- Mrs. Winifred Dela Setor Smith (AG. Chief, Risk & Compliance Officer, MTN Ghana) HESS Exemplary Leadership Award (Oil & Gas) 2022-- Mr. Kweku Bediako (Founder/ Group Executive Chairman, CH Group Ltd) Industry Impact Award (Healthcare) 2022-- DCOP (Rtd) Dr Samuel Amo-Mensah (CEO, Sam J Specialist Hospital) 43. Leadership Excellence in the Integration of HESS 2022- Mr. Frederick Amissah (CEO, Universal Hospitals Group) HESS Exemplary Leadership Award (Banking) 2022-- Mr. Julian K. Opuni (Md, Fidelity Bank GH. Ltd) Industry Impact Award (Cosmetics) 2022-- Mrs. Jane Reason Ahadzie (Ceo, Jra Cosmetics HESS CEO of the Year 2022-Dr. Kenneth Asamoah-Boateng (Md. Zoil Services Ltd)


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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2022

How to fuel inflation and harm the environment By Anne O. Krueger Inflation has become a hot-button political issue worldwide. In the United States, the consumer price index increased at an annual rate of 8.6% in May, and EU inflation is not far behind. The root cause of the problem is that too much money is chasing too few goods. Consumers saved more than usual when they cut back on expenditures during the COVID-19 pandemic, then increased their purchases after the lockdown restrictions were lifted. But supplies increased more slowly, because it took time to ramp up production again, and because many workers were still becoming ill. While shipping bottlenecks and labor shortages further constrained production levels, increasing fiscal deficits and continued ultra-loose monetary policies put further pressure on prices until 2022. Now, US President Joe Biden says his top priority is to “bring inflation down.” Yet in a recent speech on the issue, the Washington Post notes that he “laced into oil corporations and shipping conglomerates,” accusing them of “chasing excessive profits instead of lowering prices for consumers.” Not only have oil companies failed to boost output, but “the ocean shipping cartel,” Biden claims, has operated as an oligopoly, raising “their prices by as much as 1,000%.” Although the war on inflation must be waged largely through monetary and fiscal policy, there is much the administration could do to help reduce inflationary pressures. But scapegoating specific sectors is not

the answer. In fact, the administration risks adding even more inflationary pressure to the mix. Given the widespread expectation that the world is shifting away from fossil fuels, oil companies can hardly be expected to invest in additional capacity. And even if they did rapidly increase investment, it would take a long time before production could increase. More investment, with output coming only years later, would intensify today’s inflationary pressures. Other efforts to reduce prices at the pump have been equally misguided. For example, the Biden administration has waived environmental rules to allow for more ethanol to be added to gasoline, claiming that this will reduce fuel prices over the summer. But a higher proportion of ethanol reduces a vehicle’s fuel economy. Motorists who drive the same distance as they otherwise would have will face higher costs. Making matters worse, the increased demand for corn (the grain used to produce ethanol) will increase corn prices, prompting farmers to shift more land from wheat to corn production, and further increasing food prices overall. On the shipping front, more competition would certainly lower prices in the long run. But the real problem is that the century-old Jones Act prevents foreign ships from competing with domestic ones for maritime shipping between US ports. Foreign ships arriving at US ports are required by law to offload their cargo, and trucks must then

be matched up with the containers. These unnecessary processes have created port congestion and caused delays. And those delays have further increased costs for businesses whose operations were disrupted by the unavailability of key inputs. American-built ships are estimated to be six to eight times more costly than those built in Asia, and American crews are paid three to four times more than their counterparts on foreign vessels. But US shipping companies have not had to worry about this lack of competitiveness, because they are protected from foreign competition. The cost of this protection is ultimately borne by US consumers. Higher-cost ships manned by higher-cost crews tend to raise shipping costs between ports, as well as forcing more cargo to be transported to its final destination by truck or rail, which both cost more than marine shipments. Obviously, relaxing or repealing the Jones Act would increase competition and reduce costs. And this is hardly the only option available to the Biden administration. For example, by eliminating former US President Donald Trump’s tariffs, Biden could increase the average American household’s annual purchasing power by an estimated $797. Similarly, raising the cap on the number of foreign workers permitted legally to enter the US could have eased key bottlenecks. Throughout the pandemic recovery, employers have complained that they cannot find enough workers with the appropriate skills. If the US foreign-

born population had grown at the same annual rate over the past three years as it did between 2010 and 2018, the US labor force would have 1.6 million more workers today, enabling businesses to fill vacancies more rapidly and reducing the shortages induced by delivery delays. The Biden administration also could have removed tariffs on solar panels. Instead, the tariffs were merely suspended (after much debate) for two years, causing an estimated loss of 100,000 jobs and a reduction in the number of solar panels that are expected to be installed. Even America’s disastrous baby-formula shortage could have been significantly mitigated had more imports been allowed and if states had not been granted monopoly production rights within their borders. Not only has the Biden administration misidentified the sources of inflation; it is even adding to the inflationary pressure. As if that was not bad enough, many of its recent actions – ethanol requirements, increased oil output (if it could be made to happen), tariffs on solar panels, more carbonintensive truck and rail shipping – are detrimental to its professed climate and environmental objectives. Inflation reduction and environmental improvements are worthwhile goals. But achieving them will require frank acknowledgment of the contributing factors, and realism in finding means to ameliorate them. Unfortunately, that has not been the Biden administration’s formula so far.


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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2022

GOIL posts positive results: Declares GHp0.047 dividend per share GOIL Plc, the only Ghanaian major in the downstream petroleum sector improved its performance in 2021 by posting a profit after tax of GH ¢98.74 million. This is nine per cent higher compared to that of 2020. In view of this, a final dividend of GH¢0.047 per share was declared. This was a marginal increase from the previous year’s figure of GH¢0.045. The company’s total assets also increased from GHC2.1 billion in 2020 to GHC2.5 billion in the year under review. The Board Chairman of GOIL, Reginald Daniel Laryea,

announced this at the 53rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company held in Accra last Wednesday. The AGM which was held virtually was joined by shareholders both in the country and abroad, who accessed, voted and passed various resolutions proposed by the board. Volume of sales Mr Laryea said the volume of fuel sales reached approximately 886.6 million litres representing about 11 per cent above that of the previous year. The performance was higher than the industry average of nine per cent, he said.

