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World Bank gives Ghana, six others US$379m

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Ghana and six other West African countries have been allocated US$379 million by the Board of the World Bank Group in International Development Association (IDA) credits and grants to help harmonize and strengthen statistical systems.

The other six ECOWAS countries are Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Togo.

According to the World Bank Group, the funds is to support the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in their efforts to deepen regional integration in Africa.

The new project, Harmonizing and Improving Statistics in West Africa (HISWA), aims to strengthen the statistical systems of participating countries and regional and sub-regional bodies, in order to help them harmonize, produce, disseminate and enhance the use of core economic and social statistics.

Good data, the World Bank Group said are essential to address the socio-economic development challenges facing the West Africa region in general, and the seven beneficiary countries in particular.

HISWA is a regional project that will stimulate demand for data and increase the capacity of the National Statistics Offices in the beneficiary countries. Key activities include, inter alia: the harmonization of methodologies by the ECOWAS Commission; strengthened production of core economic and social statistics, including demographic and poverty statistics, national accounts and price statistics; the improvement of targeted administrative statistics; capacity-building, data dissemination; and institutional reforms.

The project will also help to improve and modernize physical and statistical infrastructure to help achieve its stated objectives.

Beyond the National Statistics Offices and the regional bodies, HISWA will provide reliable microdata, data platforms and statistics bulletins to a larger audience, including universities, researchers, students and the general public.

The project is also relevant to the Strategy for Harmonization of Statistics in Africa (SHaSA2), the continent-wide initiative aimed at addressing the constraints facing African statistical systems and promoting its regional integration agenda. It also supports the implementation of ECOWAS’s regional strategy 2019-2023 that aims to raise the living standards of its member country populations. By generating data critical to national and regional planning and monitoring, the project remains well aligned with the World Bank Group’s Regional Integration and Cooperation Assistance Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa and will help strengthen the connection between regional policy commitments and national planning.

The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives.

IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa.

Source: classfmonline.com

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HIPC Is Behind Us – Finance Minister

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The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has indicated that there is no going back to the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Programme of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as far as the Government of Ghana is concerned.

He made this known on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, as he presented the 2021 expenditure in advance of appropriation.

According to him, “HIPC is behind us. Economic mismanagement is behind us.”

He recounted that “in 2001, Ghana had no choice but to swallow her pride and to sign up to the HIPC initiative, a legacy left by the outgoing NDC government.”

“Thankfully, President J.A. Kufuor got us to completion point in record time and came out of HIPC. By 2014, barely 2 years in office, President Mahama’s ‘homegrown’ economic policy had failed and Ghana signed up once again onto an IMF programme.”

“The Akufo-Addo Govt took Ghana out of the IMF Programme in record time. Ironically, those who mismanage the economy for us to come and fix it are the one’s wishing Ghana ill. My message to them is this; there is no turning back.”

He stated that the economy is stronger today than it was four years ago, and will continue to grow stronger and stronger with four more years to do more for the people of Ghana, with God’s help.

He urged that “we must be careful as a nation to reject those who return from the Promised Land, with a bad report to subvert the spirit of our people and to reject leaders who would take us back to Egypt.”

“In our quest to stabilize the economy, we have also lowered the rate of debt accumulation, re-profiled our debt, and, implemented a number of structural reforms in a transparent manner for an efficient and effective management of public debt.

11.Mr. Speaker, these significant macro-fiscal gains were achieved in spite of having:

i. paid GH¢12 billion in excess energy capacity charges which we inherited in 2017, and have kept the lights on;

ii. settled substantial part of the GH¢11 billion

outstanding arrears bequeathed to us;

iii. abolished 17 unproductive taxes to boost productivity of the private sector;

iv. spent GH¢ 21.6 billion to clean-up a collapsing financial sector and protected 4.6 million depositors and 81,700 investors.”

“That is the competent governance, hard work and God’s hand that has delivered us.”

“for fair-minded observers, the above economic indicators are clear evidence of the sharp and stark difference between a competent Akufo-Addo-led Government and others.”

“these gains have not been at the expense of our promise to improve the welfare of fellow Ghanaians. In fact, the issue of welfare is very dear to President Akufo-Addo and his government. For this reason, we invested in excess of GH¢15.7 billion on key flagship programmes.”

The NDC had claimed that President Akufo-Addo has returned Ghana to HIPC.

However, the IMF says NDC’s claim was “deceptive.”

 

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Ghana Government to buy Airtel-Tigo for $25Million

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Discussions for the transfer of AirtelTigo shares to the government of Ghana along with all customers, assets and agreed liabilities are in its advanced stages.

The transaction will be concluded by the execution of definitive agreements shortly.

The government of Ghana through this transaction, will temporarily operate the national asset in the best interest of the nation, and ensure the protection of the interests of all employees, customers and stakeholders, and a continuation of the digital transformation in Ghana, a statement issued on the move has said.

Given the multiplier impact the telecommunications sector has on the economy and various related industries, the Government of Ghana has entered into this agreement to ensure that thousands of Ghanaian jobs are safe guarded, the statement added.

It is of critical importance that the telecommunications sector remains healthy, dynamic, vibrant, and most importantly, competitive, the statement added.

The board of Bharti Airtel in a statement issued to the Bombay Stock Exchange on Tuesday evening [October 27, 2020] announced that the board has cleared the sale of its Ghana joint venture – Airtel Tigo – to the Ghana government.

It is taking an impairment charge of about $25million for the transaction.

“The parties are in advance stages of discussions for conclusion of the commercial agreement for the transfer of AirtelTigo on a going concern basis to the government of Ghana,” Airtel said in the statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange in India.

The proposed deal would result in the government of Ghana acquiring 100% shares of Airtel Ghana Limited, also known as AirtelTigo, along with all its customers, assets and agreed liabilities.

“Accordingly, Airtel is voluntarily taking an impairment charge of Rs 1,841 million (Rs 184 crore),” the statement added.

AirtelTigo is a joint venture between ‘Airtel’ and ‘Millicom’ wherein Airtel holds a non-controlling 49.95% share in AirtelTigo.

Source: Graphic.com.gh

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Elubo to Get New Ultra-Modern Market – Mahama

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The Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) John Dramani Mahama, has announced the next NDC administration will construct an ultra-modern market in the border town of Elubo in the Western Region to the size of the Kejetia market.

He has therefore, asked Ghanaians to vote for him and the NDC in the upcoming general elections.

He asked Ghanains to have an introspection into their lives and determine whether or not their standard of living under the current administration has improved.

He expressed optimism that Ghanaians will vote against the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to give the NDC the chance to form the next government.

On Friday October 23, his Vice Presidential candidate, Professor Jane Naana Opoku- Agyemang also assured market women that the next government of the NDC will ensure that befitting spaces are provided to them to carry out their trade.

A decent market space will indicate that the women are being respected for the kind of profession they have chosen, she said.

“Market women need more decent market spaces to trade,” Prof Opoku-Agyemang said during the ‘Women in a Conversation with Naana’ event.

She added “We need markets that look like Kotokuraba market in Cape Coast and such interventions show respect for our women because the market place is the office of the market woman.”

– 3news.com

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