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Anglogold Bites Bullet At Troubled Obuasi

Posted by Business in Ghana on May 20, 2014

By Brendan Ryan, Business Day Live

AngloGold Ashanti intends shutting down underground operations temporarily as part of a drastic final attempt to turn troubled mine around

HAVING lost more than $1bn on the Obuasi mine in Ghana since it took it over in 2003, AngloGold Ashanti now intends shutting down the underground operations temporarily as part of a drastic final attempt to turn the troubled mine around.

Announcing the decision at the group’s March quarterly briefing on Monday, CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan outlined sweeping measures, including the retrenchment of most of the 6,500-strong workforce, to ensure Obuasi’s long-term future.

Mr Venkatakrishnan also said AngloGold Ashanti “was considering other strategic alternatives for its Ghana business”.

SBG Securities mining analyst David Davis said: “At long last they have bitten the bullet at Obuasi, but in a constructive manner.”

Mr Venkatakrishnan said $600m had been pumped into Obuasi from AngloGold Ashanti’s corporate funds, a nd $500m more had been invested through funds generated by Obuasi itself.

Asked to elaborate, Mr Venkatakrishnan said it was possible that a partner could be found to invest in Obuasi once the problems had been sorted out. Read the rest of this entry »

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The EPA Is In Alignment With The Development Agenda Of Ghana

Posted by Business in Ghana on May 10, 2014

Franklin Codjoe, IMANI Ghana

As many Ghanaians await the follow up meeting to the meeting with the ECOWAS Heads of State on the subject of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) with the European Union (EU), the position of Ghana and the entire ECOWAS region remains unclear. As was highlighted in the previous IMANI report (http://www.imanighana.com/2014/04/imani-report-evidence-based-support-for-ghana-to-ratify-the-epa/), the decision of whether to ratify the Regional EPA or not, impacts mostly Ghana, Nigeria and Cote D’Ivoire. Of these three, Nigeria has categorically opposed signing the EPA ‘as is’, and Cote D’Ivoire’s has signed the EPA with a strong indication that it will ratify before the deadline of October 1, 2014.

President Mahama’s Views on the EPA

Ghana’s position on the EPA is clouded with ambiguity, even at the level of the Presidency with vague assurances, such as ‘Ghana will continue to play a facilitating role in the signing of the EPA…’[i], ‘[Ghana] will not hasten to append the country’s signature to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU)…any decision that we eventually take, which I [the President] assure you, will be in the best interest of Ghana’[ii], and ‘it will be disastrous if we implement the EPA unilaterally as individual countries…Ghana is in favour of the negotiation of a sub-regional EPA’[iii]. Unfortunately, the President has only managed to convey that, Ghana will dance to the tune of the ECOWAS region, whatever the decision may be. Read the rest of this entry »

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With greater transparency, Ghana could increase its earnings from mining and oil

Posted by Business in Ghana on May 19, 2013

 ACCRA, May 15, 2013  Ghana has taken important steps to improve mining governance and limit corruption, but the government still fails to give citizens the information they need to make sure they are getting a good deal from mining companies, according to a new governance index released today.

Revenue Watch Institutes Resource Governance Index measures the quality of governance in the oil, gas and mining sector of 58 countries worldwide. Each country on the Index, from top-ranked Norway to last-place Myanmar, is judged on four criteria: legal framework, transparency levels, checks and balances and its broader governance context.

Ghana ranked 15th out of 58 countries and earned the highest score in sub-Saharan Africa, reflecting major reforms to improve competition and transparency in the mining sector. However, while lawmakers are required to oversee the industry, they often lack the resources to do so effectively, and contracts between mining companies and the government are still kept secret from the public. Read the rest of this entry »

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Adopting A Common External Tariff, Ecowas States Move Closer To Customs Union

Posted by Business in Ghana on May 4, 2013

By Joe Lamport

Once a month or so, an employee of Mamma Mia’s pizzeria in Accra, Ghana, drives three hours to Lomé in neighboring Togo to stock up on supplies for the popular restaurant. The reason is simple, and one that almost every business owner (and most consumers) understands: lower prices.

“The prices are usually much lower in Lomé than Accra,” the employee said, “so we go there to stock up on cheese and other ingredients.”

Stories of wide price variations across the region are common, according to Lori Brock, an international trade expert who has studied the region’s economy.

“I was amazed that you could buy batteries in, say, Nigeria or Senegal for about 50 cents and the same batteries in Accra would cost two or three dollars,” she said. Likewise bicycle tires in Ghana cost about 4 GHS ($2), while in Senegal they cost about 7,000 CFA ($14) and in Nigeria cost about 5,000 Naira ($31). Read the rest of this entry »

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Retailers Wake up to Africa’s Promise

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 7, 2012

By Andrew England in Johannesburg and Xan Rice in Lagos

When Taiwo Animashaun, who works at Tastee Fried Chicken in Lagos, needed a new hotplate, she decided to try the plush Ikeja City Mall, which opened in December, instead of her local market. Within minutes of entering Shoprite, the South African supermarket that anchors the complex, she had made her purchase.

“It’s a good place to shop,” says Ms Animashaun. “Everything is arranged nicely, and the prices are not bad.”

From Lagos in the west to Nairobi in the east and Lusaka in the south, trendy new shopping malls have sprung up across Africa as the continent’s mushrooming cities modernise and its emergent middle class swells. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ghanas Mining Taxes: Are they New and Adequate?

Posted by Business in Ghana on December 17, 2011

By Alhassan Atta-Quayson, Third World Network  Africa

Ghanas 2012 National Budget Statement and Economic Policy proposed, among others, to bring the following changes to mining operations in the country: increase corporate tax rate from 25% to 35%; install a windfall tax of 10%; and implement a uniform regime for capital allowance of 20% for five years. It also sought to review the principle of ring-fencing to prevent companies undertaking a series of projects from deducting costs from new projects against profitable ventures yielding taxable income. This was commended by the National Coalition on Mining and the Ghana Mineworkers Union as part of steps urgently needed to improve the contribution of the sector to the economy and people of Ghana. However the Chamber of Mines have gone on the offensive, indicating that the mining sector is already over-taxed and such initiatives are only inimical to their operations. But are these taxes really new as the industry would want Ghanaians to believe and more importantly adequate in ensuring equitable distribution of Ghanas mineral wealth? I offer my opinion Read the rest of this entry »

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STATEMENT BY NATIONAL COALITION ON MINING ON 2012 BUDGET

Posted by Business in Ghana on November 21, 2011

PROCEED WITH FURTHER REFORMS IN THE MINING SECTOR

The National Coalition on Mining (NCOM) commends the Government of Ghana for the new fiscal initiatives introduced in the mining sector. This commendation is in line with the Coalitions view that these steps are part of a set of actions that are urgently needed to improve the contribution of the sector to the economy and people of Ghana. It is in this regard that the Coalition calls on the government to ignore complaints from mining companies about these initiatives. Rather, the government should proceed with immediate implementation of these new taxes and the critical review of the fiscal regime and mining agreements. The upward adjustment and an overhaul of the fiscal regime constitute a set of actions that ensure that the country improves upon its share of benefits from mining sector. Read the rest of this entry »

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