Business in Ghana

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Archive for June, 2014

This Is Not Funny. Critical News, 29th June 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 29, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

We finally made it into the abyss.  All week I was inundated with calls from, especially, the USA, where I set up my boast box four years ago, shouting through The New Ghanaian newspaper about how I was coming back home, urging all who were finding life in the US of A a bit tough, to ride, ride, ride with me back to the Motherland.

Let’s go add our voices, yell from Afadjato; Ghana is our only country and we are home to bring talent and open thought to the politics and business, plant some great footprints and challenge the youth to follow in our wake and make Ghana the place to be this 21st century.

So this week I ate humble pie.  After I zigzagged the streets of Adabraka for two hours looking for petrol, I bought forty cedis credit and apologized (dropping calls for more time than I spoke, cursing MTN in between) that I was not engaged in the inefficiency of this Government; but I cannot accept that it was as bad as the Kutu Acheampong and Rawlings PNDC early eighties time.

It was my only come back.

It was not funny.  I had to defend the NDC Government to save my own face and voice, and I am a firm critic of this economy. Read the rest of this entry »

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World Cup Diary 8

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 29, 2014

From Kwasi Gyan Appenteng

The Mega-shambles in Brazil

As it was in the beginning, so it ended. There was a bit of brilliant football in between but who will remember that? Ghana in Brazil 2014 was a total shambles which we probably would wish to forget quickly. Unfortunately, and for completely wrong reasons not only will this mess stay long in our memory, it will cast a shadow on our sporting performances past and present. Let us look at the evidence.

In Ghana, we quickly find scapegoats for our failings and the culprit this time is our age old friend and enemy, money, described as the root of all evil. Mr. Kwasi Nyantakyi, the man who in any other country would have fallen on his sword has fingered money as the enemy within. It is not the last time money would get a bad press but on this occasion, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, may I plead that planning and not money should be in the dock.

Ghana qualified brilliantly doling out a magnificent victory over Egypt in Kumasi before finishing the job in Cairo. Between the qualification and the start of the tournament was sufficient time for planning. Not Ghana; we were not sure about anything including the final squad, friendly matches, money and of course officials and spectators. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ghana’s Black Stars: When football imitates life.

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 28, 2014

By Dr. T. P. Manus Ulzen, tulzen@yahoo.com

Our three matches have been renamed “should have,” could have” and “would have.” How could such a young, talented and the most admired team in all of Brazil have fallen so short of its goal?
We had barely finished bantering with the American fans close by, after our rendition of their national anthem. Before we could figure out which side was up or adjust to our seats, it was the debacle of Feyenoord Stadium all over again, only this time, in 34 seconds not 4 minutes.
Did the team and technical staff learn anything from the friendly with the Netherlands leading up to the battle of Natal? This is the World Cup but more importantly, this is Ghana v USA. This World Cup rivalry was a tournament all on its own and all of Brazil and the whole wide world was waiting with great anticipation for David of Ghana to fire his slingshot to fell the Goliath that was the US of A. Read the rest of this entry »

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World Cup Diary 7

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 26, 2014

From Kwasi Gyan Appenteng

Faith versus realism in a high stakes game

I have been warned by my friends Akos and Yaa not to be pessimistic, or as they put it, “realistic”. Akos is insistent that this is not the time for realism. She even went as far as accuse me of mocking faith. What is my crime? It is like this: I believe that the Black Stars will probably play their final World Cup match today because …I do not believe that one point from two matches, and eventually four from three at the World Cup is good enough to take us into the knockout phase. I know it has been done before, but facing Portugal in this kind of situation must be sufficient grounds for dog-faced pessimism.

Let me explain this before I am sent to some kind of national inquisition that I don’t want the Black Stars to win. I want our team to win. There are many reasons for this. After rushing three million cedis by special arrangement to the players it would be such an anti-climax if they returned home by the same plane that flew in the money. I want to believe that the money would act as the spur to fire them to glory. But my main reason for wanting a Black Star win is to bring joy to the land.  Read the rest of this entry »

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World Cup Diary 6

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 24, 2014

From Kwasi Gyan Appenteng

Clutching at mathematical straws

One of the most widespread phobias suffered in Ghana is arithmophobia – the fear of numbers and arithmetic. There are some people who like me have been terrorized by maths since their primary school days when each school day started with “mental”, a quick-fire round of questions in arithmetic. In our case, our primary Class Six teacher, a tall gangly man used the “mental” as the pretext to beat us every morning. His trick was not to allow you time to think before bringing his long cane down on the poor pupil. Instead of producing a class full of enlightened kids the effect of this brutality was a class full of wailing children, many gnashing their teeth as well.

I mention this because suddenly even my arithmophobic friends, and there are a few, have all become ardent mathematicians. At the drop of a coin, or scoring of a goal, they can do the math and tell you how many points Ghana needs at every step in order to escape from the hermetic embrace of the Group of Death into the open spaces of World Cup football. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Recantation. Critical News, 22nd June 2014

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 22, 2014

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

It was a good idea to trip to the Accra Mall on Saturday.  Same day we expected to beat Germany to stay in contention to win the World Cup, and I was not surprised at the numbers I saw shopping and de-tensioning before the match later that night.

Nature blessed us, we have not had much rain lately, and the power supply has been more consistent.  I am not confident enough to lay the success of this temporary “dumsor” fully on the floor mats of VRA, GRIDCO, BUI and ECG; the gang of four who can’t seem to calculate how much supply we have unless they talk to the politicians.

