Ghana Water wants 34%, and ECG 148% increases in tariffs 07
Ghana, UK affirm 08 commitment to bilateral relationship
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BUSINESS24.COM.G H | FRIDAY, MAY 13, 202 2
Skills mismatch cause of high unemployment, Labour Min. says By Eugene Davis
Bright Wireko-Brobby, Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, has said the mismatch between the skills employers seek and the qualification of job-seekers is deepening the unemployment situation in the country. “Skills mismatch remains a growing policy concern where industry ready jobs cannot be taken up by graduates and thereby compounding graduate unemployment situation. It is extremely essential to deepen collaboration among policy makers, industry and academia to eradicate such challenges,” he said this at the official launch of the Huawei
Apple is no longer the world’s most valuable company 03
LEAP Program and ICT Job Fair in Accra on Wednesday. He therefore reiterated the call for industry and academia to collaborate to resolve the challenge, which has become a critical issue for the ministry. There have been several calls by stakeholders in the education sector for academia to link up with industry to train and churn out graduates who are required by industry and will be relevant on the job market. Experts have argued that a strong collaboration between academia and industry will increase the employability skills of graduates, especially those from technical universities.
GIPC awaits cabinet approval to review Tech. Transfers regulations
Let’s enforce compliance to decent labour conditions in Ghana’s fisheries sector Findings from a recent report on labour conditions in the fisheries sector showed that about 97percent are grossly exposed to improper treatment from their employers as most of these industrial fishers do not have contracts with same for the semi-industrial sector. The study that examined labour conditions and safety concerns of fishers in Ghana’s artisanal, semi-industrial and industrial sectors also revealed several violations in relation to compliance to Ghana’s labour laws, a situation it said must be tackled immediately. A key recommendation from the report was the need for skilled manpower in the domestic fisheries business to engender decent labour practices across the value chain and to sustain the industry. Business24 understands that the Regional Maritime University (RMU), previously Nautical College, has for a long time stopped training human resources for the domestic fisheries industry, meanwhile, the few that have been
trained are now out of the country and its one of the reasons why foreigners have a strong hold of the local fisheries industry. The tuna industry, for instance, could collapse should foreigners opt out of the business because of the absence of Ghanaians at the top echelon of the industry, according to industry experts and actors. The fisheries sector is a vast economic area that must be given critical attention by government and state agencies working within that space. We are talking a natural resource that provide about 60percent of animal protein to the people. It’s both a livelihood and security issue and so its sustenance should be in the hands of the indigenes. It is time for state watchdogs and regulatory bodies to pay attention the concerns that have been raised in this report particularly that aspect of safety and decent work conditions for our fisher-folks and the time is now!
Skills mismatch cause of high unemployment, Labour Min. says
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They believe that industry can serve as a first point of call for new programmes that a particular university may want to introduce. Education watchers have also argued that listening to industry stakeholders can also provide an indication of academic programmes that need to be scrapped, revised or completely overhauled so as to remain relevant and avoid producing unemployable graduates. Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula OwusuEkuful, said the occasion marked an important milestone in the government’s digital transformation agenda. “It is practical demonstration that there are quality ICT education and job creation in this sector,” she said. She underscored the importance of employment creation and entrepreneurship in ICT as key economic drivers, adding that the government remains ready to partner global ICT organisations such as Huawei and local private sector organisations to encourage local expertise. Tommy Zhou, Managing Director, Huawei Ghana, stated that the day marked a very special chapter in the company’s corporate journey in Ghana as it took another step towards their commitment to grow with Ghana through the development of the country’s ICT talent to propel the nation into digital sustainability. “Technology can empower people and open up economies. We all saw the crucial role digital technologies played in combating the recent
pandemic and the role it continues to play in reviving economies. The world is in a digital era and every country including Ghana is working to have a thriving digital economy that is crisis resilient. Under our new LEAP initiative with focus on the four key layers in the areas of Digital Leadership, Skilled ICT Professionals, Young Digital Talent Development and Digitally literate Citizens. We have made special arrangements and commitments specifically dedicated to Ghana over the next two years, that is by 2024.” The Vice President of Huawei Southern Africa Region, Yang Chan, indicated that Huawei’s years of efforts in local ICT talent development has revealed a multilayered demand for digital skills for a country. He said: “Firstly, there is the need for more ICT-savvy policy makers who understand technology and the benefits of a digital economy, and support best practice in ICT development.” “Secondly, the need for upskilled ICT workforce to better innovate for inclusive development, as well as the need to encourage and empower the youth to follow ICT-related studies so the country will have a strong pool of digital talents. The most fundamental layer is, the need to promote digital literacy among all citizens, so no one will be left behind, which he says is based on the flagship ICT talent program it has launched,” he added. Huawei launches LEAP LEAP which is an acronym
for Leadership, Employability, Advancement and Possibility, is aimed at fostering strong digital leadership and a skilled ICT workforce, building a digital talent pool, and promoting digital literacy among citizens. It includes a wide range of activities spanning from ICT training and certification courses, government digital capacity building and ICT skills competitions. Under Leadership, Huawei intends to train over 1,000 government officers in digital workshops; Employment will also offer 200 plus internship and job opportunities as well as 1000 plus hands on training to partners and subcontractors. On Advancement, Huawei will train 5,000plus tertiary instructors and students throughout the academy, ICT completion and seed for future whilst Possibility entails experience sharing with 100plus SMEs in digital business digital literacy training to 90,000plus women and girls PILOT TEOSS to benefit 1,500 pupils. The Covid-19 pandemic has spurred the digital adoption across Africa. This increases the demand for more digital skills and talent. According to a World Bank, study on Digital Skills in Sub-Saharan Africa, over 230 million jobs in sub-Saharan Africa will require digital skills by 2030, which makes programmes like LEAP even more critical. More than 2,000 students from universities across the country applied for the Huawei ICT Job Fair 2022 but only 300 were shortlisted, with close to 250 expected to receive firm assurances on job placement after the fair.
FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2022
GIPC awaits cabinet approval to review Tech. Transfers regulations By Eugene Davis The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre(GIPC) is awaiting Cabinet approval to review a draft document of the Technology Transfer Regulation, 1992, L.I 1547, which is inherent in the GIPC law , (Act 865). According to the Head of Legal Division, Naa Lamle OrleansLindsay, when approved by Cabinet and parliament, it will enable it to carry out review of the Technology Transfer Regulation, 1992, L.I 1547. Speaking at GIPC’s 2nd media orientation workshop in Accra on Thursday, she said there was the need to review the technology transfer regulation to make it current and reflect best practices. “The GIPC itself is looking at a review of its law and this law contains provisions of TTA, the Act itself and the regulations seeking to improve it and make it compliant with best practices, so that it is useful to local companies and foreign companies seek to provide services to local companies. We have had extensive stakeholder engagements with the private and public sector over the past couple of years, we have put together a draft document and we are seeking to have this document obtain cabinet
approval, that is where we are at the moment.”she said in an interview on the margins at the workshop. Further, she explained that two legislations generally apply to technology transfers in the Ghanaian economy; GIPC Act 2013, Act 865 and the Technology Transfer Regulations 1992, L.I.1547. The GIPC is required to register, keep records and monitor all technology transfer agreements in Ghana, whiles the TTR set out extensively terms and conditions applicable to technology transfer agreements. TTA, she disclosed during her presentation has key features including; services to be provided must not be easily and freely available in Ghana, local staff must be trained in the services provided by the TTA as per a Training Schedule, Ghana law must govern the interpretation of the TTA, taxes on royalties must be borne by the Transferor. In spite of the planned review of the regulation, she indicated that they have a close collaboration with the Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Revenue Authority to ensure compliance of technology transfer legislations as well as close collaboration with other stakeholders to ensure
compliance by companies with Act 865 and L.I. 1547 The Deputy CEO of GIPC, Yaw Afriyie GIPC, stated that the centre is working proactively to lead Ghana’s investment case to attract and retain quality FDI and LDI from traditional (Europe and North America) to new partners in Asia and Latin America and Caribbean into healthcare,agriculture, tourism, housing, transport, extractives,
infrastructure, aquaculture, technology and services. The purpose for this year’s media engagement was to educate the media partners on the registration and compliance requirements of GIPC, including monitoring, renewals, exemptions and quotas, discuss subjects on Technology Transfer Agreements (TTAs), Bilateral Investment Treaties, and Aftercare Service division
Naa Lamle Orleans-Lindsay
Apple is no longer the world’s most valuable company Oil giant Saudi Aramco on Wednesday surpassed Apple as the world’s most valuable firm. Aramco’s market valuation was just under $2.43 trillion on Wednesday, according to FactSet, which converted its market cap to dollars. Apple, which fell more than 5% during trading in the U.S. on Wednesday, is now worth $2.37 trillion. Energy stocks and prices have been rising as investors sell off equities in several industries, including technology, on fears of a deteriorating economic environment. Apple has fallen nearly 20% since its $182.94 peak on Jan. 4. The move is mostly symbolic, but it shows how markets are shifting as the global economy grapples with rising interest rates, inflation, and supply chain problems.
