Business News of 2014-04-02

Revenue experts save Ghana US$20 million

Australian revenue experts assisted the Ghana Revenue Authority in saving a whopping US$20 million in the 2012/2013 fiscal year, Ms Joanna Adamson, Australian High Commissioner in Ghana, said on Monday.

The Australian technocrats with commanding revenue expertise in its governance, mobilization and management brought to bear on the Authority's efforts at ensuring compliance and improving generation, which resulted in securing the amount for the nation.

Ms Adamson made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at a reception to welcome four volunteers to Ghana to share their expertise with their Ghanaian counterparts in various sectors of the economy.

She said Australia and Ghana shared common interest in mining and agriculture and would continue to use its experts in volunteerism to support national economic development to improve quality of lives of the citizenry.

The Australian government’s development assistance in Ghana had focused on areas where there had been an expressed need and where Australia has expertise.

Australian expertise had focused on mining governance, agricultural productivity and public sector reform.

Ms Adamson said the activities had centred on providing technical support to the Ghana Revenue Authority’s Large Taxpayer Unit to assist in increasing efficiency of revenue collection in the minerals sector.

There had also been the training of extension officers to work with farmer based organisations in Ghana to improve agricultural productivity, she said.

In addition, Australia contributes to a number of global programs which benefit Ghana including the Global Partnership for Education Fund which works to provide universal primary education and the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Ghana also is active in the regional partnership with the West African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) which Australia supports.

One CORAF project of direct relevance to Ghana shows how more nutritious animal fodder can increase farm yields and livestock production.

On the commercial side, Ms Adamson said Australia’s trade ties with Ghana were underpinned by the mining sector, adding: “Australian resource and mining services companies continue to add significant value to the mining operations in Ghana despite a challenging year in 2013.”

Beyond mining, she said, Australia’s trade agency, Austrade, is looking to introduce other Australian expertise in Ghana particularly in the education and agribusiness sectors.