According to him, the biggest contribution to sales revenue was the performance of “diesel’ and Super, especially Super XP RON 95”. He said the mix of other products, including lubricants and specialised sales to specific industries such as the mines and bunkering, achieved mixed results but their contribution to the bottom-line was positive. On Corporate Social Responsibility, the Board Chairman said the company remained committed to identifying the needs of deprived communities and organisations by providing them with potable water, health and sanitation facilities to improve the wellbeing and quality of lives of the disadvantaged. Regarding the outlook for the company, Mr Laryea said the board

was confident that the bold initiatives, especially, the LPG & Bitumen plants, alongside its determination to find a suitable partner to replace Ezzon Mobil in the upstream endeavours were game-changers that would definitely propel GOIL to the next level. Answering questions on the Bitumen plant, the Group Managing Director of the company, Kwame Osei Prempeh, said production would start test run in July, and full production would begin in August this year to enable the company to start enjoying the benefits of its investment. The Chief Operating Officer, Alex Josiah Adzew, also said over 240 GOIL service stations now accepted the use of Mobile Money, Go Cards and Visa Cards as modes of payment. He gave the assurance that efforts were being made to ensure that all the GOIL service stations nationwide operate cashless to avoid rampant robbery attacks at service stations.

Ghana, Lesotho collaborate on petroleum downstream The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and its counterpart in Lesotho, the Petroleum Fund, are collaborating to improve efficiency in the petroleum downstream of both countries. In furtherance to the collaboration, a team from the Petroleum Fund, led by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Thato Mohasoa, paid a courtesy call on the Chief Executive of the NPA, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, in Accra. The partnership between the

two entities would, among other things, share experiences of mutual benefit in the petroleum downstream industry, especially in the management of the Unified Petroleum Price Fund (UPPF) which ensures that prices of petroleum products are the same across the country. The team was here to also understudy Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) regulations in Ghana. Welcoming the delegation, the NPA boss said he was elated to have such a delegation to study

the downstream regulations of LPG. “It is important that Africans go to each other for solutions to African Problems rather than travel abroad to seek solutions which are not feasible,” Dr AbdulHamid added. On his part, the Petroleum Fund CEO of Lesotho, Mr Mohasoa, said he was happy for the warm welcome and that they were in anticipation to learn the successes of the NPA’s Unified Petroleum Price Fund and “the ground

breaking role the downstream sector of Ghana has achieved in regulating LPG”. The four-member team from Lesotho also included MohlokoLepamo; Finance Manager of PF, LebohangMakhoali; Operations Manager of PF and ThatoKolisang; Corporate Affairs Manager. The team also visited the Ghana National Gas Company and the Tema Oil Refinery as part of their working visit.


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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2022

Cash is King: Time to build a strong cash management culture The COVID–19 pandemic has had a significant effect on governments and businesses with many trying to stay as liquid as possible. Then came supply chain disruptions, inflation (now at an 18year high of 27.6%), rising interest rates and the war in Ukraine and its impact on energy and other commodity prices. In response to control inflation, Central Banks especially in the developed economies began to reverse many of the measures implemented to keep their respective economies running during the pandemic. For instance, the Bank of Canada, the US Fed and the Bank of England have all rolled back some of their measures to support the economy during the peak of the pandemic to fight inflation, particularly raising interest rates. Also, the European Central Bank is expected to raise rates later this year for the same purpose – inflation. However, the inflation and responses from Central Banks in developed economies are feared to have currency and debt sustainability implications for developing and emerging economies such as Ghana. This concern and rising domestic inflation elicited some notable policy measures from the Bank of Ghana in its last two Monetary Policy Committee meetings. The significant one was increase in the policy rate by 450 basis points to 19%. In addition, it increased the Cash Reserve Ratio to 12%; the Capital Conservation Buffer was reset to the prepandemic level of 3%, making the Capital Adequacy Ratio a total of 13%; and the provisioning rate for loans in the Other Loans Exceptionally Mentioned (OLEM) category was reset to the prepandemic level of 10%. The main aim of these measures is to reduce liquidity – cash in the system. The Central Bank’s outlook for inflation is negative and could mean further increase in the future especially given the latest statistics. Undoubtedly, cash is the lifeblood of every business, it is king and therefore a regulatory constrain on its availability requires proper management and utilization of what is available. Basically, cash management is necessary because there are mismatches between the timing of payments and the availability of cash. For investment purpose, the concern has usually been how not to keep so much cash because it does not earn interest. Banks; the main channel of distributing/allocating financial resources need to manage

their own liquidity at this time to maintain the stability of the sector and provide stability for customers and the economy in general. This is crucial because, the liquidity measures by the central bank could cause many businesses especially the small and medium scale types to be worried about having more available cash to meet operational needs relative to investments needs. These businesses are the backbone of the Ghanaian economy, making more than 70% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Therefore, the banking sector should manage its cash (liquidity) to remain stable and to support the sustenance of these businesses. Some have questioned the capacity of the inflation targeting regime to control the kind of inflation we have today which is largely driven by supply side factors, and the end game of the central bank for increasing the policy rate and purchasing local gold at the same time. There is also the capital flow reverse and the exchange rate debate regarding the policy rate hikes. Notwithstanding the policy debates, treasurers need to ensure their banks can meet their liquidity needs and also serve their customers to the best of their abilities. This first and foremost requires making cash management a top priority. It should be at this time a constant item in every top management meeting with clear action owners for the purposes of responsibility and accountability. Importantly, there is the need to build a stronger bond between business units to have a common understanding of issues and share knowledge especially related to cash management. Every team need to understand their role in cash and its management equation. Today the relationship between treasury and corporate or corporate operations have become very important in meeting the liquidity needs of banks and very integral to building cash management culture. In this regard, the thinking around cash management culture should go along some core fundamental objectives which include but limited to; timely visibility into all transactions; removing/reducing timeconsuming and vulnerable manual payment-generation workflows, compliance issues causing significant delays or confusion around transactions and cash flows; and there should