So the timely intervention by almighty nature is a boon to all praying religions and their dedication to Brazillia.

My own prediction last week that the Black Stars would win 3-1 against the USA did not happen, and I was reminded by friends, family and readers, that I need to be more prayerful.

I am not egoistic enough to think that my added prayers alone would ensure world cup success.  If that were possible, I would mount a podium next to Duncan Williams and charge muchos dollars.

But I have been wondering.  Is there a thriving private economy from Government?  Analytically, isn’t the private sector functioning without Government?  It appears so, since all that Government does is make payroll and even that.  It seems to me that we are getting on with life despite Government being broke. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by Business in Ghana on June 21, 2014

By Matthew Mpoke Bigg,

ACCRA, June 20 (Reuters) – Ghana’s government reintroduced fuel subsidies in April, without announcing the move, and has spent around $85 million since then in extra payments, the head of the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD) told Reuters on Friday.  The subsidies were scrapped early last year in a bid to reduce the budget deficit and restore macro-economic stability in Ghana, a country that exports oil, gold and cocoa and has seen five years of rapid economic growth.  The reintroduction was not publicly announced and senior government officials were not available for comment.

But the CBOD’s chief executive Senyo Hosi said the fuel importers his organisation represents know about the subsidies because they show as a line in the pricing structure they regularly receive from the National Petroleum Authority (NPA).  “From April 16, they have been doing that massively …. The government has spent roughly $85 million in fuel price subsidies in the second quarter which is not accounted for in the budget,” he said, citing NPA figures.  The new subsidies are around 13 percent of the combined total of the global market price plus the amount added by government in taxes and levies, he said. T he full cost to the government, however, may be higher once the impact of the currency depreciation is taken into account.  Other industry sources, who asked not to be identified, confirmed the reintroduction of the subsidies. Read the rest of this entry »

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World Cup Diary 4

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 21, 2014

From Kwasi Gyan Appenteng

LET US WAVE THE FLAG FOR VICTORY

………as Spain’s exit gives us hope

Spare a thought for Spain. The European and World champions are the first reigning kings of world football to go out of the tournament so ignominiously. They lost both their opening matches with a collection of seven balls from their own net. In some ways their two nil defeat to Chile which effectively sealed their exit warrant must be more painful than the earlier five goals to one drubbing at the hands of the Dutch. At least, there was light at the end of the tunnel after the first match; Wednesday’s defeat meant lights out for Spain whose King Juan Carlos signed his own abdication warrant earlier that day in the national Parliament in Madrid.

One almost feels Spain’s pain; almost, but not quite because by some strange logic, Spain’s loss gives Ghana a glimmer of hope. This is how the roundabout logic works: this World Cup has been full of surprises. Apart from the fall of Spain, Brazil’s lucky draw against Mexico and Australia’s valiant loss by 2-3 to the Netherlands are part of the narrative of surprise which is becoming a dominant motif of the tournament. Read the rest of this entry »

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First National Obtains Universal Banking Licence

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 18, 2014

First National Savings and Loans Company Ltd has obtained a provisional licence from the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to operate as a universal bank.

To be known as First National Bank Limited under the new operational licence, the feat has largely been as a result of the fast growth the company has chalked up, with its expansive network across major capital cities, rural and urban centres around the country.

This has endeared the company to many traders, small and mediums scale enterprises.

The new license allows the company, which will soon announce its re-branded status, to deliver a vast array of financial services such as trade financing, all forms of deposit taking, foreign exchange services, issuance of cheques and settlement of cheque transactions.

The Chief Executive Officer of First National, Mr Patrick Anumel, told the Daily Graphic shortly after a press briefing in Accra last Tuesday that the bank was now in a position to help its customers better by providing them with enhanced services.

He said the focus of the bank had, however, not changed as it was still aimed at serving the ordinary Ghanaian, including farmers, market women, students and operators of SMEs.

Mr Anumel noted that the depreciation of the cedi and the rise in inflation rate had affected the cost of doing business in the country.

He stressed the need for the bank to improve on its services with a diversified range of services.

“If you have a diversified range of services, then it means that your source of revenue is also going to be diversified and therefore favour you,” he explained.

Posted in Financial Services, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Turkey’s power-ship maker Karadeniz to supply electricity to Ghana

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 18, 2014

By BizGhana Staff Writer

Ghana investment is Karadeniz Holding’s first in Africa and Chairman says the company eyes further expansion

ISTANBUL, June 17 (Reuters) – Turkish Karadeniz Holding has agreed to provide two electricity-generating vessels to power-hungry Ghana in a 10-year supply deal, the company’s chairman said.  Karadeniz builds what are effectively floating power stations which plug into electricity grids after berthing.  They run on fuel oil but can use natural gas as an alternative.  The Ghana investment is Karadeniz Holding’s first in Africa.  It already produces electricity for Iraq and Lebanon, through part of its fleet of seven power ships with a combined capacity of 1,100 megawatts (MW).  “There is an electricity shortage of around 100,000 MW in Africa that needs to be fulfilled urgently. This investment needs to be done,” chairman Orhan Karadeniz told reporters late on Monday.  Home to some of the leading mineral and oil producers, the African continent is chronically short of electricity and is heavily reliant on diesel imports for power generation.  “In addition, the countries in that region have plenty of oil and gas reserves.  As these reserves come into production, and the countries get richer, the demand for electricity would rise rapidly,” Karadeniz said. Read the rest of this entry »

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