Business News Sat, 31 Dec 2016

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Highlights of major economic news for 2016

Ghana Revenue Authority holds forum on income tax law

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has held a stakeholders forum to help clarify some misconceptions about the new income tax law.

The forum created a platform for tax consultants, tax professionals, accountants, Ministry of Finance and others in the businesses community, to deliberate on the new law to enhance understanding.

"Government will restructure ECG" - President Mahama

President Mahama on Tuesday said government had initiated measures to restructure the Electricity Company of Ghana and to plug the loopholes that have over the years created financial loss to the company.

The restructuring of the company, the President cautioned, should not be misconstrued as privatization.

China-Ghana trade volume exceeds six billion dollars

Trade Volume between Ghana and China for 2015 hit six billion dollars, the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Ms Sun Baohong has said.

The Ambassador disclosed this during the inauguration of the Upper East branch of the Ghana –Chinese Friendship Association (GHACHIFA) in Bolgatanga.

Bayport Ghana lists GHC78.5 million notes on GAX

Bayport Financial Services Plc on Tuesday listed two tranches of its medium-term notes worth GHC 78.5 million, the largest Ghana cedi denominated bonds, on the Ghana Alternative Market (GAX).

The notes are part of a 200-million note programme to help the company reduce debt and boost working capital.

Ghana’s growth to rebound in 2016 - IMF

Mr Joël Touhas-Bernaté, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission Chief for Ghana, says Ghana’s growth is expected to rebound in 2016, after the slowdown of about four per cent in the last three quarters.

He said the projected growth is expected to be pushed by reforms in the energy sector as well as the coming on stream of new oil production in the second half of 2016.

EDAIF launches GHS 50 Million equity Fund

The Board of the Export Trade, Agricultural and Industrial Development Fund (EDAIF) has approved GHS50 million to set up the EDAIF Equity Fund.

The Fund would target investments into Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) engaged in agro-processing, export trade and industrial development in line with their mandate.

GRA targets GH¢27.59 billion revenue for 2016

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) projects to collect GH¢27.59 billion this year (2016), Mr George Blankson, Commissioner General of the Authority, has said.

The Authority exceeded its 2015 target of 21.57 billion Ghana cedis by 620 million Ghana cedis at 22.17 billion Ghana cedis, a 29.3 percent increase over that of 2014.

ECOWAS signs MOU with China’s CGCOC

The ECOWAS Commission has signed five Memorandum of Understanding (MOU’s) relating to various development projects across the West African region with a Chinese conglomerate.

A statement issued by the ECOWAS Commission and made available to the Ghana News Agency said the signing ceremony between the ECOWAS Commission and the CGC Overseas Construction Group (CGCOC) was conducted in Abuja, on Wednesday, January, 20th.

BusyInternet now 'Busy' with service upgrade

BusyInternet, a major internet service provider, has launched a cutting edge 4G data service in Accra and Tema, along with its new brand name “Busy”, and a fresh colour brand identity.

“We have made sure that our innovative 4G service is fast, affordable, reliable and flexible, because that is what customers told us was most important,” Mr Praveen Sadalage , the Chief Executive Officer of Busy,” said at the media launch, in Accra.

SIC Life Savings and Loans Company launched in Accra

Mrs Mona Quartey, Deputy Minister of Finance, has said the non-bank financial sector play a critical role in building a strong and viable financial sector for the development of the national economy.

She said they remain a key source for the mobilization of the much needed short and long term funds for national development, by financing productive activities in the economy, adding that they also contribute immensely to addressing the unemployment problem and poverty reduction generally.

Group petitions Judicial Council over DKM brouhaha

An NGO has appealed to the Attorney General (AG) and the Judicial Council to restrain the courts from granting reliefs to individual customers to impound embattled DKM Diamond Micro Finance Company's assets to defray their investments.

The Coalition of Youth for Positive National Development (CYPOND), a non-partisan youth group, believes that singular act by the court is detrimental to the general interest of the company’s affected clients, as it has further aggravated their fear of losing their investments.

Government on track with IMF programme - Zhu

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Ghana is on track with its programme with the Fund aimed at stabilizing the economy.

Speaking at a press conference, Mr Min Zhu, the Deputy Managing Director of the IMF, said there was strong commitment from government to ensure the programme’s targets were achieved.

GNPC and Quantum Power sign agreement

The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and Quantum Power, have signed Heads of Terms for the construction and operation of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage, regasification and delivery facilities at Tema, (“Tema LNG Project”).

A statement issued by GNPC and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Tuesday, said the Tema LNG Project would have the scalable ultimate capacity to receive, store, regasify and deliver, at steady state, of about 3.40 million tons of LNG per year, equivalent of 500 million standard cubic feet of gas per day, utilizing a state-of-the-art dedicated floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) moored off-shore Tema.

Ghana hosts Bordeaux business delegation

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) in collaboration with the Ghana Embassy in France and the French Embassy on Tuesday hosted a forum for the 30-man business delegation from the French city of Bordeaux.

The delegation which comprises of representatives from the private as well as municipal and academic sectors is on a week-long visit to explore business opportunities.

AngloGold Ashanti withdraws employees

AngloGold Ashanti Ghana Limited has withdrawn all employees performing non-essential functions from its Obuasi Gold Mine, following the incursion of hundreds of illegal miners inside the fenced operational areas of the site since 5 February.

A statement from the company and copied to the Ghana News Agency said employees remaining on site are performing critical tasks including underground pumping and ventilation, water treatment, provision of medical services and maintenance of electrical facilities that provide power and water to employee homes and surrounding communities.