Aramco stock is up over 27% so far in 2022. In March, the oil giant reported that its full-year profit last year more than doubled due to soaring oil prices. Apple passed Saudi Aramco to become the world’s most valuable publicly-traded company in 2020. Source: BBC
FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2022
Ghana Water wants 334%, and ECG 148% increases in tariffs The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) have proposed tariffs of 334 per cent and 148 per cent respectively, to the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), for approval for 2022. The proposal from GWCL and ECG were the highest among the tariffs presented to PURC by utility service providers for consideration ahead of the July tariff announcement. The Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) asked for a 113 per cent tariff increment; Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo), 48 per cent, and the Volta River Authority (VRA), 37 per cent. The Utilities said the proposed increment is to enable them recover their investments, expand their operational capacity, sustain their operations, and offer quality and affordable electricity and water to both household and industrial consumers in the country. They cited an increase in their operational cost, exchange rate, high inflation and depreciation of the local currency (Cedi) against
its major trading currencies (Dollar and Pounds sterling) as the reasons for their tariff proposal. The proposals were made at a consultative stakeholder meeting with policy Think Tanks, players in academia, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and the media for the multi-year major tariff review (2022-2027) conveyed by PURC in Accra on Thursday. Nana Yaa Jantuah, a consumer, and former Executive Secretary of PURC, noted that economic indicators necessitated the proposals. She said: “It is not their fault because the economic indicators as it stands, which determines the tariff goes are a bit rough and not palatable. The price of crude oil on the world market and other contingent parameters are not too good for us. In 2016, the exchange rate that was used for the tariff determination was about 4.1 per cent but today it’s about 7.8 per cent; exchange rate, had increased from 7.09 per cent to 7.8 per cent, and inflation increased from 6.93 per cent to 19.4 per cent.” She said: “They are looking
at the forex loss, eight per cent rate of return, reduction in tariff in 2019 and whatever that the Government has taken from them and has not paid which have contributed to the upward proposal by the service providers.” She however said that there was the need to critically analyse the proposals and evaluate and see if consumers would be able to pay, in addition to considering that commiseration of quality of service with what they were requesting for. Nana Yaa Jantuah advised the Utilities to communicate effectively with the consumers and make them understand the intricacies involved in the tariff proposals, improve upon quality of service, and collect revenues due them. The former Executive Secretary of PURC said that the Commission
must also heighten its monitoring of the Utilities, and evaluate the projects they include in their proposals, to ensure value for money. Last month, the Institute for Energy Security (IES) – a research and energy security advocate, projected that electricity and water tariffs were likely to go up in July, when PURC was expected to announce tariff for 2022. Nana Amoasi VIII, Energy Analyst and Executive Director of the Institute, said “from all indications, there will be an upward review of the current tariff.” He said: “We must brace ourselves for electricity tariff increment so that we can save both the distribution and transmission grid from collapsing and have some reliable power supply.” As part of engagements, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission would be meeting the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Organised Labour, select Committee on Energy, and other stakeholders, before a public hearing on May 16. Source: GNA
FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2022
GEPA, ITC to host global business community to discuss the future of trade in Accra Ghana will host a two-day conference and awards of the World Trade Promotion Organisation (WTPO) next week under the auspices of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), the state non-traditional exports facilitation agency in partnership with the International Trade Centre. From May 17-18 this year, the global trading community comprised mostly of small-sized enterprises will convene in Accra to deliberate, network and forge lasting partnerships that will birth sustainable innovations to advance trading across global frontiers. The upcoming two-day event is based on the strong convictions of the two trade organisations to make ‘good trade’ happen through the recognition and promotion of trade-based solutions that are more digital, sustainable and partnership-based. The conference will also recognize national trade development agencies with global awards for such initiatives with the Ghana Export Promotion Authority being a past winner of these awards. It seeks to tell the stories of unsung champions of trade, particularly SMEs that need such motivation and platforms
to sell their stories so that other businesses in countries everywhere can be inspired to make the shift to sustainable trade.
products, thus contributing to achieving the national targets for economic development. Just like GEPA, one of ITC’s strategic priorities or ‘moonshots’
Dr. Afua Asabea Asare, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA)
Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC)
The upcoming event falls in line with GEPA’s mandate to, among others, build internal systems for local SMEs, and create strategic networks and actively promoting exports. The authority is also tasked to lead state efforts in leveraging the global market potential for made-in-Ghana
aims to improve the climate competitiveness of micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) in developing countries with the broader goal of equipping these businesses to better respond to risks and ensure that trade contributes to creating inclusive, sustainable and prosperous economies.
As we emerge from the pandemic, trade can play a leading and vital role in addressing all the harms that it has caused, including the threat of food insecurity for instance by improving availability and access to food, helping to meet demand for more diverse and nutritious food, and improving the predictability and stability of global food markets for producers and consumers. Equally important is the role of small and medium enterprises that form the very foundation of global economies and Africa especially, and we march towards continental integration with the birth of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), it is right and proper to instigate advancements into innovations and solutions through broader stakeholder engagement and rewards or recognitions such as the upcoming WTPO conference and awards. This is the rationale behind the upcoming World Trade Promotion Organizations Conference and Awards which is co-sponsored by the International Trade Centre and the Ghana Export Promotion Authority and scheduled to take place in Accra on Tuesday and Wednesday, 17 and 18 May.
Nutriday supports Mother’s Day charity Nutriday, a zinc fortified yoghurt by Fan Milk made donations last Sunday to support a Mother’s Day charity at the neonatal intensive care unit at the Eastern Regional Hospital in Koforidua. They supported NICU Soldiers, a non profit organisation, to celebrate mothers and health workers at the unit for their relentless efforts to ensure the survival of the babies on admission. The Founder of NICU Soldiers and her team shared lunch packs and Nutriday yoghurt drinks to the mothers and the health workers as a show of appreciation on behalf of the sick babies. NICU Soldiers also paid the bill of a parent whose ward was on admission and gave a special gift to the mother of the baby who has spent the longest period at the unit. Ms Akese said the Mother’s Day charity was a prelude to the organisation’s main annual fundraiser expected to be launched in July this year. She said NICU Soldiers raised
Ms Akese presenting a gift to one of the mothers. With her are some health workers at the unit. GH40,000 in it’s Scones for Life campaign last year to support babies on oxygen at the Korle But Teaching Hospital through the sale of pastries to the public. This year, she said the Eastern Regional Hospital would be the main beneficiary institution of the organisation’s fundraising activities.
