Business in Ghana

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Posts Tagged ‘World Bank’

Dompe Chronicles. Critical News, 10th April 2016

Posted by Business in Ghana on April 11, 2016

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

My two dogs are fighting. They are direct siblings from the same stock, not much difference between the two and are well matched in size, speed, performance and guile. The fighting has been going for some weeks now and it has intensified as they grow bigger and bolder, jockeying for which will become the alpha male. Nothing I do and no matter what punishment, they will find a place and something to fight over.

I expected this would happen, but my approach was to rear them together as playmates, from the same litter and eliminate any animosity because they would hunt together, bark together and seek out trespassers together.

I am not so naïve to think they will never fight over something and of course the inevitable mating season as they mature is bound to create havoc, but for a short while. That day has not even come yet.

So the fighting started over some pieces of chicken bones. The usually quiet one, fed up with being bullied, rallied against the other only to find that he had been retreating for no good reason. He could match the slightly bigger in strength and speed and even won the first fight. Read the rest of this entry »

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Rich Men in London Still Deciding Africa’s Future

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 29, 2015

By Colin Todhunter, Global Research

Some £600 million in UK aid money courtesy of the taxpayer is helping big business increase its profits in Africa via the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. In return for receiving aid money and corporate investment, African countries have to change their laws, making it easier for corporations to acquire farmland, control seed supplies and export produce.

Last year, Director of the Global Justice Now Nick Dearden said:

“It’s scandalous that UK aid money is being used to carve up Africa in the interests of big business. This is the exact opposite of what is needed, which is support to small-scale farmers and fairer distribution of land and resources to give African countries more control over their food systems. Africa can produce enough food to feed its people. The problem is that our food system is geared to the luxury tastes of the richest, not the needs of ordinary people. Here the British government is using aid money to make the problem even worse.”

Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Nigeria, Benin, Malawi and Senegal are all involved in the New Alliance. Read the rest of this entry »

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The State of My Nation. Critical News, 1st March 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on March 1, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I get rather melancholy every March. It is Heritage Month and I seek for many answers to the myriad thoughts and consults I have pondered since the beginning of the year. Following on the heels of a New Year resolution and many problems of financing Xmas and New Year, I kind of get an upbeat feeling just thinking about how much I can achieve before the year comes to an end.

But already February has ended and I am wondering what I did these past two months?

So I play my two most inspirational heritage songs and plan for the best. Painful that my friend and bosom creative confidant, Amandzeba Nat Brew has detached somewhat and left a vacuum in my artistic offering, I still search for some inspiration from his wonderfully crafted “Wogbe”, a song that has inspired many a historical moment.

Then I latch on to Osibisa’s “Woyaya” and remember how we gave Kutu Acheampong such a hard time as students, belting out the chorus with thrilling meaning, confident that one day “we will get there; heaven knows how we will get there; we know we will”.

Now we have a “Yam” and we are deprived of basic light and water, not to mention the environmental filth we have to live with and a dithering, directionless government whose president says to be cynical is a bad show of allegiance.

Well, for another year in so many, I am looking at the state of my nation and I see it rather differently from what I heard on Thursday from the President. Read the rest of this entry »

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Most developing countries will benefit from oil price slump, says World Bank Group

Posted by Business in Ghana on January 12, 2015

WASHINGTON, January 7, 2015 Gains from low oil prices can be substantial for developing-country importers if supported by stronger global growth, says a World Bank Group analysis of the oil price decline, contained in the latest edition of Global Economic Prospects.

The decline in oil prices reflects a confluence of factors, including several years of upward surprises in oil supply and downward surprises in demand, receding geopolitical risks in some areas of the world, a significant change in policy objectives of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and appreciation of the U.S. dollar. Although the relative strength of the forces driving the recent plunge in prices remains uncertain, supply related factors appear to have played a dominant role.

Soft oil prices are expected to persist in 2015 and will be accompanied by significant real income shifts from oil-exporting to oil-importing countries. For many oil-importing countries, lower prices contribute to growth and reduce inflationary, external, and fiscal pressures.