Metropolitan Insurance now Hollard Insurance Ghana

The Metropolitan Insurance Company (MET) has re-branded to Hollard Insurance Ghana Limited following its acquisition by the South African Insurer.

“Today, just as a young lady might get married and voluntarily take on the name of her chosen life partner, we at MET have decided to take on a new name. We are now Hollard,” Mrs Lynda Odru, Chief Executive Officer, Hollard Insurance Ghana Limited, said at a ceremony to outdoor the new name.

Ghana Chamber of Mines calls for Military return to AngloGold

The Ghana Chamber of Mines has called on government to crack the whip on illegal mining and make it an unattractive venture for all who engage in it.

In a statement, the Chamber also urged government to immediately return the Military to AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi to protect life and property on the mine in order to restore investor confidence and attract the necessary investment into the mining sector.

Ecobank Ghana MD gets regional appointment

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), parent company of the Ecobank Group, has announced the appointment of Mr. Samuel Ashitey Adjei as the Managing Director for the Group’s recently combined region.

The combined region comprises Central, Eastern, and Southern African (CESA) countries, consisting of 18 subsidiaries.

FAO Food Price Index drops to seven-year low

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Food Price Index fell in January, slipping 1.9 per cent below its level in the last month of 2015, as prices of all the commodities it tracks fell, sugar in particular.

The Food Price Index averaged 150.4 points in January, down 16 per cent from a year earlier registering its lowest level since April 2009.

ADB appoints Daniel Asiedu as new MD

Mr Daniel Asiedu has been appointed the new Managing Director of the Agricultural Development Bank Limited (ADB).

A press statement signed by Nana Soglo Alloh IV, the Board Chairman of the bank, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said his appointment would take affect from March 1, 2016.

Ghana unveils Fair Trade label

The first international label that guarantees fair trade to organisations operating in any part of the supply chain- producers to retailers, has been unveiled to provide credibility, identity and expanded market access to business organisations.

With this unique fair trade label, consumers would be able to identify products in the international marketplace that meet high economic, social and environmental sustainability criteria.

FPSO Professor Atta Mills arrives in Ghana

The FPSO Professor John Evans Atta Mills, a Floating Production Storage Offloading vessel, which will produce and store oil from Ghana’s Tweneboa-Ntomme-Enyenra (TEN) offshore oil fields, arrived in Ghanaian waters on Wednesday March 2, 2016.

The vessel, which was constructed in Singapore and named by Her Excellency the First Lady, Dr. Nana Lordina Mahama, in September 2015, is expected to start producing oil from the TEN fields by July/August 2016.

Ghana exhibits at ITB fair in Berlin

Ghana’s Tourism Ministry is participating in the on-going 50th International Tourism Exchange (ITB) Fair in Berlin, Germany.

This comes after two impressive showings at the just ended Vakantiebeurs Tourism Fair and the FITUR International FAIR in Netherlands and Spain respectively where participants thronged the Ghana Stand to familiarise themselves with the country’s tourism resources and had a special session during the Ghana Day Celebration.

Government launches Green Label farmer’s Manual

Government has launched the Ghana Green Label farmer’s Manual, a training tool, to inform farmers on how to be green label certified.

It is a training tool for farmers and other actors in the value chain, whose work enhance or maintain the quality of the certified products.

Ministry issues directive for cashew nut exportation

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has issued an administrative directive for the exportation of Raw Cashew Nuts (RCN).

A statement signed by Dr Ekwow Spio Garbrah, sector Minister, and copied to the Ghana News Agency said, the Ministry, with oversight responsibilities for trade regulations and controls under the Import and Export Law (Act 503 Section 13) of 1995 as amended in 2000, issues the following Administrative Directive on the purchased export of RCN.

Kosmos Energy launches corporate social investment programme

Kosmos Energy Ghana has launched a new corporate social investment programme to help boost agriculture and enhance the interest of the youth in the agribusiness sector.

Dubbed Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC), the programme would use innovation and apply commercial solutions to Ghana’s existing social and economic challenges by using a market based approach that facilitates private sector enterprise and entrepreneurship.

Parliament amends Public Procurement Law

The Public Procurement Authority on Tuesday announced the amendment of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) by Parliament on Friday, March 18, 2016.

A statement in Accra signed by Mr Samuel Sallas-Mensah, the Chief Executive and copied to the Ghana News Agency, noted that Procurement Entities, Procurement Officers/Practitioners, Civil Society Organizations, Service Providers and the general public that Parliament passed the Public Procurement (Amendment) Bill on Friday March , 18, 2016 thus amended the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663).

Ghana and EU review timber trade agreement

The Government of Ghana and the European Union (EU) have met to review progress towards the implementation of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA).

The VPA is aimed at ensuring the legal means of selling timber products exported to the EU and at the domestic market.

Jubilee Partners launch livelihood diversification project

The Jubilee Oil Field Partners have introduced the Livelihood Diversification and Support Project (LDSP) to improve and enhance the economic lifestyle of fishermen in the six coastal districts of the Western Region.

The six coastal districts have fishing as their main economic stay but with the advent of the oil find coupled with bad fishing practices, the sea stock is predicted to be declining and thus the need for other alternative sources of income.

Oracle opens regional operations office in Ghana

Oracle, a US technology company, has opened its new office at the Ghana’s Airport City, a move aimed expanding the company’s cloud portfolio countrywide and providing sales and consulting services to the sub-region.

