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”BoG Did Not Spend Any Reserves To Reincarnate The Cedi” – Veep Dr. Bawumia

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Vice President Dr. Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia has stated that, contrary to some speculation, the Bank of Ghana(BoG) did not spend any reserves to revive the cedi following the initial depreciation.

Some people have misunderstood the requirement by the International Monetary Funds(IMF) for the Bank of Ghana to build up its reserves by some $800 million to mean that, the Bank of Ghana used that money to reserve the depreciation of the Ghanaian cedi.

According to Dr. Bawumia, the reason for the sudden reversal in the sharp depreciation that Ghanaians observed was that, the market corrected itself, adding that, investor sentiments, expectations and uncertainties acknowledged that the fundamentals are much stronger than suspected, and the even without IMF, the fiscal and monetary discipline are assured.

Dr. Bawumia revealed that, to meet the IMF prior action, the Bank of Ghana had to rather build up reserves in a period of extreme demand pressures by some $800 million, and had no room to intervene in the foreign exchange market in the line with approved intervention policy. This he claims partly explains why the Ghana cedi came under significant pressure during this period which he was exacerbated by speculation.

The Vice President disclosed that, in 2014, the exchange rate depreciated by 31.3%. He stated that, the fiscal deficit was 10.1%, Public Debt to Gross Domestic Product(GDP) rose to 70.2%, Inflation rose to 17% and GDP growth declined from 7.3% to 4.0%. He stated that, the economic fundamentals had weakened significantly and therefore the depreciation was easily explainable.

Dr. Bawumia stated that, the most important reason and the proximate cause of the recent depreciation is the time inconsistency of an IMF prior action on the reserves target. At the end of January, as part of the 7 prior actions to complete the IMF program which went to the board on March 20, 2019, the Bank of Ghana was required to ensure net international reserves(NIR) target on March 14, 2019, are the same levels as it was at the end of March.

He stated that, although in absolute terms interest payments have the last two years, with much better debt management, interest payments as a percentage of GDP declined from 6.9% of GDP in 2016 to 5.6% of GDP in 2018, reducing the burden of the debt on the budget, noting that, for the first time in a decade, Ghana recorded a primary balance surpluses(that is tax revenues exceeded all government spending-excluding debt service payments) for two years.

The VEEP stated that, the primary balance surplus was 0.5% of GDP in the 2017, 1.4% in 2018, compared to a primary deficit of 1.1% of GDP in 2016. A positive primary balance means a slowing down in the rate of debt accumulation.

Vice President Dr. Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia however stated that, the Ministry of Finance has focused on aligning government revenue with expenditure in order to reduce the fiscal deficit. He added that, the Bank of Ghana has performed its complementary role in managing the country’s monetary and financial environment.

By: Gerrard-Israel

Business

SSNIT Calls For A Review Of Contribution Rate.

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The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has called for a review of the contribution rate of workers to enable it to sustain the pension scheme and to pay workers higher pensions.

Currently, the contribution rate is 11 per cent of basic salary but SSNIT wants it reviewed to 19.2 per cent.

At the Volta Regional forum in Ho to discuss issues related to pensions, benefit computation, among others, the Director-General of SSNIT, Dr John Ofori-Tenkorang, said there was the need for a discussion on what the correct funding rate should be for the scheme.

The forum was organised by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in collaboration with SSNIT.

Participants were taken through practical details of how to estimate their pensions.

Dr Ofori-Tenkorang said the benefits that pensioners received as compared to the contributions they make showed that there was a chance that SSNIT might not be able to meet its obligations in the future especially when more and more pensioners come on board.

“We have had external actuaries who come and look at our scheme every three years and some of their suggestions they have been making is that we should come up with an appropriate funding rate to sustain the scheme,” he said.

The time, he said, had come for the country to build a robust and sustainable scheme that would still be there for generations to come.

No cheating

Responding to claims that SSNIT pensions were low, Dr Tenkorang debunked such claims, stating that there were no myths surrounding benefit computation and that pensions were “a direct reflection of salaries of workers on which they contribute”.

He described SSNIT as a “generous scheme”, explaining that the lowest paid pensioner earns more than a lowest paid worker in active service despite meagre contributions.

According to him, the system put in place did not create the opportunity for SSNIT workers to steal people’s pensions and in a situation whereby there was a wrong computation of benefits, it could be easily rectified.

“SSNIT does not cheat workers. I can’t cheat you; SSNIT workers cannot cheat you too. If they don’t even pay you the right amount, they can’t put that money in the pocket because wrong computation can easily be corrected,” he told members of labour groups and workers at the forum.

The SSNIT boss mentioned that SSNIT had embarked on an aggressive public education agenda to promote knowledge of the scheme among others and for that matter has rolled out the second phase of infoshop in five universities to empower next generation of workers on their right to the scheme.

TUC

The Deputy Secretary General of TUC, Mr Joshua Ansah, said pensions had been a major concern for workers in Ghana and that was why they felt it necessary to bring the top hierarchy of SSNIT to address the concerns for workers.

He urged workers to take an active interest in their social security and retirement planning.

Source: Citi Business News

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Ghana Leads Africa In Gold Production

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South Africa’s struggling gold industry has suffered yet another humiliation, losing its status as continental leader to Ghana.

The country that led global gold production for a century and extracted about half the bullion mined to date is now Africa’s second-largest gold producer. Output is shrinking as operators capitulate to stubbornly high costs, regular strikes and the geological challenges of tapping the world’s deepest mines.

Meanwhile Ghana, a country whose gold-mining industry dates back to the 19th century, is benefiting from lower-cost mines, friendlier policies and new development projects.

