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Ghana ranked 4th best agric performer in Africa

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Ghana made enormous progress in its agricultural sector during the 2019 reporting year by obtaining a 6.67 score out of a possible maximum of 10 to surpass the benchmark for the 2019 reporting year of the Malabo Declaration which was pegged at 6.66.

In fact, only four African countries, including Ghana, made the tremendous progress required during the reporting year to surpass the benchmark score. They are Rwanda, Morocco and Mali who obtained 7.24, 6.96 and 6.82 respectively.

This development implies that Ghana is on-track toward achieving the seven commitments of the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), which also refers to the Malabo Declaration by 2025 after missing out in the 2017 reporting period.

Altogether, 36 African countries made improvement over the previous reporting period in 2017.

However, analysis of the report shows that the continent generally still remains off-track towards achieving the overall Malabo Declaration commitments, obtaining an overall average score of 4.03 compared to the benchmark of 6.66 required to be on-track.

This came to the fore during the launch of the second Biennial Review Report on the implementation of the June 2014 Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods held in Ethiopia earlier this month.

In the Malabo Declaration, African Union Member States committed to report on a biennial basis, the progress in achieving the seven commitments of the Declaration which are translated into seven thematic areas of performance.

They include re-committing to the principles and values of the CAADP process; enhancing investment finance in agriculture by allocating 10 percent of their respective national budgetary resources to the agriculture sector and achieving 6 percent annual growth rate; ending hunger in Africa by 2025; and reducing poverty at least by half, by 2025, through inclusive agricultural growth and transformation.

The rest are: boosting intra-African trade in agricultural commodities and services; enhancing resilience of livelihoods and production systems to climate variability and other related risks; as well as strengthening mutual accountability to actions and results.

The report did not give details on the measures taken by Ghana and the other three best performing countries that enabled them to surpass the benchmark. However, analysis indicates that some agricultural interventions notably the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) among other interventions largely orchestrated the upward move.

For instance, with the operationalization of the PFJ programmes which led to bumper harvest in maize, plantain, cassava and other food items, Ghana was faced with the challenge of adequately managing its resultant new agricultural surpluses.

Statistics from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture indicate that by 2018, more than 677,000 farmers out of the nearly three million selected onto the PFJ programme were already having problems in marketing their agricultural crop surpluses generated by the improved farming methods and strategies implemented in the initiative – such as use of improved seeds and fertilizer.

This is why by the middle of last year, government began the process of negotiating with Brazil towards purchasing agro-processing machinery to enable the State effectively utilize its agricultural crop surpluses by adding value to the produce.

Source: goldstreetbusiness.com

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Bawumia commissions 1,000 tonne warehouse at Asaam

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Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has affirmed the NPP government’s commitment to the introduction of measures to improve the agriculture sector and guarantee food security while making life better for farmers.

In line with this, government will continue to provide the necessary agricultural inputs such as fertilisers and Extension Services while working to reduce post-harvest losses.

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia gave the assurance when he commissioned a 1,000-tonne warehouse at Asaam near Mampong in the Ashanti Region on Monday, October 12, 2020.

The Asaam warehouse is one of 80 warehouses being constructed across the country under the One District One Warehouse programme to complement the Planting for Food and Jobs programme.

Designed to store the abundant food produced during its season and reduce post-harvest losses, the warehouses are also designed to support agro-processing factories established under the One District One Factory initiative.

Speaking at the commissioning, the Vice President emphasised government’s focus on the agriculture sector.

Our record of innovation since we assumed office in 2017 is there for all to see. We have introduced flagship programmes such as Planting for Food and Jobs.

“We have ensured the regular supply of inputs like fertilizers and seeds to farmers. Cocoa farmers are enjoying enhanced prices for their labour.”

He further added that; “This warehouse, and others like this across the country, will ensure that your hard work and sweat do not go to waste. Excess food will be stored here for use in the lean season.”

“We will continue to implement programmes that will make agriculture attractive to the youth, and diversify the agriculture value chain,” he pledged

 

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MTN Group partners Telecom Infra Project

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MTN Group and Telecom Infra Project (TIP) have joined forces to support the evolution of MTN’s communication transport infrastructure, which will become a platform for future revenue growth and profitability.

MTN Group Chief Technology and Information Officer, Charles Molapisi said “Our partnership with TIP will drive the specific requirements of our network to meet our subscriber demands, setting us apart on our network scalability and adaptability”.

TIP’s Chief Engineer, David Hutton communication transport capacity will be deployed through the partnership to support traffic growth over the next three years.

Also, it will provide support for new services as part of the evolution of 5G and new enterprise services.

It will also reduce the time to market through more focused agile service provisioning.