Company officials said their primary objective for putting up the regional facility was to train Ghanaian staff in technology innovation to empower them to apply Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as the main driver of Ghana’s economic transformation.

First National Bank officially launches in Ghana

First National Bank (FNB) Ghana, a subsidiary of the Firstrand Group, officially launched its operations on Thursday with a pledge to introduce innovative products and services to customers as well as contribute to Ghana’s socio-economic development.

First National Bank, which is the leading bank in South Africa, operates in countries across the continent, including Tanzania, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Lesotho, and Swaziland.

Dr. Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku is new Central Bank Governor

President John Dramani Mahama has appointed Dr. Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku as Governor of the Central Bank, a statement from Flagstaff House Communications Bureau has announced.

He replaces Dr. Kofi Wampah who has proceeded on leave prior to retirement.

Ghana issues first onshore oil exploration license

Swiss African Oil Company, a subsidiary of Swiss African Petroleum AG, and PET Volta Investments, have been awarded a new exploration and production license at the Keta Delta block, in the Volta Region.

“The acquisition makes Swiss African Oil and PET Volta the first to explore for oil onshore Ghana,” the companies said in a joint statement to the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday.

Puma Energy begins operations in Ghana’s oil storage market

Puma Energy, a global mid and downstream petroleum company, has officially been launched to operate in Ghana’s fuel storage market.

The company partnered with Blue Ocean Investments for the storage business and UBI Petroleum, which was renamed - Puma Energy Distribution Ghana - on the retail side, to deliver quality and affordable fuel.

President Mahama and Ethiopian Prime Minister visit factory

President John Dramani Mahama and the visiting Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Haile Mariam Desalegn, on Friday toured the Cocoa Touton Processing Company factory at the Tema free zone enclave.

The visit was part of activities aimed at highlighting Ghana's steady growth and development in the manufacturing sector of the economy.

LEAP beneficiaries enrolled on Interbank Payment System

A total of 146,074 beneficiary households in the 185 districts under the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme have been enrolled onto the Ghana Inter-bank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) electronic-payment platform.

The enrollment onto the GhIPSS electronic-payment (e-payment) platform involved the capturing of biometric data of beneficiaries to facilitate the cash grant transfer electronically.

Minister says damage to FSPO turret serious

The Minister of Petroleum, Mr. Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah says the damage to the turret on the Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) Kwame Nkrumah vessel is very serious.

He has, therefore, urged those working for its restoration to work diligently and quickly without compromising safety standards to ensure the resumption of oil production and gas evacuation to ensure adequate power supply to the nation.

President Mahama inaugurates power plant

President John Dramani Mahama has inaugurated the first unit of the second phase of the Sunon Asogli Power Plant Project that would add 180 megawatts of gas-fired power to Ghana’s power generation mix.

The second phase of the project would generate a total of 360 megawatts when the second unit is brought on stream and boost the power generation capacity of the country.

President Appoints Deputy Governor

President John Dramani Mahama, in consultation with the Council of State, has appointed Dr Johnson P. Asiama as Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana.

The appointment takes effect from April 5, a statement by the Ministry of Communications signed by Dr Edward Omane Boamah, the sector Minister said.

MTN Ghana crosses 50 per cent market share

Mr Ebenezer Twum Asante, Chief Executive Officer, MTN Ghana, says the company now holds more than 50 per cent market share due to the massive investment, introduction of new services and network expansion.

He said in 2016, the company would make a total investment of $ 96 million to enhance its operations.

IMF Team studies Ghana National Single Window System

A team from the International Monetary Fund (?IMF) has paid a visit to the Customs Technical Services Bureau to learn more about the Ghana National Single Window since the introduction of the Pre-Arrival Assessment Reporting System (PAARS).

The PAARS system is an integrated and shared risk platform that would help overcome the inefficiencies in the current regime, including duplications, as a result of non-integrated systems, lack of real time notifications to declarants and manual document processing of import transactions.

Chamber of Mines names Addo-Kufuor as President

Mr Kwame Addo-Kufuor has assumed the Presidency of the Ghana Chamber of Mines.

Mr Addo-Kufuor, currently the Regional Chief Financial Officer of Newmont Africa, takes over from Mr Johan Ferreira who resigned as President of the Chamber prior to his return to South Africa.

Ecobank Ghana records one billion cedis revenue

Ecobank Ghana recorded revenue in excess of one billion Ghana cedis in 2015, becoming the first bank in Ghana to have achieved that revenue growth in one year.

In a statement read on behalf of the Board Chairman, former Managing Director of Ecobank Ghana Mr Samuel Ashitey Adjei said despite the challenging business environment the bank achieved a 19 per cent growth in revenue over the 858 million chalked in 2014.

IMF gives Ghana thumps up on programme implementation

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it is satisfied with the implementation of the programme to restore macro-economic stability but urged continued fiscal consolidation to deal with the high public debt.

“Implementation of the program so far remains broadly satisfactory. Most of end-December 2015 performance criteria were met, with the exception of small deviations in the wage bill and net domestic assets of Bank of Ghana (BOG),” Mr Joël Toujas-Bernaté, Leader of the IMF Team, told a press conference at the end of a two-week review visit to the country on Wednesday.

Ghana’s coal plant project to commence in 2017

The Volta River Authority (VRA), says the 1.5 billion dollars coal power plant scheduled to be built would commerce in April 2017.

The coal plant would be cited at Ekumfi Aboano in the Ekumfi District of the Central Region.

Total invests GH¢160 million for customer satisfaction

Total Petroleum Ghana Limited, as part of its three year investment programme (2014-2016), would invest over GH?160 million into products and services to ensure consumer satisfaction.