be a strong collaboration between risk and treasury management. Real-time, end-to-end visibility across the entire liquidity landscape taking into account cash flows, fund requirements, risk scenarios and constant monitoring of the market activities give treasurers a better control of the liquidity situation of their banks. This control is enabled by daily cash forecasts based on a data driven view of the bank’s entire liquidity landscape. This is particularly crucial for short term liquidity managing. Reliable daily forecasting requires input from many sources, including individual business units. The level of details included in the information for forecasting, makes it possible for the treasury team particularly to understand very clearly what is happening. Also, daily cash forecast ensures that the bank’s position for instance can be seen at almost every level of the business. Each business units or department can have their respective cash positions forecasted as part of the overall daily cash forecasting process allowing for greater cash visibility and also can afford treasurers vastly improved financial control. Achieving real-time end to end cash visibility on the back of faster payment and collections will bring efficiencies to treasury teams of banks. This means removing/ reducing time-consuming and vulnerable manual paymentgeneration workflows. In this regards, treasurers need assistance in teams of the right technological preforms. The deployment of the appropriate technology will ensure for instance treasury teams will not have to wait until the start of the

next business day to check on whether transactions (especially cross-border transactions) have been successfully processed or received. In addition, automation of processes identified as crucial for cash management should consider audit and compliance processes that cause significant delays or confusion around transactions and cash flows. Finally, for bank treasurers who want to get ahead in terms of decision making in times like this, a good starting point will be to strengthen collaboration with the risk team. With their assistance, the treasury team can run financial scenarios/models with a clear sense of the bank’s exposure to interest rate risk, exchange rate risk and inflationary risk and the extent to which they can be hedged. Although many are hedging by staying at the short earned of the yield curve, these scenario analysis taking into account the entire risk landscape provides useful insights. As the country and the world in general suffer the impact and consequences of Covid-19, high inflation, increasing interest rates, high energy prices and geopolitical tensions, treasurers must cope with the uncertainties and prepare for changes in the way they operate if required. Remember that the main reason of business bankruptcy is in the area of cash management. Therefore, treasurers need to keep their companies surviving by meeting operational needs by ensuring the availability of the necessary “blood” – cash. Author: Grace Isaac-Aryee, Treasurer, FBNBank Ghana


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| NEWS

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2022

TECNO committed to Ghanaian market In a bid to demonstrate its commitment to the Ghanaian market, TECNO has launched its new Camon 19 series phones unto the market. The new Camon 19 series phone comes in four models namely; the Camon 19 (Cl6); the Camon 19 neo (CH6i); the Camon 19 pro (CI8); and the Camon 19 pro 5G (CI7/ CI7n). The new Camon 19 models boast of a 50 megapixel pro portrait camera, 64 megapixel ultra-night camera and a 2 megapixel front camera. The ultra-night camera allows users to take beautiful pictures at night or in a low light environment, while the front camera allows users to take selfies anywhere and at any time. Speaking at the launch, the Brand Manager of TECNO Ghana, Ernest Sonkor, said TECNO was committed to the Ghanaian market and would therefore continue to introduce phones and devices that meet the needs of customers. He said customers who buy the new Camon 19 series should be assured of quality, as the company deploys all the needed technology to deliver the right solutions to meet the needs of customers. Mr Sonkor said the phones would be readily available throughout the country from June 20. He noted that the design of the phone was unique and won some

awards even before its launch. “TECNO won the IF Design Award 2022 in the Product and the Telecommunication categories for the outstanding product design of its CAMON 19 Pro. “TECNO also won its first Product Design Silver award for its exceptional craftsmanship of CAMON 19 Pro (Art Edition) at the Muse Design Award 2022, outperforming 6,000 highlyqualified entries accepted worldwide,” he stated. Incredible mileage in Ghana Also speaking at the launch, the National Dealer of Mobile Zone, sole distributors of TECNO devices in Ghana, Daniel Glover, said “TECNO is a household name all over Africa and the brand continues to enjoy incredible mileage in Ghana and Africa because of the excellence demonstrated in the production of the devices. We continue to blaze the trail in the market which is why there is a high demand for our devices. “All the new development in terms of new features of every new phone is in response to the needs of our customers and this explains why as soon as our products are launched, there is always a crazy flow of demand,” he added. The Brand Ambassador for TECNO in Ghana, Livingstone Satekla, popularly known as Stonebwoy, for his part, said it had been a great experience, seeing

the brand evolve relentlessly throughout the years. “I am extremely honoured to be part of this giant step forward in design and innovative technology, closing the gap between professional camera and smartphone photography. “The incredibly unique design

and slim appearance which comes with a dual-ring, camera layout is definitely a great fusion of technology and fashion which continues to prove how TECNO is committed to bringing innovative technologies to its users,” he stated.

Ghana tops countries with cheapest electricity Ghana has been ranked 1st country in West Africa and 9th in Africa with the cheapest cost of electricity for households. According to reports by Global Petrol Prices. com, the country is also ranked 27th in the world. The rankings are coming at a time when the utility service providers in the country are making a case for an increase in household tariffs. The world average price of electricity is pegged at $0.133 per kilowatt/hour (kWh) for household users and $0.124 per kWh for business users. In Ghana, the cost of electricity per kilowatt/ hour for a household is 0.046 cents which is less than a dollar. “The cost of electricity is cheaper in Ghana compared to the USA: 0.159 / UK: 0.265 and China: 0.083” the report quoted. The situation is similar to that of business consumers, though countries in the region have cheaper costs for electricity bills. This clearly shows that the cost of electricity in the country for households, compared to other countries on the continent is very low. That goes to buttress the point of the utility

tariff providers for an imminent increase in electricity and water bills. Whilst the Electricity Company of Ghana is requesting for 148% increase in electricity tariff, covering 2019 and 2022, Ghana Water Company Limited is demanding an increase of

334% in water tariff. Meanwhile, Sudan has the cheapest electricity tariff in Africa and the World for households. It is followed by Libya and Ethiopia in 2nd and 3rd positions respectively.