Ms Akese commended the health workers at the unit for their dedication and hard work and appealed to them to continue the fight for the survival of the babies on admission. “Having experienced the NICU twice, I understand the challenges mothers at unit go through and I can imagine how difficult it is for
them especially on Mother’ s Day. “There are many parties by churches and other groups celebrating mothers on such a day but these ones have no option than to stay by the cots of their babies throughout the day. “Our modest donations is to make them feel loved, let them know we appreciate their efforts and to put a smile on their faces. I am grateful to Nutriday, our sponsors for making this event a success,” she said Dr Francis Mensa Akwetey, a Specialist Paediatrician at the unit, thanked NICU Soldiers for putting smiles on the faces of the distressed mothers on such an occasion “We really appreciate what you have done for our mothers here. Today is mothers’day and we are celebrating mothers all over the world but these mothers are here taking care of their sick babies” “It is nice for you to think about these mothers who could not be at their churches or homes to be celebrated,” he said.
FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2022
FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2022
When the engineering fails By Elizabeth Ohene The Ghana Institute of Engineers was in the news this past week. The President of the institute launched something called 2022/2023 Ghana Infrastructure Report Card. I am sure the project is very important but I am not getting into that nor into any of the grand observations made at the ceremony about how important engineering is. I do have some questions that I believe the institute can help answer. It is no secret that engineers are my favourite people. I praise them at every opportunity and I have said it over and over again that they are the ones that rule our lives and control the quality of our lives. My questions: How come it is always the roofs of classrooms and government buildings and structures that are blown off whenever there is a storm?
The consultants and supervisors at (governmentfunded) construction sites are engineers, or am I mistaken? When a contractor builds a road and our well-trained engineer examines and gives the work the thumbs up and signs the certificate and they are both paid, contractor and supervising engineer, and potholes appear within a week, does the institute get worried? What are we to make of the fact that we can’t seem to make the traffic lights on our streets work? Is it beyond us? Is it beyond our engineers? Are we to understand that our engineers don’t have the expertise to make traffic lights work? Is there someone or someplace where one can complain about shoddy engineering work? We are able to complain about medical doctors when they don’t
they have to say with a reference to how much I am respected because of something I did, wrote or said decades ago. It usually goes something like this: “I remember when this woman would take on the government and we would all cheer her up. When the “people” rose up against her for challenging the AFRC, we the students came to her defence” (not true, it was the students who came after me for daring to say the killings must stop, that is where the blood must flow slogan came from, but that is not the issue here). “She made a name for herself by speaking truth to power (it wasn’t a term I ever used, but never mind) and we were all so proud of her”. It seems when I write or say something that people disagree with and they want to say so, they feel they must make a reference
I acknowledge that there are those who seem genuinely inhibited by stating their disagreement in a straightforward manner simply because I am an old woman and maybe they have a difficulty in telling off an old woman. Then, I recently discovered, much to my amazement, that there are some people who feel inhibited about stating their disagreement because I am female! There are no females in this group, in other words, women who disagree with me are not inhibited or intimidated by my being female, but it seems some men hesitate to state their disagreement because I am female. May I please state here that I do not think that someone should be shielded from criticism today because of something she wrote or a position she took sixty, fifty,
These structures would be relatively new ones, they would be classroom blocks that have been built not long ago and the roofing sheets would invariably be blown off and mangled. The ancient, colonial buildings and the sad homes of the poor would be left standing. If it isn’t a school block, it would be a district assembly building or a clinic. What is it about official buildings whose constructions have been supervised by our engineers that seem to attract the wind and have their roofs blown off? Why is it that the private buildings don’t get their roofs blown off quite as often? The engineers who supervise the private buildings were trained at the same institutions, surely. Is this something that has ever struck the institute as odd and in which case, have they ever tried to find out what the problem is?
measure up, why isn’t there a similar mechanism to complain about engineers. As I have pointed out on other occasions, engineers are far more powerful than any other professional and dare I say, more powerful than even the dreaded politicians, we must be able to complain about them when they fail. I suspect I will have to apologise because I’m afraid this is personal. As a rule, I do not like to react to what people have to say about Elizabeth Ohene and her views and what she writes. I tend to operate on the basis that since I have such strong views on everything and anything and I express them so freely, I should not get involved in the ensuing discussions and arguments that follow whatever I say. I notice though that increasingly, in reacting to anything I write or say, people preface whatever
to some elevated status they used to put me at, before stating the current disagreement. To some others, it is my advanced age that appears to be the inhibiting factor. At 77, some people feel they cannot or should not say straight away if they think I have said or written something they disagree with. We get into this ridiculous situation of people referring to “Auntie” Elizabeth and then searching for the appropriate word to describe the extent of their disagreement. Of course, I am taking judicial notice of the many who simply refer to me as being senile when they disagree with something I have said or written, or a particular professor who appears to simply detest me. To these people, it is easier to ascribe senility rather than go to the trouble of finding rational arguments to counteract my views.
forty, thirty, twenty or ten years ago. Indeed, even if it was a year ago or a month or week ago that someone wrote or said something which saved us from the outbreak of the third world war, or which saved the national treasury billions of cedis, it should not buy protection forever from criticism for new positions. So, for the avoidance of doubt, may I state here that I am releasing everyone from any considerations of age, gender, previously stated views and opinions, previously beautifully written and argued pieces when it comes to making any judgement on current articles. Please go ahead and make your comments without the need for any apologies or reference to whatever honour you might think should be accorded to me because of a previous status.
FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2022
Ghana, UK affirm commitment to bilateral relationship The sixth meeting of the UKGhana Business Council (UKGBC) was held in London, UK, with delegations of both countries agreeing to work to sustain strategic partnerships. This is geared towards enhancing economic development through the fostering of bilateral relationship that will create jobs, improve trade as well as investment opportunities. The Council reaffirmed its commitment to give priority to six sectors, including agro-processing, extractives, garments/textiles, digitalisation, pharmaceuticals, and financial services. It also intends to ensure that progress of bilateral partnership was framed around three key themes: infrastructure, domestic revenue mobilisation and ease of doing business. This was in a communique issued at the end of the meeting co-chaired by the Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen, on behalf of
Dr Alhaji Mahamadu Bawumia, Vice President of Ghana, and the Minister of State for Trade Policy, Mr Penny Mordaunt, UK, and Minister for Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Vicky Ford of UK. “Both countries welcomed the opportunity to hold the UKGBC in person after holding Council meetings virtually for two years. Honourable members recognised and marked the significant progress that the Council has made since the last meeting in June 2021” the statement noted. They also welcomed the continued progress of the UK-Ghana Trade Partnership Agreement (TPA) and committed to working together to maximise the benefits of the Agreement for both countries. The Council also acknowledged UK’s continuing support to Ghana’s infrastructure agenda
with significant investment over the last two years in transportation, energy, water and healthcare. It also noted the progress made by UK-Ghana partnerships in domestic revenue mobilisation and welcomed the UK’s support for Ghana’s pharmaceutical, garments and textiles and auto industries. “Honourable members also
celebrated the appointment of Mr Kwabena Asante-Poku as the first Ghana Country Director of British International Investment (Bll, formerly CDC), and happy with the investment opportunities the new role would bring to the table. “It was also agreed that the next meeting of the UK-GBC would be held in Ghana in 2022” The communique stated.
FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2022
To fight inflation, fight protectionism By Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg One of the main goals that US President Joe Biden has set for his administration is to empower American workers and the country’s middle class. Many believe that globalization (along with several other factors) contributed to stagnating real wages, rising inequality, and the sense that American workers have lost out to workers in other countries with lower labor standards. But in its attempt to reverse these trends, the Biden administration has embraced protectionist rhetoric and policies that will cause American workers to lose once again. Though any mention of the word “openness” is met with suspicion nowadays, the surge in inflation – the US Consumer Price Index was up 8.3% in April – has nonetheless prompted a discussion among economists about whether trade liberalization (and openness more generally) could be used to rein in rising prices. Since one of the main arguments for free trade is that it lowers prices for consumers, the link between open borders and inflation is worth contemplating. To be clear, no reasonable economist claims that the recent inflation is the result of trade restrictions. By now, the causes are well understood to be a combination of pandemic-driven supply-side shortages, policyfueled demand, and further supply-side disruptions caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine. But as policymakers struggle to contain inflation without causing a recession, they must recognize that “Buy American”
requirements, tariffs, and immigration restrictions may be making a bad situation worse. According to a recent Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) policy brief, a feasible reduction of trade barriers “could deliver a one-time reduction in [CPI] inflation of around 1.3 percentage points.” The study is conservative, focusing only on trade restrictions that can plausibly be lifted in the short term, and its authors are careful to emphasize that the result would be a one-time outcome. The proposed reduction of trade barriers would not solve the problem of rising prices; but it would make today’s high prices lower. US consumers would welcome such short-term relief. If the Biden administration finds it necessary to sell oil out of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve despite its commitment to addressing climate change, why shouldn’t it also recognize the need to reverse Donald Trump’s tariffs? In 2021, according to the PIIE brief, these duties still applied to more than half of US imports “subject to high tariffs, penalty duties, or severe quotas.” Perhaps more importantly, openness, whether it is free trade or immigration, also contributes to consumer welfare in indirect ways. Though these effects are often hard to quantify, they are of first-order importance, which is why economists often turn to first principles when debating them. One of the most important benefits of free trade is that
it exposes domestic firms (and labor markets) to greater competition, which induces them to keep prices low and to innovate constantly to stay ahead of the curve. Similarly, immigration eases labor-supply shortages, and high-skilled newcomers can boost productivity and innovation. Forward-looking countries understand this and embrace immigration. The United Kingdom, for example, has adopted a new skilled-worker visa program that welcomes graduates of top global universities. It is deeply misguided to restrict trade and immigration at a time when rising domestic prices are of paramount concern. Now that everyone is fixated on inflation, it is worth considering why inflation was so low these past two decades, despite full employment in the United States (prior to the pandemic) and despite ultraexpansionary monetary policies. Globalization (now a loaded term) arguably had a lot to do with it, as did automation (another loaded term). The prospect of outsourcing jobs to lower-wage countries or to machines constrained workers’ bargaining power. At the same time, foreign competition constrained domestic firms’ pricing power (though there is ample evidence that the cost reductions they achieved by globalizing production still allowed them to make hefty profits). Workers and firms face a different reality today. Their jobs and businesses seem more secure
now that the US has turned inward and embraced protectionism. The “Great Resignation” and other developments have reduced the supply of workers, increasing the bargaining power of those still in the labor force. This could be a positive development, except that the high inflation rate has undermined efforts to make the average American worker better off. While nominal wages in the US rose by 5.6% in the year ending in March (more than an extrapolation of the earlier trend would have implied), that month’s 8.5% inflation rate implied that real wages fell by 2.7%. If there is any silver lining to today’s inflation, it lies in the lessons that this episode has provided to policymakers and the public alike. Because the benefits of open borders (lower prices) are less salient than the costs (lost jobs or lower wages), and because consumer interests are not organized, while worker interests often are, there is a bias toward protectionist sentiment. Today’s inflation highlights the need to resist this bias. The current decline in real wages is a reminder that our well-being depends not only on the nominal wages we earn as workers but also on the prices we pay as consumers. Open borders can help keep prices low during a challenging time. Reversing the tariffs imposed by the Trump administration would be a step in the right direction.
FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2022
Security and user protection: key to sustainable growth in the crypto ecosystem Trust remains a key driver in daily decision making – between relations, personnel, and even institutions. Research shows that people will choose a product or service that they trust over nontrustworthy options. When it comes to money and investments, trust is even more critical. Individuals need to be confident that their financial transactions are processed with utmost security and transparency to continue to invest with their respective financial institutions. This is why these institutions remain committed to building secure frameworks to safeguard clients’ funds to grow their customer bases and maintain a positive and trustworthy reputation. With cryptocurrencies, the importance of trust is not any different. After years of a gradual shift from the dominance of traditional payments, these forms of digital currencies have emerged as a new channel for wealth accumulation, trading, and financial freedom among users from all over the world. The increase in adoption is attributable to the fact that it is a
decentralized system that serves as a viable alternative investment, especially in times of economic instability. Also, cryptocurrencies on their own provide trust through technology, as the security of each financial transaction is dependent on the underlying technology. Essentially, the blockchain technology that makes cryptocurrencies immutable contributes to users’ trust in these investment forms – and so all of these factors have largely contributed to the steady global adoption of these currencies. However, to maintain this sustainable growth in the crypto ecosystem so that users can continue to build wealth and enjoy the freedom of money, cryptocurrency exchanges must also relentlessly ensure that they safeguard their platforms using the latest technological systems to help individual users protect their accounts. As established, cryptocurrencies on their own are cryptically secure; but without a safe platform to trade them on, users may still be at risk of cyber theft. Hence, crypto exchanges need
to employ safe practices such as providing secure sign-ins, ensuring real-time monitoring, creating stringent password requirements, or even establishing schemes such as Binance’s Secure Asset Funds for Users program, to ensure possible cases of breaches. Beyond implementing these security practices as an exchange, another important way to strengthen user protection and adoption is through education. This is why Binance continues to approach security from multiple fronts beyond technology and investments – by also prioritizing user education. In this regard, users can learn about the fundamentals of crypto, responsible trading, and the ways to keep their cryptocurrencies safe from possible cyber theft. Essentially, the more people who are literate in the field of blockchain systems and the ways to secure their digital investments, the more people who can trust and embrace cryptocurrency as a means of wealth-building, which would eventually contribute to the sustainable growth of the ecosystem. Also, by taking active steps
towards ensuring regulatory compliance to protect users and encourage innovation within the space, more people are encouraged to become and remain players within the ecosystem. With this in view, Binance collaborates with regulators and third parties to develop clear regulatory frameworks and standards to guide and protect users according to global compliance standards. With the right security assets in place, more individuals and investors will become comfortable with buying into cryptocurrencies which would ultimately result in an increase in the adoption of these currencies within the ecosystem. The growth of the crypto ecosystem will remain dependent on the ability of exchanges such as Binance to ensure a safe and positive experience for new and existing users. Only the platforms or exchanges that are determined to continue to innovate and perfect their safety systems will undoubtedly succeed and thrive.
| AFCFTA NEWS
FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2022
CSIR-WRI poised to partner private sector to explore single African market
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) says it is ready to work with private businesses and investors to take advantage of research and techbased opportunities in emerging markets, specifically the single continental market. “One thing we need to do as a research institution is to develop the technology and work with the private sector to execute or market them; we don’t have to do everything otherwise we cannot focus but we can be part of the value chain,” Director of CSIRWater Research Institute, Prof. Mike Yaw Osei-Atweneboana, told Single African Market in an interview. In a discussion that focused on range of issues including the preparedness of Ghana’s scientific community to explore opportunities in the AfCFTA, he said the research institute will also lead the development of various technologies sometimes will lead to development of strategies and water-based research and products to grow the Ghanaian economy. “The Ghanaian market is quite small; so, the opportunity to export things outside the borders of the country opens up the opportunity for businesses and other stuff to progress. And for us as research institutions, one of our major missions is to use science technology and innovation towards the creation of wealth for the development of the nation.” According to Prof. OseiAtweneboana, the institute is already undertaking various researches in water management for both human consumption and industrial purposes as well as provide scientific and technological information services, strategies for sustainable development and the utilization and management of the nation’s water resources. “If we are able to develop our science technology innovation, we
will be breaking the front in terms of moving our innovations from Ghana to other countries. I believe that other science and technology institutions will see the benefits of exploring of deploying science and technology in for wealth creation. Prof. OseiAt weneboana was also of the opinion that the country could harness opportunities in scientific research to create more businesses that can operate off the shores of Ghana. He added: “We have used research to solve various problems but we need to look at using research for wealth creation. So, we need to study the markets: our local market and the African market, and see where the gaps are. Once we are able to identify the gaps in the market, then we track back and look at the innovations that we need to develop to address them.”