Mr Oliver Van-Parys, the Managing Director of Total Petroleum Ghana Limited, said the company’s investments in 2015 reached a level of GHC 51.1 million.

Trinidad and Tobago PM inaugurates refurbished HFC Branch

The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Keith Christopher Rowley has inaugurated the refurbished Ridge Branch of HFC Bank.

The branch is one of the branches that was earmarked in the bank’s drive to upgrade existing premises all in an effort to provide its valued customers with excellent customer service in a conducive atmosphere.

PURC orders ECG to suspend new billing software

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has ordered the Electricity Company of Ghana to suspend the implementation of their new billing Software until further notice.

A statement signed by Nana Yaa Akyempim Jantuah, the Director of Public Relations & External Affairs, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the action by the Commission had been necessitated by the complaints it had received from consumers of Electricity regarding the issues of overbilling.

ACH Direct Credit hits 5.7 billion cedis

Payments made through Automated Clearing House (ACH) Direct Credit, continue to experience growth in patronage with about GH? 5.7 billion worth of transactions made from January and April this year.

According to figures from the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), out of this amount, more than GHC900 million were through the express option.

Government launches $113 million GASIP

Government has launched the Ghana Agricultural Sector Investment Programme (GASIP), to contribute to sustainable poverty reduction in rural areas and ensuring that agribusinesses increase their profitability and resilience to climate change.

GASIP, a six-year programme, being implemented by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), is co-financed by the government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development to the tune of 113 million dollars, and co-financing, is being sought from other development partners in the agricultural sector.

Komenda Sugar Factory inaugurated

President John Dramani Mahama has announced that the Ministry of and Trade and Industry would institute a national sugar policy to enhance the production and export of sugar.

The President announced this when he inaugurated the revamped Komenda Sugar Factory on Monday at Komenda in the Komenda- Edina Eguafo –Abrem of the Central Region.

EDAIF Act repealed as Exim Bank comes into force

The Export Trade, Agricultural and Industrial Development Fund Act 2013 (Act 872) (EDAIF) has been repealed following the coming into force of the Ghana Export-Import Bank Act, 2016 (Act 911) (EXIM). A statement signed by Dr Barfour Osei on behalf of the Minister of Finance informed the general public that despite the repeal of the EDAIF Act, the EXIM Act had made provision for any orders, directions, appointments or any other acts which were lawfully made or done by the EDAIF Board.

Mantrac Ghana invests in $40M Cat Engine Centre

Mantrac Ghana Limited says it is investing $40 million to build a Cat Engine Centre to support Ghana and other countries in the West Africa sub-region.

The Managing Director of Mantrac Ghana Mr Emad Adeeb said the investment would help to position the company as a major player in the mining and the oil and gas sectors.

MODEC builds welder training centre in Accra

MODEC and Tullow Ghana Limited have partnered the Regional Maritime University (RMU) to build a state-of-the-art Welder Training Centre on its campus in Accra.

The $1.6 million training centre would be accredited by the American Welding Society (AWS) and its training programmes would be in modules which would accommodate 20 students at a time.

Mineral revenue falls to 3.39 billion in 2015

The Ghana Chamber of Mines says mineral revenue of producing members fell nearly 14 per cent to $ 3.39 billion in 2015 down from $3.94 billion the previous year.

The drop in the mineral revenue is due to reduce production and the lower gold price as well as decline in shipments of manganese.

Minerals Commission and UMaT sign MOU

The Minerals Commission and the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to help the institute to operate a mine to enhance teaching and learning.

The establishment of the mine would enable the students of the university to put into practice the knowledge acquired in the classroom so as to equip them for the industry.

Ghana Digital Financial Services programme launched

Mr Millison Narh, the First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, has called for awareness creation among Bank Executives on mobile money transfer to move the policy forward.

He said some Bank Executives are not cooperating because of lack of education and awareness.

GEPA and PROMEXICO sign trade and investment promotion deal

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and PROMEXICO, the Trade and Investment Agency of Mexico, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to actively promote business, investment, and trade to the mutual benefit of both countries.

The MOU commits the two institutions to share knowledge and expertise relating to the trade and economic integration, utilise resources and leverage existing resources, collaborate and expand market share.

Transport Minister inaugurates $ 1.6 million Welder Training Centre

A $1.6 million state-of-the-art Welder Training Centre, has been inaugurated at the Regional Maritime University (RMU) to help increase the pool of skilled labour for the oil and gas industry.

The Centre built by MODEC and Tullow Ghana Limited in partnership with the RMU would be accredited by the American Welding Society (AWS) and its training programmes would be in modules, which would accommodate 20 students at a time.

Ghana launches maiden census report

The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) , on Tuesday launched the maiden economic census report, which constitutes the first comprehensive study to collect, compile and analyse data on the level and structure of economic activity.

The report, dubbed: “Integrated Business Establishment Survey Phase I” (IBESI) covers all sectors of the economy, which is unlike three previous industrial censuses conducted 1962, 1987 and 2003, which focused only on the industrial sector.

IFC and Ghana Stock Exchange establish partnership

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) has announced a partnership to promote the adoption of sound business practices within the capital market to support business expansion and boost economic growth.

The partnership is one of the many interventions under the Africa Corporate Governance Programme intended to improve business performance, a statement in Accra said on Friday.

NTHC launches 40th anniversary celebrations

The National Trust Holding Company (NTHC), has launched its 40th anniversary celebrations, to mark the significant contribution it has made to the development of the financial services industry and the capital markets in Ghana

The launch also coincided with the inauguration of the new head office complex.