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| COMMENT/ANALYSIS

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2022

Surviving in less developed market (1) A decade and half as a salesman. I have worked with two of the biggest multinationals in the FMCG beverage space in Ghana - The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Ghana Limited (TCCBCGL) and Guinness Ghana Breweries PLC (GGBPLC) across various levels of management. During this period, I have had the opportunity to work in some of the most developed markets in Ghana such as Kumasi, Cape Coast, Sunyani and Tamale. I have also worked in some of the most underdeveloped markets across the country such as Kwame Danso, Seikwa, Hwidiem in B/A to Bimbila, Salaga, Tongo, Hamile, Tumu, etc. The journey to my current role as Head of Northern Division (with GGBPLC) has been winding but also mixed with delivering consistent outstanding business results over the years. In this article, I will recap some first-hand experiences in the less developed markets. My objective here is to provide a guide to sales professionals, rookies or pros on how they can survive and thrive in the places everyone said to me, “don’t go” Wins Personal growth: when I first had the opportunity to work in the North (with TCCBCGL) in 2013 to 2014, I was to be stationed in Tamale but responsible for the three traditional northern regions i.e. Upper East, Upper West and Northern Region; not even a single friend or family member encouraged me to take up the role. But for some reason, I saw it as a stepping stone to greater things in the future and how right I was. I had my first opportunity to manage a larger team of 34

employees (direct and indirect) to really build my leadership capabilities. I also had the opportunity to manage a bigger responsibility which was not only limited to my core role as a sales leader as it incorporated having a functional perspective on finance, supply, HR, etc. I remember having my contract staffs going on strike during my first month in charge of the Northern Business operations. It thought me how to manage labour issues and get things done. I have always rated this period of my career as one of the best phases. The other growth opportunity is having the chance to manage a whole territory and sometimes whole administrative regions. This clearly throws the spotlight on you with regard to performance and career development as your performance is clearly related to the outcomes of the territory. Access to new markets: very critical to growth and business sustainability. It’s worth noting that such markets struggle to get access to basic groceries and drinks that are easily accessible in the big cities of the country. The good thing about working in less developed areas are the opportunities it provides to uncover new markets and improve distribution of your products (numeric distribution). For example, in 2018, I remember going on a trade accompaniment and listing Johnnie walker scotch whiskey into outlets on the Nandom – Hamile stretch for the first time when it was previously thought impossible by the Key distributor and Sales Executive for that area.

Such are the wins and fulfilment you get in working in such terrains. I assure you that you will be amazed at the opportunity these less developed areas offer companies to develop their market and sustain their products. Reaching out to such markets and developing it often led to complete loyalty from retailers and wholesalers who tend to see you as God Sent. Execution of sales drivers: sales drivers are the factors that influence sales at the point of purchase. These factors include Quality, Distribution, Visibility, Pricing, Promotion and Persuasion. I have always maintained that an effective utilisation of these factors will surely guarantee you the needed sales outcomes. With too many alternatives available in the developed markets, getting retailers and wholesalers to stay true to these factors are quite difficult, especially on Pricing. In the less developed areas, you’re able to engage and get pricing fixed to guarantee improved rate of sale (ROS) which ultimately leads to profit for both retailers and company. Souvenirs which serve as visibility materials are revered and often plays a key role in closing big sales and boosting loyalty and bond for a very long time which ultimately will make beneficiaries promoters of your brands. Building and nurturing talent: one of the joys in working in such territories is the uncommon opportunity you get to build and nurture Team Members via providing secondment and/or delegation.

It means being deliberate in building their abilities to act and stand on their own in their respective areas as such territories are mostly wide and far. It will mean getting sales executives to behave as Territory Managers and sometimes Regional Managers to drive business engagement with Key Distributors (KDs) and wholesalers and letting them lead the engagement. It also means being deliberate in creating visibility at HQ for reports by letting them be part of Leadership Meetings as an understudy. And providing opportunities for reports to build their people skills by aligning them to lead weekly Business Unit Performance Reviews; letting them lead trade or market visits by the Exec Team, etc. For Example, in the year 2020, I took the uncommon decision of letting a level 6 take charge of the Business Unit’s Weekly performance reviews. I provided the necessary guidance and support until it became second nature. This also exposed him to high level analytics on performance. Currently, he’s deemed one of our brightest employees in the commercial space. Knowing your country and breaking prejudices: one of the key wins in working in less developed areas is the opportunity it offers you to break certain biases and beliefs you might have acquired over the years. I remember getting to Tamale and Bolga for the first time in 2013 and falling in love with the town and its people on my first visit. What I saw on my first visit was a complete opposite of the news I used to hear down south. On the other hand, working in a less developed area offers you the opportunity to appreciate your country better; and understand clearly how your country’s development agenda is being implemented. It also helps you to appreciate life in general and sometimes offers you the unique opportunity to offer help to others. Generally, the key win in working in such territories is this feeling of being seen as an embodiment of your company which guarantee you respect in the territory which then breeds an overwhelming joy and the energy to implement desired goals thoroughly. Moreover, little sacrifices made to retailers are often recognised and appreciated and not necessarily seen as part of one’s functional duties e.g. ability to supply extra stock during the weekend or at late night or redeploy near BB date products to other outlets for it to be depleted quickly and capital refunded. The writer is the Divisional Sales Manager, GGBPLC


| COMMENT/ANALYSIS

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2022

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Tackling child labour menace By Dapuri M. Cephas & Offorma Faith Child labour remains both a local and international canker and has been criticised by the society as it causes harm to the human resource of the nation, including the victim’s health, dignity and rights. Child labour includes any work or engagement of a person less than 15 years which deprives the person of his childhood, and such work is harmful to his physical or mental health (Section 89 of the Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560)). International Laws In the year 1919, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) was established to promote social justice and to establish international labour standards, it has about 137 states that form its members. In 2002, the ILO came up with the idea to declare World Day Against Child Labour, which is now observed every June 12 in most parts of the world, especially member states. This is to ensure that the many children in the world are protected and provided with proper schooling, medical services, leisure periods and other basic liberties.