South African industry stalwarts AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. and Gold Fields Ltd. are shifting their focus to other countries — including Ghana — where deposits are cheaper and easier to mine. The largest remaining gold miner in South Africa, Sibanye Gold Ltd., is cutting thousands of jobs and diversifying into platinum-group metals as it struggles to contain costs.

The difficulties facing South African gold mines mean output is contracting even though it’s got the world’s second-largest reserves of the metal, according to estimates from the U.S. Geological Survey.

In Ghana, gold output jumped 12% in 2018, according to data from the country’s Chamber of Mines. Small producers account for the largest share of the total, although the nation also hosts some of the world’s biggest gold miners, including No. 1 producer Newmont Goldcorp Corp. While Newmont is exploring in Ethiopia, Ghana is the only place in Africa where it operates.

“It’s an important part of our portfolio and, geologically we see really good potential to continue to expand,” Chief Executive Officer Gary Goldberg said in an interview. “We’re very happy operating in Ghana.”

The West African nation’s output will get a further boost when AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi operation, previously overrun by illegal miners, restarts later this year. Production from Obuasi is forecast at 350,000 to 450,000 ounces of gold annually during the first 10 years.

The Obuasi operation “will be an engine for growth” for AngloGold, CEO Kelvin Dushnisky said in September. The company is investing as much as $500 million to revive the mine.

Gold Fields, which has operated in Ghana for 26 years, says authorities there understand what makes for a “sound” business environment. The country cut corporate taxes in 2016 and in 2017 changed Gold Fields’ mineral royalty to a sliding scale based on the gold price, from a 5% flat rate.

“The government of Ghana’s 10% free-carry stake in all mining companies provides a level of security to the investment,” said Sven Lunsche, spokesman for Gold Fields.

Back in South Africa, a dearth of exploration and investment means the sector that once powered Africa’s most-industrialized economy will continue to shrink, said Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe. As South Africa’s 130-year-old industry limps toward its final years, mining investors must look beyond gold for better returns, he said.

“Gold is an old sector and naturally it will decline,” Mantashe said. “New minerals that are discovered are becoming more important.”

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Kasapreko Donates To Chief Imam To Mark EID-UI-FITR

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Ghana's leading and most successful beverage company, Kasapreko Company Limited has donated one of it’s latest innovations, Smart Choice flavoured water and other brands including Awake Purified Drinking Water, Storm Energy drink, Chocomalt, Kiddy Pack drinks to the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Dr. Usamanu Nuhu Sharabutu to mark this year’s Eid-UI-Fitr.

Presenting the donation at the office of the National Chief Imam in Accra, Mr. Chris Addo – Sarkodie, Marketing Manager at Kasapreko said the donation was in line with their social responsibility and given the reverence and stature of the National Chief Iman, the company felt it proper to undertake this exercise.
He also maintained that they look forward to stronger relationship with the Office of the Chief Iman in the ensuing years.

National Chief Imam Sheik Dr. Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu applauded Kasapreko company Limited for the kind gesture and used the opportunity to pray for the entire nation – appealing to Muslims to bridge the gap between the rich and poor by way of giving to the needy and less privileged in the society and the Muslim community.

Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu (Spokesperson for the National Chief Imam), who received the donation expressed appreciation for the kind gesture.

Chief Imam ended the ceremony with a prayer that Allah blesses the company in all its endeavours.

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Kasapreko Wins Most Admired Brand In Africa

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Kasapreko company limited, one of the leading and most successful beverage producing company in Ghana emerged among the Top 25 most admired brands in Africa. This was announced at the 7th annual Brand Africa report in Belgium on the 24th May 2019.

Kasapreko company limited is the only Ghanaian business that made it to the top 25 most admired brands in Africa, according to the report unveiled by Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in partnership with Geopoll , Kantar, Brand Leadership and Africa Business Magazine.

Brand Africa 100 is a Pan Africa survey and ranking of Africa’s best brand developed by Brand Leadership. The rankings are based on comprehensive survey by Geopoll, a global leader in providing high quality market research in emerging markets and strategies analysis weighted by consumer admiration and Kantar, the world leading Data, Insight and consulting firm.

Kasapreko Company Limited beats brands such as Amarula, Jumia , Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Star Beer, Kwese among others in the categories of Alcoholic Beverages, Retail, Aviation, Food , Media and Personal Care.

Commenting on the award, Mr. Richard Adjei, Managing Director of Kasapreko said, This honour is dedicated to the hard working staff of the company, Key distributors and partners for their continues support and growth to the organisation.

He also thanked the customers and consumers of kasapreko brands on the continent which has seen the company been ranked as the most indigenous Ghana beverage provider in Africa.

Mr. Gerald Bonsu, the commercial Director also added that the company’s brand portfolio holds the most loved brands such as Alomo Bitters, Storm Energy Drink, Awake Purified Drinking Waater , K20 Whiskey, sold in the world.

Mr. Bonsu assured that the Flagship brand of the product of KCL , Alomo Bitters is in its 20th Anniversary. Alomo Bitters which is a scientifically formulated herbal alcoholic beverage has met all international students selling in many countries across the world.

Kasapreko Company limited is a multi National total beverage company having with product line categories such as Water, Wine, Cuder, Liquor and whiskey.

The company has bagged several awards including West Africa Business Excellence Awards, Export Manufacturing company of the year, Alcoholic Bitter of the year (Alomo Bitters, Manufacturer of the year (Kasaperko Company Limited) , Best Local Tax Compliance Company of the Year by Ghana Revenue Authority, ISO Certified Company and Ghana Club 100 among others …

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