However, weak oil prices present significant challenges for major oil-exporting countries, which will be adversely impacted by weakening growth prospects, and fiscal and external positions. If lower oil prices persist, they could also undermine investment in new exploration or development. This would especially put at risk investment in some low-income countries, or in unconventional sources such as shale oil, tar sands, and deep sea oil fields. Read the rest of this entry »

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IMF Might Need Some Answers. GNPC, GNGC, ENI and Due Dilligence

Posted by Business in Ghana on December 14, 2014

By Sydney Casely-Hayford

The news that Ghana’s Parliament approved the deal on the oil and gas project with ENI of Italy could raise important questions related to the Country’s program with the IMF.

There are implications for the budget, even as the price of crude continues to dip below the numbers used to estimate oil revenues to fund the Budget and other sectors, especially social safety nets might be compromised.

Whether subsuming GNGC into GNPC will affect the share of carried and participated interest of GNPC in its contract with ENI and whether there will be an impact on public and publicly guaranteed external debt is a big question.

Parliament already did the unthinkable and passed the $8billion contract with ENI speedily as it does when under pressure from Government to shore immediate cash demands.

The IMF program is struggling to finality, principally on a few key issues. One, the total value of Government debt is still open to debate and whether the composite debt must include liabilities of certain key parastatals such as VRA, GNPC and TOR must still be of concern. As also the debt of key Municipalities and Metropolitan Assemblies.

Two, the projected revenues are a problem with periodic budgets consistently below target and the payroll envelope is still threatening to engulf revenues.

As Parliament ducked the minority call for a stay in loan approval pending the $700million facility in court re: GNPC, the decision begged the question whether anyone had taken a closer look at ENI on the world scope. Read the rest of this entry »

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World Bank to mobilize new financing to improve mobility along select transport corridors vital for economic growth

Posted by Business in Ghana on November 6, 2014

 WASHINGTON, November 4, 2014 The World Banks Board of Executive Directors today approved US$25 million in new financing from the International Development Association (IDA)* to support the Government of Ghanas effort to improve the mobility of goods and passengers on selected roads through reduction in travel time, in vehicle operating costs and enhanced road safety awareness.

 Ghana has done very well to improve its transportation sector in the short and medium term and the government is now focusing its efforts on the quantity and quality of the road infrastructure, said Yusupha Crookes, the World Banks Country Director for Ghana. We are excited to support the Governments strategy for an efficient and sustainable transport system. The project will also indirectly help to ensure competitiveness, reduce vulnerability, and improve governance in the sector.

 The new financing will support the ongoing Ghana Transport Sector Project which has made significant achievements. It has helped reduce the fatality rate per 10,000 vehicles by 17.9; increased the rural population to 66% who are now within 2 kilometers of an all-season classified; and increased the number of road networks in good and fair condition to 57%. Read the rest of this entry »

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Feces-Clogged Shore Shows Africa Infrastructure Failings

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 19, 2014

By Pauline Bax

A garbage collection bicycle sits with the slogan “Keep Ghana clean” by an open sewer river. The World Bank will give Ghana $150 million in grants to improve access to potable water and basic toilets for the poorest residents of Accra, where most roads are lined with open drains and gutters that overflow during heavy rains.

Fredrik Sunesson had high hopes when the first tanker truck unloaded feces from some of Accra’s 4 million residents at his recycling plant in Ghana’s capital. Seventeen months later, those expectations have been dashed.

A combination of red tape and disputes over payments mean Sunesson’s Slamson Ghana Ltd. is running far below capacity, he says. Most of the 140 tankers dump the contents of Accra’s toilets each day into the Gulf of Guinea at a foul-smelling dune known as Lavender Hill. The lagoon nearby is so polluted that scientists says most life-forms can’t survive. The slum nearby has earned the nickname Sodom and Gomorrah.

“It’s a shame for everybody, most of all for the environment and the people of Accra,” Sunesson said. Read the rest of this entry »

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World Bank Group Commits US$ 5 Billion to Boost Electricity Generation in Six African Countries

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 6, 2014

WASHINGTON, August 5, 2014 – The World Bank Group today committed $5 billion in new technical and financial support for energy projects in six African countries– Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and Tanzania_which have partnered with President Obama_s Power Africa initiative. 
Making the announcement on the second day of the 1st US-Africa Summit, World Bank Group President, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, said the new financial commitment was urgently needed to generate more electricity for the people of Africa, 600 million of whom have no access to electricity, despite the fact that Africa possesses some of the world_s largest hydropower, geothermal, wind and solar potential, as well as significant oil and natural gas reserves.