When children are faced with lots of unbearable labour that surpasses their ages, it violates the international labour standards and the children’s rights. Ghanaian laws The 1992 Constitution provides in Chapter Five the fundamental human rights and freedoms of every citizen. With emphasis, Article 28 of the 1992 Constitution prohibits child labour in Ghana. Also, the Children Act, 1998 (Act 560) prohibits activities of child labour. The framers of the constitution construct it as follows: Article 28(2)-(5) of the 1992 Constitution; Safeguarding Children against Child Labour: (2) Every child has the right to be protected from engaging in work that constitutes a threat to his health, education or development. (3) A child shall not be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. (4) No child shall be deprived by any other person of medical treatment, education or any other social or economic benefit by reason only of religious or other

beliefs. A person infringes the fundamental right of a child if he engages the child in a work that is detrimental to his health, education, development, or the nature of the work is cruel, inhuman and degrading in nature. Also, Sections 87, 88, and 89 of Act 560 prohibit exploitative labour of children, child labour at night, and prohibits the engagement of children of less than 15 years for purposes of employment. Why prevalence? The laws against child labour are not being sufficiently implemented and below are some of the contributing factors: In Ghana, poverty is one of the basic causes of child labour. Some families resort to child labour to enable them to live on the little the children accrue from what is popularly termed as “street hustle”. To this extent, the children engaged in such labour do not recognise the deprivation of their rights but believe it is a source of earning rather than a punishment. Also, institutions and organisations use children to earn cheap labour; this is to say that

children are subjected to do hard work in poor conditions for little pay. Recommendations In respect of the above, state institutions and stakeholders are admonished to seek the implementation of the laws against child labour when an individual, institution or organisation subjects a child to hard labour. This implementation cannot smoothly strive if individuals, organisations and governments do not provide shelter, food and basic education for the victims and widely educate the public against child labour. Conclusively, the fight against child labour is a gradual process but worth it. Victims of child labour most often are deprived of their education, good health, and proper growth. This goes a long way to affect the human resource of the nation. The writers are a student of law and human rights activist, respectively.


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| LIFESTYLE

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2022

Discussing African Talents, Music with Music Mogul, SmallGod By Alice Senam Nimoh-Appea At a rather young age, he discovered his love for creative arts and became a staunch music enthusiast, attending almost every rave, music concert and arts festival that mattered. He was the life of any social gathering he attended and will show up in brands which he rocked religiously and in style. Interestingly, he knew all there was to know about urban mainstream trends across the various art forms. Later, he transitioned into a music connoisseur having acquired extensive industry knowledge; from the history, theory, production to the business of music alongside its accompanying elements. He is one of a kind with a unique approach to doing things; bubbly with an incomparable bravura and possess an addictive personality He owes his exposure to diversity, different cultures and the arts at an early age to his exceptional upbringing between three countries; Ghana, United Kingdom and Netherlands. However, his uniqueness partly comes from within, as exhibited through his actions and behaviours over the years. Born Nana Appiasei, he is widely known in the arts space as Smallgod, a music mogul distinguished by his departure from adhering to industry established orders and fulfilling the expectations placed on him by society. You can describe him as a free-thinking hippie who refuses to get a conventional job. It was a good feeling catching up with the man who has dedicated a decade and half of his life working tirelessly on building bridges and connecting the dots

in contemporary African music over the weekend at one of the best and luxurious communities in the heart of the nation’s capital, East Legon. Over the years, he has created a name for himself in the African music industry, working with several leading musicians on the continent and around the world. He continues to serve as a connector through his unconventional talent management style and now focusing more attention on publishing. In 2021, leveraging on his vast experience, network and reach, Smallgod in his bid to lead the charge of pan-Africanism through music launched his debut album “Building Bridges.” Through this project, he successfully connected musicians on the continent and those from the African diaspora. Following the success of “Building Bridges”, he recently released a new project dubbed “Connecting The Dots”, which features current music heavyweights including Black Sherif, Ivorian Doll, Kwaku DMC and Vic Mensa, DJ Breezy, Headie One, Medikal, NSG, Darkovibes, MzVee, Terry Africa, Mugeez, and Boj. African popular music is a growing market, both within the continent, and outside Africa. International collaborations between renowned African musicians and other international musicians continue to contribute to the promotion of African musicians. Our conversation focussed on African music on the global stage, development of African talents, structures and the prominence of Nigerian music on the world stage.

However, this current success of the African popular music genre comes with a series of challenges. In most African countries, music piracy has a huge impact, minimizing the income of the musicians and producers, which in some countries have led to the closing of music related infrastructure like music studios. However, piracy and illegal streaming might also help to make an artist known. In this context, the challenge of digitalisation could be boon and bane - new paths in music consumption, like streaming and downloading, have the potential to provide a better legal framework and encourage music consumers to pay for songs. On the other hand, illegal download and distribution may again jeopardise revenues for artists. Also related to this issue are challenges concerning copyrights, are the laws concerning the latter enforced and known by the persons concerned? Are collecting societies existing and operational? Do the artists know about them and how to use them to claim their rights? Are copyrights a support for musicians, a bureaucratic nuisance, or simply irrelevant? Or, from another perspective, does the Western concept of copyrights apply in African contexts and if so, is it successfully implemented? And if not, what alternatives to the Western model may African societies offer? Branding and lifestyle are vital in the music space and Smallgod revealed that the Nigerians seem to understand it better and are taking it seriously. Hence they invest so much in developing brands and lifestyles for their artists. The imagery created makes it easier for the audience to identify and differentiate these brands and the luxurious lifestyle also contributes to the buzz around these artists. For musicians, e s p e c i a l l y independent artists, there is a lot of work; education that needs to be done, especially around

working on their digital presence and getting their metadata right, and we all need to work together on this. It is important to work with trusted aggregators who can push the content and have masses of data that can help target fans and show where to focus on. In the process of developing talents, it is important to build a trusted team and be thorough with your business. To get your fees and publishing, it is important to get a lawyer to do your paperwork, because you never know which record is going to be a hit. This makes it very important to embrace professionalism as well as finding innovative ways to operate. With the global growth of digital and streaming around the world, African culture and music is reaching new audiences every day, who want to see them perform live. The growth of talents and the African music industry, both locally and internationally, will definitely impact the music business as a whole. As one of the most influential personalities in the African music space, Smallgod expressed his commitment to continue empowering the new generation of African music executives whilst sharing his initiatives to structure and professionalise the local music industry and facilitate access to education on production, publishing and intellectual property rights.