and then team up with the private sector. Currently, we actually are collaborating with other African institutions. And then when we do that, it also helps in our developing our expertise, even within our country, because we are learning from each other. There’s a project that we have developed that involved Rwanda, Cameroon, South Africa, and Egypt,” said the Director of CSIR-Water Research Institute, Prof. Mike Yaw OseiAtweneboana. He added: “Through these partnerships, we can broaden our scope and our ability to solve the problems of our continent, both in terms of diseases as well as developing any other resources that we need to enhance growth and development.” The WRI boss also asked colleague scientists to think outside the box and become business-minded so as to use technology to develop products that can benefit humanity. “We need to deploy the technology and see how it benefits humanity; but also how we can use it to create business opportunities. I think that most of the time, as scientists, we have not been business minded,” he noted.
CSIR-WRI talks up crosscountry efforts to advance tech innovation across Africa
We have a long way to go in boosting regional trade, says Borderless Alliance
The Water Research Institute (WRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has indicated plans to employ a multicountry and multidisciplinary research approach in its operations as it seeks to advance research and innovation across the continent. By pooling all knowledge, expertise and resources to the table, the institute believes that African research institutions will be well-placed to explore business opportunities across various regional economies. “We need to look at the opportunities that we may have, look at the gaps that we have, and then develop the technologies
If the West African region can trade properly with the rest of the continent, its governments should start working seriously on some technical and tariff barriers to trade on most of the corridors with the region. “If it’s not easy to carry goods from Abidjan to Lagos, I don’t know how easy it will be to produce in Ghana or Nigeria and transport to the goods to Eastern or Southern Africa if these tariff and non-tariff barriers do exist in this part of the region,” Justin Bayili, Executive Secretary of the Borderless Alliance, told Single African Market in an interview. He added: “Definitely we need to work hard to create trust
among ourselves so that ECOWAS protocols are duly implemented by member states and also try to improve our production capacity. According to Mr. Bayili, most African countries are producing only for local consumption and even though we have an open African market for trade, the capacity for producing to satisfy the needs of the market is something else. “Despite these trade barriers, governments will need to work absolutely towards improving and increasing their production capacity in the region,” he noted. Mr. Bayili said that failure to meet the demands of an opened single African market will tempt people to continue to import from external markets. In spite of continued advocacy and interventions to sanitise trade corridors across West Africa, the bottlenecks to cross-border trade still exist, a situation that the trade expert attributes to two main reasons. “Unfortunately, our governments raise money on Custom duties as their main source of revenue and some countries see ETLS as a way to prevent them from mobilizing these resources hence they don’t see the need to comply. The other issue is the mistrust between member states which is something we need to address by ensuring that what we trade among ourselves are truly locally produced goods that qualify to be admitted under ETLS regulations,” he said. Also persisting issues include corruption and harassments along transit corridors where uniformed officials prey on the intelligence of traders and drivers to collect money from them. “These are real problems; once a trader crosses a border, they are demanded to pay some money just to get their passport stamped, but they won’t issue receipt because they are illegal charges,” the trade expert narrated.
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Prudential Bank gives to 2 institutions Prudential Bank Limited has donated assorted items worth GH¢10,000.00 to two institutions to support their humanitarian activities. The beneficiaries are the Paidia Evangelism Ministry (PEM), a non-governmental organisation dedicated to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, while giving the much-needed support to the less privileged in the country, and the Nana Saka Nkansah II School Complex, an orphanage located at Nkwanta, a farming community in the Asante Mampong municipality of the Ashanti Region. The items donated included bags of rice, cooking oil, assorted canned foods, milk, diapers, sanitary pads and detergents. Presenting the items on behalf
of the bank to the management of PEM, a staff member of the Marketing & Corporate Affairs Department, Jamilla Disu,
expressed the bank’s desire to provide relief to the less fortunate, particularly widows and orphans. The bank, she said, was happy to
partner with PEM to put smiles on the faces of the needy. The Executive Director of PEM, Dorcas Akpey Kwahiah, and her team thanked PBL for the support. In the second donation, the Adum Branch Manager of the bank, Thomas Dwomoh-Ameyaw, who presented the items to Nana Saka Nkansah II School Complex, said the donation demonstrated the bank’s commitment to assisting the less fortunate in society. The proprietress of the school, Nana Nkansah II, who received the items, expressed her profound gratitude to the bank. She indicated further that the items would go a long way to help the children in the school.
Republic Bank Ghana Plc appoints new Managing Director Accra, Wednesday, 11th May 2022 – Republic Bank (Ghana) PLC, at a meeting of the Board of Directors held on March 15, 2022, appointed Mr. Benjamin Dzoboku as the new Managing Director of the Bank to succeed Mr. Farid Antar on his retirement. The Bank of Ghana granted approval to the appointment on 10th May 2022. Mr. Antar retires from the Bank on July 15, 2022, after over 42 years of exceptional service to the Republic Financial Holdings Group (RFHL), Trinidad and Tobago, with his last three years spent at Republic Bank (Ghana) PLC. Mr. Dzoboku’s appointment takes effect on 15th July 2022. Mr. Benjamin Dzoboku joined Republic Bank (Ghana) PLC (then HFC Bank (Ghana) Ltd) in January 2007 as the Head, Risk Management from SG-SSB where he started his banking career as an Internal Auditor. Prior to this, he worked with Pannell Kerr Forster (PKF Ghana) as a Senior Auditor. He has over the years held several positions of responsibility at Republic Bank including, Head, Internal Audit; Financial Controller; Treasurer and General Manager, Retail Banking with his responsibilities for the Retail branch network and the Bank’s International Trade and Treasury operations. He later moved to the position of General Manager, Finance and Strategy before being designated as the Bank’s Chief Operating Officer responsible for Finance
& Strategy, International Trade, Treasury, Administration & Premises, Cash Management, Custody Services, Internal Control, Portfolio Management
Office, Centralized Support and also the Bank’s subsidiary, Republic Trust Limited Company. Mr. Benjamin Dzoboku has strong academic and professional
qualifications underpinning his achievements. These include being a Chartered Accountant (ICA, Ghana) and memberships of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIT, Ghana); Institute of Financial Accountants (UK) (fellow) and Certified Fraud Examiners (CFE, USA). He holds Master’s Degrees in Business Administration (MBA) (Financial Management) (St. Clements University, UK) and in Public Administration (MPA) (GIMPA, Ghana). He has also participated in several executive management programmes including the Senior Executive Program in Leadership (Harvard Business School), Corporate Governance & Compliance and High-Performance Management Excellence. Republic Bank (Ghana) PLC, a subsidiary of Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) of Trinidad & Tobago, is a leading Universal Banking Institution in Ghana and arguably the most diversified Financial Institution. As a one-stop Financial Institution, the Bank’s services include Corporate, Commercial and Retail Banking; Investment Banking; Trustee Services; Mortgage Banking and Micro Finance. The Bank’s Parent Company, RFHL, is the largest and most profitable independent Bank in the Englishspeaking Caribbean, having served the region for over 185 years with a total asset base of USD$16.5 billion as at the end of the 2021 financial year.