We think that the U.S. Power Africa initiative will play an extremely important role in achieving the goal of providing electricity for Africa. So today I’m very pleased to announce that the World Bank Group, following President Obama’s lead, will partner with Power Africa by committing $5 billion in direct financing, investment guarantees, and advisory services for project preparation in Power Africa’s six initial partner countries, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and Tanzania. The U.S. Government and the World Bank Group are working now on specific tasks and milestones which could help to achieve one quarter of Power Africa’s goal of generating 10,000 megawatts of new power in Sub Saharan Africa,_ Kim said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Secondary Education Improvement Project

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 1, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

  1. Why did the World Bank agree to lend money to Ghana for secondary education at this time of tight budget control? Ghanas Constitution mandates that all efforts are made to make education gradually universal and progressively free. With access to primary education becoming near universal in Ghana, new priorities are emerging at post-basic level where the demand for secondary education is fast increasing and the supply of SHS has not kept pace.  Ghanas middle income status will also require more secondary level graduates with the relevant skills to continue their education and/or enter the labor market, hence investing in secondary education at this time will improve the human capital of the country, and also improve long-term competitiveness, access jobs and improve peoples lives and incomes. Borrowing for these objectives is a smart investment as the terms of borrowing from IDA is also concessional compared to the commercial financial market rates.
  2. Why only senior secondary schools and not technical or basic schools?  The purpose of the project does not preclude investing in technically oriented SHS programs and where selected SHSs offer technical and vocational programs, these will be supported.  Most of the external funding for the last 15 years has been going to basic and technical education. The SHS is considered as an underfunded level and a bottleneck in the education system with significant challenges in terms of equity, access and quality. The Banks support is not mutually exclusive of other subsectors.  In fact, the support to secondary education complements current ongoing support for increasing the quality of basic education (GPEG-US$75.5 million), improving skills training and science and technology adoption (GSTDP-US$70 million), improving higher education relevance and centers of excellence (Oil and Gas Capacity Building Project and the African Centers of Excellence Project).  The basic education sector is also well supported by several development partners whose efforts are coordinated by the education sector.  These include DFID supporting girls scholarships at primary and JHS level, USAID supporting reading and learning assessments at basic level, UNICEF supporting basic education for out of school children, JICA supporting science and math education and WFP.  The African Development Bank, Germany (KfW and GIZ) and DANIDA also provide significant support for TVET and skills development.  The Bank works closely with all of these partners to ensure collaboration and coordination in its support for education in Ghana.
  3. What are the components of the project?  The US$156 million project is intended to be implemented over a five year period, 2014-2019. It will use a results-based financing approach, which means that funds are only released based on pre-identified achievement of specific results expected to help Ghana see improved educational outcomes in an equitable manner. The results based approach, as a tool, focuses on results or outcomes rather than inputs.  The Objective of the project is to increase access to senior secondary education in underserved districts and improve quality in low-performing senior high schools in Ghana.

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Zambia’s lesson for Ghana: call the IMF

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 10, 2014

by Javier Blas, Reuters

When Zambia last week approached the International Monetary Fund for financial help, another cash-strapped African country was surely watching: Ghana.

Lusaka and Accra face similar problems: runaway fiscal deficits – the result of electorally-driven increases in public sector salaries – and a swelling current account deficit that is pressuring the exchange rate.

The market response to Zambia’s request should convince Ghana to seek help, too.

By all accounts, the fiscal problem is more severe in Ghana than in Zambia. The ruling National Democratic Congress introduced in Ghana a new public sector salary structure in 2010. After a wave of salary hikes, the government’s wage bill now consumes roughly 70 per cent of the country’s tax revenue.

The market was expecting that Ghana would first approach the IMF. Instead, Zambia last week asked the IMF to discuss “an economic programme that could be supported by a fund arrangement.” The market reaction has been very positive, officials say.

The Zambian currency, the kwacha, has appreciated sharply against the dollar. At one point this year, it was down 27.5 per cent against the US dollar since January, making it the worst performing currency in Africa. But after rallying strongly over the last week as rumours of the IMF plan surfaced, it has cut its losses to 16 per cent. Read the rest of this entry »

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