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| FEATURE

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2022

Ghana, Malta explore ways to deepen ties in tourism, culture Ghana and Malta have expressed their commitment to deepen relations in the fields of tourism and culture as well as trade and investment. To this end, the two countries would establish special committees to work out the modalities for the attainment of this objective. This was the outcome of a meeting between the President of Malta, Mr. George Vella and the Minister of Tourism, Arts and

Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal when they later paid a courtesy call on Mr. Vella at his office in Malta last Monday. Dr Awal was in Malta to attend a Mediterranean Tourism Investment forum organized by the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation. The President described the relationship between Malta and Ghana as very cordial and express the need for both countries to step up cooperation particularly

in the areas of tourism, culture, trade and investment. He disclosed that tourism accounted for over 40 % of Malta’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and said the two countries could share knowledge and experience on tourism development as window for trade and investment. Mr. Vella said Malta could be the gateway for Ghana to attract tourists and investment from the over 23 Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Croatia, France, Italy, Spain, Greece. Dr. Awal told the Maltese President that the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa AkufoAddo’s government was implementing a number of initiatives aimed at transforming the Ghanaian economy and improving upon the lives of the people. He said in the area of tourism for instance, forts, castles and heritage sites were being renovated

and modernized to attract more tourists to the country. The Minister said the government was ensuring that tourism and the creative arts contribute significantly to the country’s GDP and job creation, adding that Ghana was ready to share experiences with Malta in these fields. He said that since tourism was a global economic activity without borders, it is imperative that no country is left behind in efforts to achieve sustainable tourism that protects the environment and the people. Dr. Awal urged businesses and investors from Malta and the Mediterranean in general to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA) to deepen trade relations with Africa. The Minister who was accompanied by Ghana’s Ambassador to Malta, Her Excellency Barbara Akuorkor Benisa also paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister of Malta, Mr. Robert Abela as well as the Minister of Tourism, Mr. Clayton Bartolo and Minister of Justice, Culture and local government, Mr. Owen Bonnici.

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14

| AGRIBUSINESS

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2022

Africa-focused fintech startup Fido raises $30M round from Fortissimo Capital and Yard Ventures, Harvard alumni venture capital fund With $150M worth of loans already disbursed, Fintech startup Fido’s series-A funding round accelerates the company’s growth ahead of Africa expansion. Fido will also use the funds to establish an R&D center and tech hub in Ghana Fido, a leading fintech company whose mission is to empower individuals and entrepreneurs to reach financial freedom, announces the completion of a $30 million series-A financing led by Fortissimo Capital along with participation from Yard Ventures, the venture capital fund of Harvard alumni, and additional private investors. This brings the company’s total funding to $38 million thus far. The additional funds will be used to launch new category-creating financial products in Ghana, grow the company’s customer base throughout Africa, and establish a tech center in Accra to train engineers for higher levels of software development. Lack of access to financial services is a key constraint on the growth of entrepreneurship in Africa. The banking sector is complicated and bureaucratic, its processes are time-consuming and not very customer-friendly,

so access to financial services remains beyond the reach of a significant segment of the population. Fido changes this paradigm by automating the whole customer journey from onboarding to credit analysis and even provides financial guidance. Its autonomous banking platform and unique machine learningrisk models, make instant credit decisions even for customers with no financial track record, while helping reduce operational costs. Fido’s autonomous banking system relies on mission-critical, real-time machine learning models for risk scoring and fraud detection, based on non-financial data, to approve or reject a loan in real-time, and simultaneously deliver market-leading default rates. The B2C mobile application is fast, data-driven, low latency, and built on a distributed cloud architecture, helping boost accessibility to financial services to unbanked regions. Fido is going beyond just digitalfinancial services and aims to educate customers on how to improve their credit scores over time and incentivize positive financial behavior.

Later this year, the company plans to launch savings and costeffective payment products in some of its markets to help users easily improve their financial health with a product that’s simple to use. To support the launch of its new financial products Fido will expand the tech team in Tel Aviv and open a tech hub in Accra to attract and develop local talent. Fido is led by a seasoned team of creative entrepreneurs and AI veterans, that include CEO Alon Eitan, CTO Guy Shaked, and CCO Kelvin Abdallah, who joined cofounder Nadav Topolski in mid2021 to triple revenues over the past year. The company has grown to a team of 60 that includes data scientists, engineers, and financiers, while already having underwritten 1.5 million loans to more than 340,000 customers at a value of over $150 million. “We are building a new culture of money in Africa by making financial services instant and accessible,” says Alon Eitan, Fido CEO. “We’re proud of what we are building and grateful to have such a talented team and experienced group of investors backing our vision.

This is not only about making financial services accessible, but also about making them better: instant, simple, and transparent. We are just getting started.” “We are truly impressed by the team’s ability to underwrite people instantly while delivering sustainable economics. This differentiates them from the other players in the space,” says Yochai Hacohen, Partner at Fortissimo Capital. “Fido brings a genuinely differentiated offering that solves an enormous challenge by using disruptive technologies. Now world-class fintech technology is available to all, for mutual growth and shared prosperity.” “In addition to being impressed by the team and upside of Fido’s business model, we take pride in supporting such an impactful business that is helping to democratize access to financial services for those who were previously neglected by traditional institutions,” says Ron Levin, Partner of Yard Ventures and author of The Higher Purpose Venture Capital Blog, which profiles venture-backed companies that are helping to solve problems around wealth inequality.