Ghana and France sign 37.5 million Euros agreement

Ghana and France have signed a 37.5 million Euros concessional loan agreement, for the upgrading of major road and drainage infrastructure in Kumasi.

The loan has a grant element of 39.67 per cent.

Ghana and China hold economic co-operation forum

Madam Sun Baohong, the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, has urged the two countries to intensify agricultural co-operation as China is willing to commit resources to agricultural activities to improve the production capacity of Ghana.

She said China would help Ghana in crop cultivation, animal husbandry, pest control and grain storage and processing to help boost agriculture within the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) zone.

Minerals Commission develops guidelines for gold export

The Mineral Commission has prescribed procedures to govern the exportation of gold by Licensed Gold Exporters (LGE) other than the holders of mining leases.

A statement issued in Accra by the Commission said these measures shall be in force until substituted by other procedures that may subsequently be prescribed.

Newmont and Forestry Commission sign MoU

Newmont Golden Ridge Limited (NGRL) and the Forestry Commission, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to commence the implementation of the second phase of the Newmont Reforestation Offset Programme.

The restoration programme forms part of the mitigation measures Newmont Ghana is undertaking in line with the approved Environmental Impact Statement for acquiring and mining 101 hectares outs of the 568.56 hectares of Ajenjua Bepo Forest Reserve.

Olam supports Ghanaian Farmers with $22 million

Ghanaian farmers benefitted from $ 22 million interest-free short-term financing under the Olam Livelihood Charter (OLC), according to 2015 results announced by global agri-business giant, Olam International.

The Olam Livelihood Charter, Olam International’s flagship smallholder sustainability initiative, caters for a total of 31,722 Ghanaian farmers in the cashew and cocoa sectors, cultivating a total of 73,968 hectors of land. Some 57 per cent of these farmers are women.

Minerals Commission launches online Cadastre repository

The Minerals Commission, has launched the Minerals Cadastre Administration System (MCAS) online repository, to enhance access to information and to ensure natural resources transparency.

The repository, which is a web-based portal, would publish data directly from MCAS mining licence management system for review by stakeholders, including ministries, departments and agencies, investors and mining companies, customs agencies and civil society groups.

Expansion work on $17m Sekondi Fishing Harbour begins

Expansion work on the Albert Bosomtwi-Sam Fishing Harbour at Sekondi in the Western Region has begun with a Japanese grant of 17 million US dollars.

The second phase of the expansion project which is being carried out by the “ECOH CORPORATION”, a Japanese Consulting Engineers, is expected to be complete in December 2017.

Maiden National Trade Facilitation Awards 2016 held

The maiden edition of the National Trade Facilitation Awards 2016, have been held to award deserving freight forwarders and agencies, which had rendered first class services during the review period.

The Awards held on the theme: “Enhancing efficient and effective trade practices to promote growth,” was jointly organised by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet) to recognise the contribution of players in the sector.

Kweku Bedu-Addo appointed Chairman of GSE

Mr Kweku Bedu-Addo has been appointed Chairman of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) and takes over from Dr Sam Mensah, whose term ended at the GSE’s Annual General Meeting held on July 14, 2016.

Mr Kweku Bedu-Addo is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank, Ghana & West Africa Cluster 2, a position he’s held since August 2010.

Iranian trade delegation explores business opportunities

A 70-member Iranian delegation of Trade Promotion Organisation is in the country to explore business opportunities and form partnership with Ghanaian businesses.

The delegation, which arrived in the country on Tuesday, is led by the Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Mohammad Javad.

President Mahama inspects/inaugurates projects at KIA

President John Dramani Mahama on Monday said the National Petroleum Authority would soon reduce the prices of aviation fuel by 20 per cent to encourage more international airlines to purchase their fuel from Ghana.

He said the agreement was as a result of complaints from most of the international airlines that Ghana's aviation fuel prices were higher than most of her competitors.

GRIDCo Balance Scorecard and Code of Ethics launched

Ghana GRID Company Limited (GRIDCo) has launched its Performance Management System (Balanced Scorecard) and Code of Ethics and Conduct with a call on staff to continue to strive for excellence and professionalism.

Alhaji Huudu Yahaya, the Board Chairman of GRIDCo, who made the call, said since the Board assumed office nearly two years ago, it was left with no doubt that the growth of the company was tied to the national development agenda of the country.

Dan Sackey named new Ecobank Ghana Managing Director

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) has announced the appointment of Mr Dan Sackey as Managing Director of its Ghanaian subsidiary, Ecobank Ghana, and Regional Executive for Anglophone West Africa, subject to regulatory approvals.

He replaces former Ecobank Ghana Managing Director Samuel Adjei, who was appointed Managing Director of Ecobank Kenya and Group Executive, Central, Eastern and Southern Africa earlier this year.

GNPC appoints two deputy CEOs

The Board of Directors of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has appointed two Deputy Chief Executives for Exploration and Production and Commercial and Corporate Services.

A statement, issued by GNPC and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the appointments were part of the continuous roll-out of GNPC’s evolving organizational structure in line with corporate strategy and future direction.

President Mahama witnesses Tamale Airport's first international flight

President John Mahama on Friday inaugurated the first phase of the upgrade and expansion of the Tamale Airport and the first direct commercial flight from the Airport to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The boeing 747 400-series, which took off at 15:40 GMT, carried 498 passengers to Mecca to participate in this year’s Hajj activities.