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Acting on the global security initiative to safeguard world peace and tranquility Keynote Speech by Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng at “Seeking Peace and Promoting Development: An Online Dialogue of Global Think Tanks of 20 Countries” Dear Scholars and Friends, Good evening! It gives me great pleasure to join you in this online dialogue on peace and security issues. I would like to share with you my views on international security on the basis of my understanding of the Global Security Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping recently at the Boao Forum for Asia. When we did the stock-taking of the global situation at the end of 2019, some people said that it was the worst year in a decade but probably the best one of the coming decade. Unfortunately, that prediction has turned out to be true. The world has been on a downward slope over the past few years. The COVID pandemic has been raging for three years now, claiming more than six million lives, including over one million in the US alone, and some 200,000 American kids were orphaned as a result of the pandemic. It’s beyond our wildest imagination that things like this could happen in a period of peace. Recently the flames of war have been re-ignited in Europe and the Russia-Ukraine conflict is still escalating even as we speak. The repercussions for international security are massive. In the meantime, we are witnessing perverse attempts to wage a new Cold War, rampant hegemonism and power politics, a rising tide of division and confrontation, the fragmentation of the world into different blocs and camps, and a fierce information war and battle for public opinion. To make matters worse, unilateral sanctions that violate international law are inflicting an enormous damage, not only on the intended targets but also on the ones unleashing them. According to statistics, the US and other Western countries have launched over 10,000 sanctions on China, Russia and other countries. One in every ten countries has been targeted by US sanctions. This has compounded the enormous strain on global food and energy supply, finance and supply chains. Crises are lurking in the international political, economic and security order, presenting unprecedented challenges to
peace and development, the underlying theme of our times. Facing these once-in-a-century changes and a world in turmoil, China is determined to act as a responsible major country. We have made great efforts to safeguard international peace and security and to explore
for world peace and security. Just over the past two years, China has provided 2.2 billion doses of COVID vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organizations and launched the largest emergency humanitarian campaign, in an effort to fortify the “shield” for
the way forward for humanity. President Xi Jinping’s vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind has been warmly received and widely endorsed by the international community. Eight years ago at the CICA Shanghai Summit, President Xi Jinping called for common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. This new vision on security has been proven by events to be both a correct and effective one. Recently at the Boao Forum for Asia, President Xi Jinping proposed a Global Security Initiative (GSI). The idea is to take the new vision on security as the guiding principle, mutual respect as the fundamental requirement, indivisible security as the important principle, and building a security community as the long-term goal, in order to foster a new type of security that replaces confrontation, alliance and a zero-sum approach with dialogue, partnership and winwin results. This major Initiative carries forward the spirit of the UN Charter, offers a fundamental solution to eliminating “the peace deficit” and contributes Chinese perspectives to meeting international security challenges. Actions are guided by vision. Following the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind and acting on the new security vision and the GSI, China has played a positive role
global public health security. China has worked for the adoption of the first ever joint statement of the leaders of the five nuclear-weapon states, which affirmed that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. And China has joined the Arms Trade Treaty. China has helped to establish a coordination and cooperation mechanism among the neighbors of Afghanistan. China has put forward a four-point proposal on the Palestinian question and a five-point initiative on peace and stability in the Middle East. China has contributed to the negotiations for resuming compliance with the JCPOA, and has pushed for a political settlement of the issues on the Korean Peninsula. All of these represent efforts with Chinese characteristics to explore solutions to various hot-spot issues. China has made vigorous efforts to advance reform of the global governance system, reject fake multilateralism, fake rules, fake human rights and fake democracy, and defend the stability of the international order and international fairness and justice. China has launched the Global Initiative on Data Security, set up the Kunming Biodiversity Fund, pledged not to build new coalfired power projects abroad, and facilitated the adoption of the Glasgow Climate Pact. Through
these efforts, China has been working with countries around the world on climate change, cybersecurity, terrorism and other nontraditional security challenges. The above is by no means an exhaustive list of China’s contributions to global security, but more than enough to prove China’s role as a champion of world peace and a positive force for global security. It also shows that China’s development reinforces the global dynamic in favor of peace and stability. Yet regrettably, some people have in recent years turned a blind eye to China’s positive role in and contribution to international security. They have made groundless allegations, distorted China’s position and tried to make China take the blame for their own actions. In the ongoing Ukraine crisis, for instance, all sorts of misinformation and disinformation have been thrown around to smear China. Some people have twisted the words of the recent ChinaRussia joint statement and misinterpreted “friendship has no limits and cooperation has no forbidden areas” to mean that China had “prior knowledge” of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine and even “endorsed” it. They have therefore concluded that China must be held accountable for the conflict. This is absurd. China is not involved in the conflict, still less the one who created it. So how could China be responsible? The relationship between China and Russia is based on the principles of nonalliance, non-confrontation and non-targeting of third parties, and it is not subject to the influence of any third party. After the Cold War, China and Russia, through equal-footed consultation and peaceful negotiation, solved once and for all the many complex issues between them left from history. The two countries have forged a high level of mutual political trust and close economic and trade ties. The description of “no limits” and “no forbidden areas” captures the current state
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continued from previous page and future prospects of ChinaRussia ties. The truth is, China desires friendly relations with all countries and we never set any limit on cooperation, nor do we see a need to do so. On the contrary, some country likes to designate “forbidden areas” on unfounded grounds or set preconditions for relations with China. It seeks to decouple from or cut off supplies to China, uses words like “competition” and “confrontation” to define relations with China, and restricts cooperation between the two sides. How could there be a good bilateral relationship with such constraints in place? Some people accuse China of standing on the wrong side of history for not joining the US and other Western countries in condemning and sanctioning Russia, and they even threaten to impose secondary sanctions on China. Let me make it clear that China pursues an independent foreign policy of peace and determines its position based on the merits of the matter. China never follows in others’ footsteps or jumps on bandwagons or acts on hearsay. Since the RussiaUkraine conflict broke out, China has been committed to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the principle of indivisible security. We have stood for fairness and justice, and made active efforts to encourage peace talks and provide humanitarian aid. China has no axe to grind or any geopolitical agenda on this issue. Some major country, in contrast, has contributed nothing to the peace talks but maneuvered to use the crisis to weaken Russia and fight Russia to the “last Ukrainian”. Apparently, what they care about is not peace talks or ceasefire, nor the life and safety of the Ukrainian people. They only want to use Ukraine as “cannon fodder” to wear Russia down and sacrifice Ukrainian lives to achieve their own hegemonic ambition and geostrategic goals. Some people urge the US not to forget about China when contending with Russia, but to regard the Eurasian continent as a battlefield and to focus on two theaters — war in Europe and the Asia-Pacific — and win both. This is a very dangerous proposition. Rather than learning the painful lessons of conflict and suffering in Europe, they seek to create a “second theater” and bring the conflict to the Asia-Pacific. The US “Indo-Pacific strategy” indicates that the US seeks not so much to change China as to shape the strategic environment in which China operates. For quite some time, the US has kept flexing its muscle on China’s doorstep, creating exclusive groups against China and inflaming the Taiwan