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2022

| NEWS

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| ADVERT

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2022


| FEATURE

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2022

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Helping the 222 million By Yasmine Sherif The United Nations recently estimated that the number of crisis-affected children in need of urgent educational support has skyrocketed from 75 million in 2016 to 222 million today. That’s 222 million dreams dashed – and 222 million attacks on our collective humanity. This growing crisis will have far-reaching effects on our economies and societies. But only 2-4% of global humanitarian funding is dedicated to education. As world leaders decide how to allocate resources in response to COVID-19, climate change, and conflict, they must make spending on education a much higher priority. This means rethinking international development policy with a view to achieving a world in which respect for equality and human rights starts with education for all. Education requires money, but it is an investment that empowers people, creates more resilient economies, and ends poverty traps that perpetuate negative cycles of hunger, displacement, conflict, and chaos. A space flight with Jeff Bezos was recently auctioned for $28 million – a sum that could provide close to 200,000 crisis-affected children with the safety, power, and opportunity for an education. Every $1 spent on girls’ education generates approximately $2.80 in return. And ensuring that all girls complete their secondary education could boost developing countries’ GDP by an average of

10% over the next decade. But we can’t just throw money at the problem. We need to think about the quality of our investments in education. Of the 222 million children currently affected by crises and emergencies, 78.2 million are out of school. And nearly 120 million are in school but not achieving minimum proficiency in math or reading. Yes, these children need classrooms, teachers, books, pencils, and more. But, to benefit from the kind of learning that has the power to transform societies, they also need a broad spectrum of additional educational supports. For example, according to the UN, only 56% of schools in leastdeveloped countries have access to safe drinking water, and 350 million children worldwide are hungry. How can a child who rarely eats a nourishing meal be expected to learn algebra? Through the School Meals Coalition and other broad partnerships, we can ensure that children in places like Haiti and Somalia are able to eat at least one nutritious school meal a day. That can make all the difference. So can protecting children from violence. The recent deadly shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, was a tragic reminder of the need to keep schools safe. The challenge is particularly daunting for children who face the prospect of living their entire life in a war zone.

According to the recent Education Under Attack 2022 report, attacks on education and the use of schools by military forces increased by one-third from 2019 to 2020. The war in Ukraine, in which over 1,800 educational institutions have so far been damaged and 170 completely destroyed, has made the situation even worse. Upholding international humanitarian law and the Safe Schools Declaration is another investment countries must make. Additional supporting measures will help to achieve quality learning outcomes. These include counseling and other psychosocial services, which are vital to ensuring continuity of education for young people. Donors should also follow the lead of organizations like The LEGO Foundation by investing in early childhood education. Teaching girls science, technology, engineering, and math should be a high priority. And we must provide the specialized education services that children with disabilities and other severely marginalized groups need. Without education, no other Sustainable Development Goals can be achieved. To avoid inefficiencies and further disruptions to efforts to deliver on the SDGs, we need to focus on achieving universal and equitable education (SDG4). That is a distant dream for the 84% of the crisis-affected out-ofschool children who are living in

areas with protracted crises. The vast majority are in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Yemen. The war in Ukraine is exacerbating the problem, with recent estimates indicating that the conflict is threatening the lives and wellbeing of 5.7 million school-aged children. There is hope. For example, the Ecuadorian government has recently responded to the crisis in Venezuela by allowing refugees to access public education. In Uganda, which hosts the largest refugee population in Africa, the government is implementing an Education Response Plan to provide safe learning environments for refugee children. In Ethiopia, accelerated school programs are helping refugee girls to make up for years of lost learning. Responding to the urgent educational needs of children affected by crises is not the job only of national governments or the UN. By making a global commitment to help every child and adolescent – including those enduring wars, forced displacement, and climateinduced disasters – to reach their potential, we can contribute to human rights, peace and security, and economic prosperity for all. First, we have 222 million dreams to save.


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| MARKET REVIEW

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2022

WEEKLY MARKET REVIEW FOR WEEK ENDING - JUNE 17, 2022 MACROECONOMIC INDICATORS Q3, 2021 GDP Growth

7.0%

Average GDP Growth for 2021

5.4%

2022 Projected GDP Growth

5.5%

BoG Policy Rate

19.0%

Weekly Interbank Interest Rate

19.96%

Inflation for February, 2022

27.6%

End Period Inflation Target – 2022

8.0%

Budget Deficit (% GDP) – Dec, 2021

2.6%

2022 Budget Deficit Target (%GDP)

7.4%

Public Debt (billion GH¢) – Dec, 2021

391.9%

Debt to GDP Ratio – Dec, 2021

78.0%

STOCK MARKET REVIEW The Ghana Stock Exchange weakened for the week on the back of losses posted by 3 counters. The GSE Composite Index (GSE CI) lost 55.50 points (-0.33%) to close at 2,496.24 points, reflecting year-to-date (YTD) loss of 10.51%. The GSE Financial Stocks Index (GSE FI) also lost 15.47 points (-0.71%) to close at 2,171.56 points, reflecting year-to-date (YTD) gain of 0.92%. Market capitalization declined by 1.15% to close the week at GH¢61,528.03 million, from GH¢62,244.68 million at the close of the previous week. This reflects YTD decrease of 4.60%. Trading activity recorded a total of 29,705,115 shares valued at GH¢25,805,228.99 changing hands, compared with 2,429,825 shares, valued at GH¢2,174,862.13 in the preceding week. MTN dominated both volume and value of trades for the week, accounting for 98.16% and 97.29% of volume and value of shares traded respectively. The market ended the week with 1 advancer and 3 decliners as indicated on the table below.

THE CURRENCY MARKET The Cedi weakened against the USD for the week. It traded at GH¢7.2030/$, compared with GH¢7.2000/$ at week open, reflecting w/w and YTD depreciations of 0.04% and 16.62% respectively. This compares with YTD appreciation of 0.16% a year ago. The Cedi appreciated against the GBP for the week. It traded at GH¢8.7823/£, compared with GH¢8.8787/£ at week open, reflecting w/w appreciation and YTD depreciation of 1.10% and 7.46% respectively. This compares with YTD depreciation of 0.89% a year ago. The Cedi also appreciated against the Euro for the week. It traded at GH¢7.5394/€, compared with GH¢7.5786/€ at week open, reflecting w/w appreciation and YTD depreciation of 0.52% and 9.43% respectively. This compares with YTD appreciation of 3.52% a year ago. The Cedi further appreciated against the Canadian Dollar for the week. It opened at GH¢5.6244/C$ but closed at GH¢5.5224/C$, reflecting w/w appreciation and YTD depreciation of 1.85% and 14.14% respectively. This compares with YTD depreciation of 1.98% a year ago.