Newmont, GOIL tops in 15th edition of Club 100 awards

Newmont Golden Ridge Limited emerged the best company in the fifteenth edition of the Ghana Club 100 awards organized by the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC).

Ghana Oil Company Limited was the second in the rankings followed by Golden Star Resources, Total Petroleum Ghana and Ecobank Ghana.

Work begins on $1.2 billion Accra Eco Park

The construction of the $1.2 billion Accra Eco park is underway, following a sod cutting ceremony to signal the beginning of the project.

The ecotourism project, to be done in phases, is being undertaken by the Forestry Commission and its private partner, Aikan Capital Limited and is scheduled for completion between the next five and seven years.

Deputy Minister inaugurates financial inclusion technical committee

The Deputy Minister of Finance Mrs Mona Quartey has inaugurated a technical committee to oversee the development of a financial inclusion strategy for the country.

The Committee comprises the representatives of the Ministry of Finance, Bank of Ghana, National Insurance Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission.

SG Ghana signs $50 million agreement with government

Societe Generale has signed a $50 million Credit Facility Agreement with Ghana to finance the rehabilitation of the Government missions abroad.

A statement issued by Societe Generale Ghana and copied to the Ghana News Agency said the bank was happy to support the rehabilitation of Ghana’s missions abroad with the $50 million financing.

Mobile money value tops GH? 679.2million in June

Total mobile money float balance at end of June 2016 stood at GH? 679.2million compared to GH? 341.3 million in 2015, according to Bank of Ghana data.

During the same period total number of registered mobile money agents increased to 108,531 compared with about 38,400 in June 2015.

Ghana Shippers Authority gets ultra-modern office

The Ghana Shippers Authority has inaugurated its state-of-the art office building in Accra, known as the Ghana Shippers House, to serve customers in an effective and efficient manner.

The 16.5 million dollar 12-storey edifice has Knowledge and Information Centre and a repository of requisite materials in shipping and logistics to facilitate trade and transport and improve on the country’s economic growth prospects.

Mining cadastre administration system goes live

The Minerals Commission has officially launched its online repository for public access, according to a statement from the Commission.

The online repository is a web based portal where all data recorded in the Mining Cadastre pertaining to minerals rights and related revenues are published.

Non-Traditional Exports earnings up to $2.522 billion in 2015

Export of Non-Traditional products (NTEs) from January to December 2015 amounted to $2.522 billion, representing a slight increase of 0.32 per cent over the $2.514 billion recorded in 2014.

Mr James Tiigah, the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Exports Promotion Authority (GEPA), told participants at the launch of the 2015 NTEs Performance Results that the marginal increase was mainly due to the increase in agricultural products export, particularly cashew products.

Meridian Port Services secures funding for Tema Port expansion

Meridian Port Services (MPS) has secured the required financing to execute the Tema Port Expansion Project, enabling the development of an ultra-modern port facility at Ghana’s primary commercial hub.

The project, valued at USD 1.5 billion, in addition to serving Ghana, will also expand trade flows and links across West Africa.

IFC arranges $ 667 million to expand Ghana’s seaport

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has signed a $667 million financing package to increase the container capacity of Ghana’s main seaport.

It is a deal that is expected to trigger increased trade flows and improved transport links across West Africa.

Ghana abolishes Terminal Handling Charges

Shippers, both importers and exporters, have hailed the abolishment of the Terminal Handling Charge (THC), which some shipping lines operating to and from the seaports of Ghana sought to introduce locally.

A statement signed by Mr Seth Twum-Akwaboah, the Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Ghana Industries, (AGI) on behalf of nine bodies, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, informed the business community that the THC as proposed by the Shipping Lines had been totally abolished in Ghana with immediate effect.

Six government programmes use e-zwich for transparency

Some six government social interventions and programmes have since June adopted e-zwich as the mode of paying beneficiaries.

Consequently, a total more than GHC218 million were paid through e-zwich for these six programmes to more than 564,000 individuals between January and June this year, according to a half year report on the activities of Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS).

COCOBOD secures $1.8 billion for cocoa purchases

The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has secured a $1.8 billion syndicated loan from a consortium of banks to enable it purchase cocoa beans for the 2016/2017 crop season, which begins in October.

The loan is equal to the same amount secured last year and it would be used to purchase between 850,000 and 900,000 tonnes of beans.

GIA inducts its first female president

The Ghana Insurers Association (GIA) has inducted into office, Mrs Aretha Abena Abrafi Duku, as the first female President of the Association.

By the investiture, Ms Duku, whose father, Nana Agyei Duku, was the first President of GIA, becomes the 10th President of the Association.

Ghana secures $500 million World Bank partial guarantee

Ghana has signed an agreement for a $500-million partial guarantee from the World Bank for its Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP)- Sankofa gas project.

The IDA payment guarantee covers the risks of non-payment should the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) fails to meet its payment obligation under the gas sales agreement covering the Sankofa field.

New cocoa season begins on September 30

Mr Noah K. Amenyah, Public Affairs Manager of the Ghana Cocoa Board, has said the 2016/2017 main cocoa crop season would begin on Friday, September 30.

He said the official announcement of the producer price and Government’s package for the 2016/2017 crop season” would be made in due course.

Kosmos Energy invests US$100,000 in young entrepreneurs

TroTro Tractor Limited and Ghalani are the winners the Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC) AgriTech Challenge, a formal competition open to young entrepreneurs to use innovation to develop commercial solutions to address the challenges in the agricultural sector.

After nurturing their ideas through research and collaboration, and pitching them to a panel of expert judges, the winners of the competition would receive US$50,000 in seed funding and technical assistance from the KIC.