“Through the use of open protocols and interfaces, and the ability to incorporate specific innovations focused on the performance of each network component, TIP’s open disaggregated, standard-based transport networks can help MTN move closer to its ideal transport infrastructure,” he said.

The TIP community, which aggregates members across the whole transport network value chain, is a key tool for MTN to build its future transport infrastructure.

To achieve the objective of increasing network efficiency, MTN has identified a set of requirements named CASSI that will support its work by:

• Convergent and congestion-free: Delivering on the capacity requirements from all network access technologies, including the most demanding, like accesses to fiber, next-generation radio systems, enterprise, and consumer requirements.

• Always on: Implementing a fully automated resilient transport network, to support high availability as demanded by advanced digital services.

• Scalable: Allowing for an easy/efficient capacity expansion, able to accommodate fast-growing traffic demands at a lower cost.

• Simplified: Making use of standardised network configurations and open protocols, to drive lower unit costs and increase capital expenditure efficiencies.

• Intelligent: Automation of the network operations by using software to optimise network resource planning and management, achieving higher operational efficiencies by enabling use cases such as smart planning, auto-provisioning, network visualisation, and forecasting and network slicing among others.

MTN will work together with the TIP community in the months ahead to build transport products and network configurations addressing the company’s requirements that could be tested and validated in TIP’s community labs and in the field, to create easy-to-use commercial solutions for the CASSI use cases

 

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Government, Cenpower agree Gas Supply Agreement to Secure Cost Savings of up to $3.0 billion

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The Ministry of Finance has said that Cenpower has agreed to switch to natural gas as primary fuel, committing itself to using Ghana’s abundant natural resources.

A statement ny the Ministry said the conversion to natural gas by Cenpower, which will provide cost savings of approximately $3.0 billion, demonstrates significant momentum in this administration’s implementation of the Energy Sector Recovery Programme (ESRP).

Government of Ghana calls on all Independent Power Producers to emulate Cenpower and CENIT in advancing solutions to ensure the long term sustainability of the energy sector.

Below is the full statement;

This week, Cenpower Generation Company Limited (Cenpower) has committed to switching its primary fuel from light crude oil (LCO) to natural gas and signed a gas supply agreement (GSA) with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC). Gas operations are expected to begin by the end of this week.

Government welcomes this significant milestone and commitment from Cenpower. The GSA is a key part of the proposal put forward by Government during negotiations with Cenpower and will deliver substantial cost savings, estimated at $3.0 billion over the remaining term of the Cenpower PPA.

Furthermore, conversion to natural gas will have important environmental benefits, as emissions will be lowered and Ghana’s abundant natural gas resources effectively utilised for the benefit of the Ghanaian people and business community.

Additionally, the move to natural gas will alleviate the considerable pressure on Government from its take-or-pay commitments with fuel suppliers and allow

for the substitution of imported fuels with locally available natural gas, thus positively impacting the capital account.

Cenpower is a major power producer in Ghana, providing approximately 10% of Ghana’s total electricity generation. This project is an excellent example of the public and private sectors working together in Ghana to attract private investment while ensuring sustainable development.

Presently, Ghana pays over US$500 million a year for unused electricity. Most of the power PPAs are legacy agreements, entered into under the previous administration in an uncoordinated and short-sighted attempt to end dumsor. The tariffs agreed were not competitive and have contributed significantly to the build-up of debt in the sector and oversupply of energy.

This Government, in collaboration with the World Bank, established the Energy Sector Recovery Programme (ESRP), identifying the policies and actions needed for financial recovery in the energy sector over a five-year horizon (2019-2023). As part of these reforms, Government is taking steps to institute competitive bidding for future additional capacity, so as to ensure that future tariffs are fair and in line with expected pricing benchmarks.

Government has demonstrated its commitment to the ESRP by actively developing whole-of-sector initiatives and reforms, including implementation of the Cash Waterfall Mechanism (CWM) in April 2020, which allows tariff revenues of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to be distributed in a more transparent manner. As well, Government is managing payment of energy sector arrears, despite the challenging fiscal situation, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government negotiating team, established under the Energy Sector Recovery Task Force (ESRTF), which is helmed by the Senior Minister, is working bilaterally with independent power producers (IPPs) and gas suppliers (GSs) under the ESRP Consultation Process, to secure more favourable agreements for both parties and achieve a balanced energy sector capable of delivering fair, long-term energy

partnerships and solutions. Government has undertaken these discussions in good faith and urges all IPPs to continue working closely with the Government negotiating team to conclude negotiations as soon as possible. In September, Government successfully secured terms for an amended PPA with CENIT Power Limited.

Source: Laud Business

 

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