Source: Bank of Ghana


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2022

19

| MARKET REVIEW

BUSINESS TERM OF THE WEEK Bottom-Up Investing: Bottom-up investing is an investment approach that focuses on analyzing individual stocks and de-emphasizes the significance of macroeconomic and market cycles. In other words, bottom-up investing typically involves focusing on a specific company’s fundamentals, such as revenue or earnings, versus the industry or the overall economy. The bottom-up investing approach assumes individual companies can perform well even in an industry that is underperforming, at least on a relative basis. Source: https://www.investopedia.com/ terms/b/bottomupinvesting.asp

COMMODITY MARKET Crude Oil prices tumbled to a four-week low on the back of concerns of interest rate hikes by major central banks and rise in the US dollar, which could slow the global economy and cut demand for energy. Brent futures traded at US$113.12 a barrel on Friday, compared to US$122.01 at week open. This reflects w/w loss and YTD gain of 7.29% and 45.44% respectively. Gold prices fell as the U.S. Dollar and U.S. Treasury yields clawed back after a decline during the previous session. Gold settled at US$1,840.60, from US$1,875.50 last week, reflecting w/w loss and YTD gain of 1.86% and o.66% respectively. Prices of Cocoa inched up for the week. The commodity traded at US$2,387.00 per tonne on Friday, from US$2,385.00 last week, reflecting w/w gain and YTD loss of 0.08% and 5.28% respectively.

INTERNTIONAL COMMODITIES PRICES

GOVERNMENT SECURITIES MARKET Government raised a sum of GH¢1,504.54 million for the week across the 91-Day and 182-Day Treasury Bills. This compared with GH¢1,102.72 million raised in the previous week. The 91-Day Bill settled at 24.68% p.a from 23.70% p.a. last week whilst the 182-Day Bill settled at 25.98% p.a from 25.41% p.a. last week. The table and graph below highlight primary market yields at close of the week.

ABOUT CIDAN 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 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

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22, 2022

UEFA Champions league Trophy: Heineken and UEFA bet big on Africa

The African continent is known for its passion and drive towards the game of football. An estimated 400 million Africans tune in to watch European football matches weekly, especially those featuring the most followed teams on the continent – Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Barcelona. The growth and success of football professionals from the continent such as Senegal’s Sadio Mane, Egypt’s Mo Salah and Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez has further fueled this interest and passion for European football. On Champions league football game nights, streets and bars are filled with cheers at every strike of a goal. It was therefore no surprise that UEFA and Heineken embarked on the biggest tour of the UCL trophy in Africa - The first tour of the trophy since the global COVID-19 pandemic. Getting close to and experiencing the much coveted UCL trophy is indeed an exciting opportunity for many African football fans. With the presence of Dutch and AC Milan football legend, the UEFA Champions league trophy toured the cities of Kinshasa in Democratic Republic of Congo, Maputo in Mozambique, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and Lagos and Abuja in Nigeria. Fans from Congo Brazzaville and Rwanda were also taken on an experience of the tour in DRC and Nigeria respectively. Clarence Seedorf. With the tour coinciding with the quarter finals stage of the 2021/2022 Champions League season, football matches featuring the likes of Chelsea,

Real Madrid, Manchester City, Liverpool, Bayern Munich further heightened the trophy tour excitement. How Heineken is brewing love with football Heineken is the world’s most international beer, sold in up to 192 countries. The brand has been a sponsor of the UEFA Champions league since 2005, providing opportunity for soccer fans to enjoy exceptional football and merry with the best beer brand. Seating with a bottle of Heineken beer while watching a champion league match is a common sight in various football viewing centres across Africa, so much so that the brand is called the Champions league beer. It is also a warm feeling to see football fans involved in debates after a champions league match has ended over some bottles of Heineken beer. For UEFA, wooing fans across the world has become even more important given the threat of losing relevance as portrayed in the case for the ‘Super League’. In 2021, 12 top European clubs -including Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan -- attempted a break away European “Super League” to court their loyal fans with the promise of top-quality football.

EDITOR: BENSON AFFUL editor@business24.com.gh | +233 545 516 133.

The move caused a massive outrage from fans, players, club managers and influential personalities like British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and ex-footballer David Beckham criticizing the idea. Heineken offered its support for UEFA and the UEFA Champions league with a witty social post – “Don’t Drink and Start A League”, which went viral and further sent fans into a frenzy. Why Africa The African continent is one of the most populous regions in the world, with over 1.3 billion people as of 2018, which accounts for about 16% of the world’s human population. The African continent is seen as a potential market for the competition to grow and for the beer brand. Football is the most popular sport in Africa with an estimated 300 million Africans regularly tuning in to watch the UEFA Champions League every season. Considering the population of the continent, drive, and passion for sport, UEFA and Heineken hence, partnered to take the prestigious UEFA Champions league trophy on a tour of Africa with the objective of inspiring a new generation of African football fans and as appreciation of their love for UEFA Champions league and Heineken. The tour also sought to build stronger affinity for Heineken with consumers across Africa,

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bringing the UEFA experience closer to the African community. Above all, Heineken has used this tour as a medium to celebrate the passion of the African football fans. The Trophy Tour: A summary of the events • The 2021/2022 Heineken UCL trophy tour across Africa, involved stops in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Mozambique and DRC alongside unique experiences with consumers, photo sessions with the UCL trophy and football legends. • The tour also featured UCL Quarter finals Match viewing events, media visits and press conferences all reaching 50,000 Africans directly and an estimated 10 million through the media. • Also, the events all through the tour had the presence of Dutch professional football manager and former player, Clarence Clyde Seedorf in a custom Heineken plane that also took competition winners across the continent. About the UEFA The Union of European Football Associations is the governing body of European football. It is an association of associations, a representative democracy, and is the umbrella organization for 55 national football associations across Europe.