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xxxxxxxxxxx Sun, 11 Nov 2018

Germans affirm support for reforms in Ghana

The German Development Minister Gerd Müller together with Chancellor Angela Merkel, during their visit in Ghana, had talks with President Akufo-Addo and business representatives about the expansion of economic relations and the reform partnership initiated by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development(BMZ) with Ghana...a country with great momentum of reform and strong economic growth.

Ghana has been an anchor for democracy and stability in Africa for many years, said Minister Müller. "President Akufo-Addo's Ghana beyond aid vision" brings new momentum and an impressive pace of reform, new opportunities for investment and trade.

German investment in Africa has already risen by ten percent so far in Ghana but only about eighty of the approximately 1,000 companies in Africa are active, and the German economy has to seize much more of the opportunities in Ghana with a trading volume of around €500 million Euros, which is only one-tenth of the trade with countries such as Croatia or Kazakhstan.

In order to improve investment conditions for German companies, the Ministry of Economic Affairs just a few months ago lowered the companies own contribution for investments with Hermes security from ten to five percent, and that also applies to Ghana, Müller said. German middle class, in particular, should now take advantage of these opportunities.

Together with Chancellor Angela Merkel, Müller participated in an exchange with Ghanaian and German business representatives. In order to improve the conditions for private investment, the Development Ministry concluded a reform partnership with Ghana last year. Tunisia and the Ivory Coast are further reform partner countries.

With the reform partnership, we are supporting better framework conditions for investments, Müller explained. At the same time, we call for further efforts to fight corruption, promoting and demanding, that is the core of our Marshall Plan with Africa.

The reform partnership with Ghana focuses on the energy sector. The electricity price for companies in Ghana is one of the highest in Africa, and power supply is unreliable in many places, says Müller. At the same time, it is important for Ghana to be able to rely on sustainable economic growth right from the start, which is why we are supporting the reform of the energy sector with €100 million Euros, creating new financing options for renewable energy and promoting transparency and competition and the Renewable Energy Act, which will increase its share from less than one percent to ten percent over the next few years.

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With Ghana Minister of Finance Ofori Atta, Minister Müller will also discuss further cooperation in the fields of good governance, agriculture and sustainable economic development. If the continuation of the positive reform course of Ghana, Germany is ready to further expand the cooperation.

In a meeting with young start-up companies, especially in the digital sector, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Development Minister Müller discuss opportunities and risks for start-up companies and support opportunities. The digital fair republica, which will take place in Ghana in December 2018 and thus for the first time in Africa, will provide an important boost. The Ministry of Development supports this.

Müller also visited the "Old-Fadama" junkyard, Agbogbloshie, together with the Ghanaian Minister of the Environment Kwabena Frimpong Boateng and the mayor of Accra. Agbogbloshie is the largest electronic waste facility in Africa.

People are looking for unprotected and under difficult health conditions for valuable raw materials such as gold, copper and coltan-that is a rare metal tantalum without which the modern world would not be modern. Tantalum is used in capacitors for digital cameras and game consoles, for laptops, flat screens, and mobile phones.

With German support, the harmful and environmentally harmful burning of copper-producing cables will be prevented in the future. In addition, a health station will be set up with German support. The environmental and living conditions of up to 90,000 people should be improved.

Source: Francis Tawiah
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