question to test China’s red line. If this is not an Asia-Pacific version of NATO’s eastward expansion, then what is? Such a strategy, if left unchecked, would bring horrible consequences and push the AsiaPacific over the edge of an abyss. To these people, let me stress that China is committed to peaceful development and seeks harmony, solidarity and cooperation in the region. China has never been a provocateur or troublemaker. It makes no sense to take aim at China. And the attempt to “copy and paste” the Ukraine crisis in the Asia-Pacific is doomed to fail. Dear Friends, Peace and development are the perpetual pursuit of humankind and they need to be earned and protected. Our world today faces a swirling combination of change and instability. Crises and challenges emerge without cease, and factors undermining peace are building up. Some people are even talking about the possibility of a third world war. At such a critical moment in the development of humankind, we must act with the destiny and future of humanity in mind, step up to our responsibility, and rise above prejudice and contention. Together with all peace-loving forces in the world, we must adopt the new vision on security, take active steps to operationalize the GSI, and meet the international security challenges for the sake of world peace and tranquility. At this moment, a few priorities come to mind: First, it is important to stay committed to international law and universally recognized norms of international relations, and reject the attempt to replace international rules with “house rules”. Last month, three Chinese astronauts safely returned to Earth after completing their space mission. The Earth they saw from space looks just like a small globe. In this global village, we are all neighbors who share weal and woe. As we live side by side day and night, naturally we need to respect each other, treat one another as equals and abide by common rules. Major countries in particular must lead by the power of their example, not by the example of their power or claim “exceptionalism”. They should not practice double standards or see themselves as superior to others. They should not ask others to respect sovereignty while they themselves meddle in the internal affairs of others. They should not criticize others for violating international law while they themselves apply international rules selectively or create another set of the so-called “rules-based order” in an attempt to place their own “house rules” above international law. Such acts
only give international law and rules a bad name and undermine them. Second, it is important to stay committed to the principle of indivisible security, and reject the attempt to pursue one’s own security at the expense of others. Quite a few Western strategists sounded the alarm on Ukraine a long time ago. They argued that pushing a nuclear power into a corner is like taking a stick and poking a bear in the eye, and that bear is probably not going to simply put up with it. Obviously, no country should build its security at the cost of others or choose a path that only serves itself but makes things difficult for others. We humanity have long been a community of indivisible security. As such, we must uphold the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, reject zerosum games, competition and confrontation, take seriously the security of others, and safeguard the common security of all. Only by doing so can one achieve his own security. Third, it is important to stay committed to global solidarity and cooperation, and reject the attempt to revive bloc politics and ideological confrontation. We Chinese believe that “a family prospers only when it enjoys harmony”. Strength comes from unity. The world today is experiencing great change and turmoil and confronting many risks and challenges. What is needed the most is for countries around the world to pull together with common purpose and efforts. The challenges cannot be tackled by any country or exclusive group going it alone. Any wishful attempt to preserve hegemony, gang up, form exclusive circles, pin undesirable labels on others, spread the ridiculous “democracy versus autocracy” narrative, or stoke major-country rivalry and divide the world on ideological grounds would land humanity in bigger trouble, rather than helping to address the common challenges facing humanity. There have been no shortage of such lessons in recent years. Under the current circumstances, the international community should choose dialogue over confrontation, solidarity over division, and justice over hegemony. We should join hands to uphold international peace and security together. Fourth, it is important to stay committed to opposing unilateral sanctions, and reject the attempt to turn a regional crisis into a global one. History has shown time and again that unilateral sanctions have never been an effective solution to any
problem. They are just a tool of hegemony and power politics, always adding fuel to the fire and magnifying and complicating the existing problems. In recent months, the US and other Western countries have imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia, crippling an already languishing world economy and unleashing unbearable pain on developing countries. It is the people of the world that are being hurt by the sanctions. The IMF and some other international institutions estimate that this year, global economic growth will slow to 3.6 percent and global trade growth will be slashed nearly by half; three-fifths of the low-income countries will be thrown into a debt crisis and 1.7 billion people worldwide will be impoverished. The majority of countries are not supportive of the sanctions on Russia. Using the world economy, the development of countries and the wellbeing of their peoples as a weapon or a tool and creating and even aggravating multiple crises in order to tackle an existing crisis will shake the foundation of the international economic system and cause turmoil around the world. Fifth, it is important to stay committed to security and stability in the Asia-Pacific, and reject the attempt to allow turmoil or war to arise in this region. The Asia-Pacific is a promising land of peace, stability, cooperation and development. This desirable situation has not fallen into our lap automatically or come as charity from anybody. Rather, it is the result of the joint efforts of countries in the region. The Ukraine crisis reminds us that we must cherish and preserve peace and hold our destiny in our own hands. Recently, some people have called for building “a global NATO”, and NATO is interfering frequently in Asia-Pacific affairs. This is cause for concern to the regional countries. We cannot allow bloc-based confrontation to repeat itself in the AsiaPacific; we cannot allow certain countries to succeed in their selfserving attempt to drag the AsiaPacific into conflict; we cannot allow small and medium-sized countries in our region to become the tool or victim of hegemony. Countries both in and outside the region should add splendor rather than trouble to the AsiaPacific, work to operationalize the new vision on security and the GSI, and find a path to AsiaPacific security featuring joint contribution, shared benefit and win-win outcome. Thank you.
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Société Générale Burkina Faso and African Guarantee Fund ease access to financing for Burkinabe SMEs The African Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium Enterprises (AGF West Africa S.A.) has granted a portfolio guarantee line for a total amount of 2.5 billion FCFA to Société Générale Burkina Faso to support SMEs, women entrepreneurship and the green economy in Burkina Faso. The signing ceremony took place at the Maison de la PME of Société Générale Burkina Faso in Ouagadougou. This portfolio guarantee is backed by the AFAWA Guarantee for Growth program, a joint initiative of the AfDB and the African Guarantee Fund, which aims at releasing up to $3 billion in loans to women-owned SMEs in Africa. Signed by Harold Coffi, General Manager of Société Générale Burkina Faso and Bendjin Kpeglo, Managing Director of AGF WEST AFRICA, this agreement will allow Société Générale Burkina Faso, on the one hand, to further increase
its commitment to the SME/SMI segment, in line with the activities of the Maison de la PME created by the bank and, on the other hand, to promote the development of green entrepreneurship and women’s leadership in the business community. As part of the signing ceremony, Mr. Bendjin Kpeglo, Managing Director of AGF West Africa, said: “Limited access to finance is a major obstacle to the development of African SMEs. AGF is committed to improving SMEs’ access to finance by providing financial institutions with guarantee solutions and capacity building support. “Our partnership with Société Générale in Burkina Faso aims at strengthening the competitiveness of businesses, particularly small and mediumsized enterprises, including those owned and managed by women (through the AFAWA program) and those whose activities are
geared toward protecting the environment,” he added. On his part, Mr. Harold Coffi, Chief Executive Officer of Société Générale Burkina Faso, said: “The Société Générale Group, which has been present in Africa for 100 years, reaffirms its loyalty to the continent and its firm commitment to supporting the development of local economies. Thus, through the “Grow with Africa” initiative launched in 2018, Société Générale intends to actively contribute to the sustainable development of Africa around 4 priorities which are: to support the development of African SMEs, to participate in the financing of infrastructure, to finance agricultural sectors and the renewable energy sector and finally to promote financial inclusion by supporting female entrepreneurship in particular.” According to Mr. Coffi, as a privileged partner of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem,
Société Générale Burkina Faso embodies an ambition of financing the economy on a daily basis, adding that the partnership with the African Guarantee Fund will serve to increase the financing capacity of small and mediumsized enterprises and promote the country’s economic growth. He said: “Société Générale Burkina Faso is fully committed to this strategic axis of the Group, with the creation of the Maison de la PME in 2019 and the strengthening of its collaboration with various international actors involved in the development of SMEs. Among these players is the African Guarantee Fund (AGF West Africa S.A.), with whom Société Générale Burkina Faso is proud to sign this partnership agreement today in order to guarantee a portfolio of new loans to Burkinabe SMEs.”