Trade Ministry launches Made-in-Ghana Policy

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has launched a Policy to guide the promotion of local goods and services with a commitment to pursue the enactment of legislation to back its implementation.

The policy is to encourage institutions, especially public ones to procure locally made products and services.

GIPC records 400 per cent increase in 2016 transfers

The second quarter of 2016 has been a good time for foreign direct investments (FDI) in Ghana in comparison to the same time last year (Q2 of 2015).

There have been percentage increases in all parameters used to measure FDI inflows.

Commission gives illegal miners ultimatum to quit Obuasi Mines

The Minerals Commission has given informal miners occupying AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) Obuasi concession up to Monday October 10, to move off the mines operation area.

"Come Monday they must move. There is not going to be any more negotiations," Dr Tony Aubynn, Chief Executive of the Commission told a press conference.

GOIL MD emerges CIMG Marketing Man of the year

Mr Patrick Akpe Kwame Akorli, Managing Director of GOIL, has emerged the Marketing Man of the year, 2015 at the 27th Edition of the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG) National Performance Awards in Accra.

Ms Maidie Elizabeth Arkutu, the Managing Director, Unilever was adjudged the Marketing Woman of the year, 2015.

Bank of Ghana launches risk-sharing scheme to boost agricultural lending

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) with its stakeholders has launched a value chain financing model to help address challenges to agricultural credit.

Dubbed: ‘The Ghana Incentive Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (GIRSAL)’, it aims to reduce the overall risks in agricultural financing to boost production, productivity and export.

FAO signs deal on Voluntary Partnership Agreement Implementation

Five organisations have signed letters of Agreement with the Food and Agriculture organisation’s(FAO) Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) programme, aimed at supporting private sector in the implementation of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA).

The beneficiary organisations of the grant are the Nature and Development Foundation, Kumasi Wood Cluster Association, Ghana Timber Millers Organisation, Timber Development Division and the Resource Management Support Centre.

Parliament approves first quarter government expenditure in 2017

Parliament on Thursday, authorised the withdrawal of GH? 10,999, 108, 191.00 from the Consolidated Fund, to meet the first quarter services and expenditure of government in 2017 in advance of the substantive budget for next year.

The amount would cater for estimates of the first quarter expenditure on essentials and others.

US Customs and Ghana Revenue Authority sign MoU

The United States Customs and Border Protection and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which would see the two institutions exchange customs expertise.

The MoU was signed by the visiting Commissioner of the US Customs and Border Protection, Mr Gil Kerlikowske on behalf of the United States and Mr John Vianney Kuudamnuru, Commissioner of the Customs Division of the GRA for Ghana.

Ghana Statistical Service to conduct living standards survey

The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) is undertaking the Seventh Round of the Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS-7), beginning October.

The Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS) is a nationally representative household survey which provides reliable, disaggregated and internationally comparable welfare and living conditions statistics in Ghana.

Chinese Embassy supports Ghana Export Promotion Authority

The Chinese Embassy has provided logistic support to the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) to enhance its performance and ensure efficient delivery of services.

The equipment includes computers and accessories, air conditioners as well as a photocopier.

ACEP launches platform to monitor energy sector manifesto

The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has launched a platform to enable citizens to access the manifesto of political parties, analyse it and make informed decisions on the energy sector.

The platform dubbed: “Citizens’ Energy Manifesto Monitor,” serves as an accountability mechanism to monitor the manifesto of elected government.

Ouagadougou International Arts and handicrafts Fair focuses on Ghana

Ghana is the focus of world attention as the 14th edition of the International Arts and Handicrafts Fair opened in the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou.

Ghana is the guest country for the exhibition this year, which is running from October 28 to November 6.

Ghana Airports Company appoints Deputy Managing Directors

The Ghana Airports Company Limited has appointed two Deputy Managing Directors in the names of Mr Charles Hanson Adu, Operations & Technical and Dr John Okwesie Arthur, Finance & General Services.

A statement in Accra by the Management of the company and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Monday said the appointments made by the Board of Directors takes effect from November 1.

French Prime Minister tours Cocoa Touton Processing Company

The Prime Minister of France, Manuel Valls, has toured the factory of Cocoa Touton Processing Company (CTPC) at the Tema Free Zone Enclave.

A statement from Touton said the tour of the factory was part of a visit to Ghana and the sub-region to enhance bilateral relationships in West Africa.

Sustainable Shea Initiative launched

The Global Shea Alliance (GSA), in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has launched a 13 million dollar Shea Sustainability Initiative to promote and sustain initiatives for Shea in seven West African countries.

The initiative will focus on women’s empowerment such as constructing warehouses for women shea collectors, business development services, parkland management and conservation pilot projects as part of efforts expand shea markets worldwide and improve sustainable production.

President Mahama inaugurates Gold Coast Refinery

President John Dramani Mahama on Friday said government was putting in place measures that would make Ghana a jewellery hub in Africa.

He said: "We have all that it takes - the raw gold and other minerals - and now that a refinery has been established, it would facilitate the setting up of a jewellery village in Tepa in the Ahafo-Ano District of the Ashanti Region."

We’ll take tough and bold decisions to stabilize economy - President Mahama

President John Dramani Mahama has said government would continue to take tough and bold decisions to help stabilize the economy and to create a better environment for businesses to thrive.

Addressing the quarterly Ghana Investment Promotion Centre breakfast meeting of Chief Executive Officers of various companies, President Mahama said a strong and resilient economy was key to the success of businesses.

Ghana and AfDB sign $ 83 million loan agreement

Ghana and the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) on Wednesday signed a loan agreement of $ 83 million for the Accra Urban Transport Project also known as the Pokuase Interchange Project.

The project is estimated to cost $ 94 million and government will contribute a counterpart funding of $ 11 million.

President Mahama launches Tema Port Expansion Project

President John Dramani Mahama has launched the start of major expansion works at Tema Port.

The ambitious project, a Public Private Partnership between the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), representing Government and Meridian Ports Services (MPS), involves an upgrade and significant expansion of Ghana’s main seaport.

Monetary Policy Committee cuts policy rate to 25.5 percent

The Monetary Policy Committee cuts its policy rate by 50 basis points on Monday to 25.5 per cent, the first in five years, on a positive outlook for inflation and the need to boost growth.

“The outlook for inflation is broadly positive as reflected in the continued decline in the underlying inflation, stability in the foreign exchange market, low aggregate demand conditions and general high real interest rates,” the Central Bank Governor, Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku, said at a press conference.

Ghana and India sign $422.87 million loan agreements

Ghana has signed two separate loan agreements with the Export Import Bank of India, totalling $ 422.87 million for financing the construction of a railway line and a sugarcane development and irrigation project.

The first agreement of $ 398.33 million buyers credit will be used to finance the construction of 84.8 kilometre - Tema to Akosombo railway line while $ 24.54 million will go into a sugarcane development and irrigation project.

ECOWAS electricity experts commit to fast-tracking power market processes

Members of the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA) Committees of Electricity Regulators and Operators have committed themselves to fast-track the processes leading to the development of the Regional Electricity Market.

According to a statement made available to the Ghana News Agency, in Accra, this was agreed at the Eighth Joint Meeting of the Committees, which ended on Tuesday, 15th November 2016 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

GSS launches second National Strategy for Statistics Development

The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) on Friday launched the second National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS II) in Accra.

The five-year strategic document was a framework drafted to assist the GSS to “strengthen its statistical capacity across the National Statistical System (NSS)”.

President Mahama inaugurates CIMAF cement plant

President John Dramani Mahama on Wednesday inaugurated a €60 million Euros Ciments de l’Afrique (CIMAF), Moroccan cement factory with the call on them to devote a substantial amount of their proceeds into Corporate Social Responsibility programmes.

Minerals Commission says informal miners quit AngloGold Ashanti’s Concessions

All informal miners have been successfully moved from the previously occupied areas of the AngloGold Ashanti Ghana’s (AGAG) concession, Dr Toni Aubynn, the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of the Minerals Commission said on Wednesday.

“We are happy to announce that as at Friday Nov. 25, 2016, all informal miners have been successfully moved from the previously occupied areas of AGAG’s concession,’’ he said at press briefing on the status of the relocation exercise.

Ghana and Denmark sign 7.84 million Euro agreement

Ghana has signed a 7.84 million Euros mixed credit facility agreement with the Nordea Bank of Denmark for the establishment of an Environmental Monitoring Laboratory at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT).

The Environmental Monitoring Laboratory is to promote teaching and research for the UMaT and the establishment of an Environmental and Safety Engineering Department.

President Mahama commissions first phase of Ho Airport

President John Dramani Mahama commissioned the first phase of the Ho Airport project last Friday.

The project includes a 1,600metre runway with width of 45metres, a taxi way, an apron and two parking base for aircraft.

Ghana and Japan sign $100 million loan agreement

Ghana has signed a $100-million (11,239 billion Yen) loan agreement with the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) for the construction of a 540-metre long cable-stay steel bridge over the Volta River at Volivo and Dofor Adidome in the Volta Region.

The agreement marks the resumption of the Yen loan Scheme after it was suspended when Ghana joined the rank of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries in 2001.

World Bank support Ghana’s Sankofa Gas Project

The World Bank Group, has announced the commitment of $517 million in debt and guarantees to support Ghana’s Sankofa Gas Project, an integrated offshore oil and natural gas project that will provide a source of reliable, affordable energy.

The project, being funded through the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) members of the WB group, stated in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency that the funding would fuel up to 1,000 megawatts of power generation.

Agricultural Development Bank officially lists on Ghana Stock Exchange

The Agricultural Development Bank (adb) has officially been listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange, becoming the 40th listed company and the fourth local bank on the market.

The Bank, which began trading on the bourse on December 13, went through the formal ceremony after having successfully raised about GH¢325.7 million in its Initial Public Offer (IPO).

Passage of insolvency bill into law top priority - GARIA

The Ghana Association of Restructuring and Insolvency Advisors (GARIA) says it will continue its advocacy to have a new insolvency bill passed into law when the seventh Parliament is inaugurated in January 2017.

Speaking at an end of year dinner for stakeholders, Mr Felix Addo, the President of GARIA, said the passage of the bill into law to protect businesses in distress from collapse would be a key priority for 2017.

StanChart appoints Bedu-Addo as Regional CEO for Southern Africa

Standard Chartered Bank has announced the appointment of Kweku Bedu-Addo as CEO of the Southern Africa Region comprising Mauritius, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola and South Africa.

The appointment is subject to regulatory approval.

Ghana's Q3 GDP rises to 4 per cent

The provisional year-on-year 2016 third quarter (Q3) Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), including Oil, grew by 4.0 per cent compared to 3.5 per cent recorded for 2015 Q3.

Acting government statistician Mr Baah Wadieh attributed the growth to the resumption of oil production from the Jubilee Field and the start of production from the TEN fields.

Source: GNA

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