| MARKET REVIEW
FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2022
WEEKLY MARKET REVIEW FOR WEEK ENDING - MAY 6, 2022 MACROECONOMIC INDICATORS Q3, 2021 GDP Growth
Average GDP Growth for 2021
2022 Projected GDP Growth
BoG Policy Rate
Weekly Interbank Interest Rate
Inflation for February, 2022
End Period Inflation Target – 2022
Budget Deficit (% GDP) – Dec, 2021
2022 Budget Deficit Target (%GDP)
Public Debt (billion GH¢) – Dec, 2021
Debt to GDP Ratio – Dec, 2021
STOCK MARKET REVIEW The Ghana Stock Exchange retreated for the week on the back of a decline in GCB Bank’s share price. The GSE Composite Index (GSE CI) lost 0.25 points (-0.01%) to close at 2,690.94 points, reflecting year-to-date (YTD) loss of 3.53%. The GSE Financial Stocks Index (GSE FI) also lost 0.46 points (-0.02%) to close at 2,209.24 points, reflecting year-to-date (YTD) gain of 2.67%. Market capitalization inched up marginally by 0.07% to close the week at GH¢63,859.57 million, from GH¢63,817.52 million at the close of the previous week. This reflects YTD decrease of 0.99%. Trading activity registered a total of 10,671,215 shares valued at GH¢10,716,327.61 changing hands, compared with 87,630,871 shares, valued at GH¢89,227,903.01 in the preceding week. MTN dominated both volume and value of trades for the week, accounting for 95.02% and 94.07% of volume and value of shares traded respectively . The market ended the week with no leader and 1 laggard as indicated on the table below.
THE CURRENCY MARKET The Cedi marginally depreciated against the USD for the week. It traded at GH¢7.1132/$, compared with GH¢7.1128/$ at week open, reflecting w/w and YTD depreciations of 0.01% and 15.56% respectively. This compares with YTD appreciation of 0.50% a year ago. The Cedi appreciated against the GBP for the third consecutive week. It traded at GH¢8.7859/£, compared with GH¢8.9333/£ at week open, reflecting w/w appreciation and YTD depreciation of 1.68% and 7.50% respectively. This compares with YTD depreciation of 1.80% a year ago. The Cedi retreated against the Euro for the week. It traded at GH¢7.5280/€, compared with GH¢7.4963/€ at week open, reflecting w/w and YTD depreciation of 0.42% and 9.30% respectively. This compares with YTD appreciation of 1.46% a year ago. The Cedi meanwhile appreciated against the Canadian Dollar for the week. It opened at GH¢5.5547/C$ but closed at GH¢5.5235/C$, reflecting w/w appreciation and YTD depreciation of 0.56% and 14.16% respectively. This compares with YTD depreciation of 3.97% a year ago.
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| MARKET REVIEW
BUSINESS TERM OF THE WEEK
COMMODITY MARKET Crude oil prices rose up again for the week. However, worries about an economic downturn that could impact fuel demand persisted. Brent futures traded at US$113.12 a barrel on Friday, compared to US$107.58 at week open. This reflects w/w and YTD gains of 5.15% and 45.44% respectively. Gold prices were up on Friday and for the week despite a rally in the U.S dollar and Treasury yields over the U.S. Federal Reserve’s hawkish stance. Gold settled at US$1,883.50, from US$1,863.60 last week, reflecting w/w and YTD appreciation of 1.07% and 3.00% respectively. Prices of Cocoa retreated for the week. The commodity traded at US$2,471.00 per tonne on Friday, from US$2,604.50 last week, reflecting w/w and YTD loss of 5.13% and 1.94% respectively.
GOVERNMENT SECURITIES MARKET Government raised a sum of GH¢2,130.58 million for the week across the 91-Day, 182-Day and 364-Day Treasury Bills, 2-Year Fixed Rate Note and 5-Year Fixed Rate Bond. This compared with GH¢453.36 million raised in the previous week. The 91-Day Bill settled at 17.88% p.a from 17.41% p.a. last week whilst the 182-Day Bill settled at 18.81% p.a from 18.53% p.a. last week. The 364-Day Treasury Bill settled at 20.65% p.a from 19.67% p.a last week. The 2-year FXR Note settled at 21.50% p.a whiles the 5-Year FXR Bond settled at 22.30%. The table and graph below highlight primary market yields at close of the week.
INTERNTIONAL COMMODITIES PRICES
Price Skimming: Price skimming is a product pricing strategy by which a firm charges the highest initial price that customers will pay and then lowers it over time. As the demand of the first customers is satisfied and competition enters the market, the firm lowers the price to attract another, more price-sensitive segment of the population. The skimming strategy gets its name from “skimming” successive layers of cream, or customer segments, as prices are lowered over time. Source: https://www.investopedia.com/ terms/p/priceskimming.asp
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NO. B24/317 | NEWS FOR BUSINESS LEADERS
FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2022
Former UK Minister for Africa says Ghana has made significant economic progress Former UK Minister for Africa, Mark Simons, has stated that Ghana is the type of African market with which the UK should engage. Ghana, he noted, had shown amazing resistance to the pandemic’s economic effects, with substantial economic improvements during the previous year. “Ghana has shown extraordinary resistance to the pandemic’s economic effects, posting robust economic increases throughout last year despite its relative weakness. Ghana is precisely the type of African market with which Britain should seek to collaborate. The UK could benefit from this increase in economic activity.” Meanwhile, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged African leaders to pool their
resources and synergies to develop a fresh approach to the continent’s infrastructure problems. Mr. Akufo-Addo pushed African leaders to seek an equal playing field in the global financing market during an Infrastructure Solution summit organized by the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) in Abuja, Nigeria, on Thursday, May 12. According to him, this will help Africa to achieve adequate infrastructure development. “It is critical that we increase the influence of institutions like the AFC and ADB.” ADB just underwent recapitalization in order to expand its capabilities. “The governments of the continent must support this effort, but we must also address structural impediments in the global capital market.”
Jumia shares first Environmental Social Governance report highlighting its current sustainability practices Jumia (NYSE: JMIA) released today its first Environmental Social Governance Report outlining its ESG strategy alongside an overview of current sustainability practices at Jumia. The report draws on Jumia’s 2021 non-financial data and provides disclosures in line with Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) materiality topics for e-commerce entities as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) . While recognising the importance of standard ESG focus areas, Jumia draws attention to the unique role that e-commerce plays in advancing more equal opportunities in Africa. As such the company has made its mission, “Leveraging technology to improve everyday lives in Africa,” the first pillar of its sustainability strategy. The report highlights five material themes in the context of its sustainability strategy: 1. Environment a—Minimizing Impact on Environment 2. Social a—Providing Convenience, Affordability and Accessibility for Consumers b—Empowering sellers, partners,
and communities c—Building an engaged inclusive and diverse workforce 3. Governance a—Operating with Strong Governance and Ethical Standards “We are proud that through our actions and our ecosystem we are contributing to social development, generating employment and business opportunities, and closing inequality gaps for thousands of people,’’ said Jumia Co-Founders and CEOs Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara. “It is exciting to note that we have endless opportunities to make choices which are good for our business and also good for our people, communities and the planet. As a growing entity on the path to profitability, this alignment between sustainability and our business objectives is a critical success factor,” said Jumia Chief Sustainability Officer and Chairwoman Nigeria Juliet Anammah. Jumia’s ESG Report follows the publication of the company’s yearend financial results highlighted by the fourth quarter of 2021 which marked meaningful acceleration and growth momentum with new records
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reached across all usage metrics. Quarterly active consumers, orders and GMV reached all-time highs of 3.8 million, 11.3 million and $330 million respectively, increasing by 29%, 40% and 20% year-over-year, respectively.
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