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Importers Advocate Use Of Chinese Yuan To Reduce FX Pressures.



The Business Community is pushing for an immediate introduction of the Chinese Yuan as a major trading currency in Ghana to reduce pressures on the Foreign Exchange (FX) market.

This, according to business owners especially importers, will reduce the pressure on the dollar which accounts for the free fall of the cedi.

China is Ghana’s second largest trading partner after Europe.

Several items manufactured in China including textiles, machinery, vegetable oil, plastics, and chemical products are imported into Ghana from China every year.

Statistics from the Trade Ministry has shown that annual imports from China is over 2 billion dollars.

With these imports, the importers have to change millions of cedis into dollars to enable them pay their manufacturers and suppliers in China, increasing the demand for the dollar.

A trend Financial Analysts say accounts for the consistent depreciation of the cedi.

“Whatever steps that can be taken so that we don’t have to depend on the dollar so much has to be taken. I don’t see why we should be wasting that much time if there is a possibility in using it. Executive Member of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) Benjamin Yeboah told Citi Business News.

He urged the government to initiate discussions with the Chinese government in that regard.

Meanwhile, the Importers and Exporters Association also says the Bank of Ghana should make the Chinese Yuan more accessible.

“It is important if the Ghanaian government allows the Yuan to be used by people who go to the Chinese market to buy,” President of the Association, Samson Asaki Awingobit noted.

On his part, Economist at the University of Ghana, Dr. Ebo Turkson believes that is not the only measure to address the situation.

“The Bank of Ghana can make sure that their counterparts in China can make free transfer of resources so the traders can easily transfer funds without having to change the money into dollars physically in Ghana before sending it.”

He added that it will not be the best decision for the Central Bank to go and change millions of cedis into Yuan and make it accessible on the Ghanaian Market.

Source: Citi Business News.

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Government Will Engage Private Sector To Drive Technological Development – Dr. Bawumia



The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has reiterated that government will engage the private sector to drive the technological needs of the country.

This, he said will create competition to enable the private sector deliver at a reasonable cost.

Dr. Bawumia was speaking at the Third Africa Leadership Conference organized by the International Advertising Association(IAA) in Accra.

According to him, “the Nana Led government believes in creating the perfect atmosphere for the private sector to develop the technology needed to drive economic development”.

Dr. Bawumia explained that government must play a limited role in competing directly with the private sector but must make the environment comfortable for the private sector to innovate.

This year’s conference which was held under the theme ‘Technology Trends versus consumer choice brought together participants from the advertising industry across the world.

Dr. Bawumia used Ghana’s recent achievements in the technology space as a good example that African countries can emulate by reserving the area for the private sector.

Recounting how Ghana has used technology in recent times to solve some challenges at the ports and in the health sector, Dr. Bawumia encouraged African countries to pool their resources to solve common problems since most of them are trans-border.

He maintained that the Nana Addo government is ready to partner other African countries on the continent to drive economic changes through technology.

Source: GhanaWeb.

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Cultivation Of 200-Acre Avocado Plantation Begins In Abuakwa Under 1D1F.



A 200-acre avocado plantation is under cultivation in Abuakwa in the Eastern Region, the first phase of an agro-processing project under the One-District-One-Factory (1D1F) programme.

Project champions, Akuapem Gold Agro Processing Limited, has targeted to cultivate 2,000 acres of three varieties of avocado within the next year and scale it up to 10,000 acres within the next five years

The construction of the factory, the second phase of the agro project, has started. The factory will have a processing capacity of six to eight tonnes per hour, according to the Chairman of Akuapem Gold, Albert Wilson.

On Monday, May 20, Okyehene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, led top dignitaries in the agric-value chain to inaugurate the avocado cultivation and process project.

Minister for Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto; National Coordinator of the 1D1F, Gifty Ohene-Konadu; CEO of the Middle Belt Development Authority, Joe Danquah among others were among those present.

Speaking at the project inauguration, Mr Wilson said the long-term objectives of the wholly-owned Ghanaian company fits within the targets of the government’s 1D1F programme.

“The project rationale is many folds and the realization of the corporate goals of Akuapen Gold will mean a significant contribution to the social economic development of Ghana.

“Among the several significant benefits that nation will derive from the company are: employment generation both direct and indirect, assured market for similar crop producers within the catchment area and beyond poverty reduction, positive impact of our inter-crops for the food security needs of the country, sustainable foreign exchange reserves from exports, contribution to the training of rural youth in agriculture…the aggregate of all these contribute to real development,” he said.

The project is expected to create least 5,000 direct and indirect jobs when it becomes fully functional.

The siting of the project in Abuakwa in the Eastern Region, Mr Wilson explained is because of the favourable agro-environment for the cultivation of avocado.

The Agric Minister said avocado, which he called “a wonder crop” is fast gaining a reputation as a new commercial crop globally and touted the Abuakwa avocado project as timely.

“Avocado is a crop of the future…the total of world trade in avocado is over $16 billion and it’s growing at a very fast rate at nearly 10% per annum,” the Minister said.

Akuapem Gold’s avocado cultivation and processing project is being funded by Ghana Exim Bank

1D1F progress so far

According to figures presented by the government, some 181 factories have so far been rolled out under the 1D1F programme since its launch in 2017.

Fifty-seven of them are currently operating, while 22 are still under construction. Government says 33 factories that are being financed by seven local banks will commence implementation before the end of 2019.

Another 56 being small-scale processing facilities and financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB), will commence before the end of 2019. $200,000 has been earmarked for each of the 56 projects.

The 56 small-scale processing facilities will be owned by youth groups who will be trained to manage the facilities.

Source: GhanaWeb

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Gov’t Considering Tax On Mobile Money – George Andah



Deputy Minister of Communications George Andah has said that government is strongly considering slapping a tax on the fees and commissions mobile money companies earn from individual transactions.

Mr. Andah speaking at the Ghana Digital Roadmap levent ast week said it should be possible for government to explore revenue opportunities in the mobile money ecosystem suggesting that the mobile money companies should brace up for possible taxation.

While taxing mobile money has been a thorny issue, Mr. Andah’s comments suggest that government is purposely targeting the income the mobile money companies earn from doing individual transactions.

“I think the focus is to understand the value of money that the mobile money operators are making. So, the transactions, cash in-cash out, those monies that the operators are making, government should be able to tax that money.

“As to whether the actual transactions being made by subscribers should be taxed, we have not started that discussion. But as far as the money they are making from subscribers for transactions they are doing and they are not reporting that as taxable income, we should be able to understand and tax them,” the Deputy Minister said.

The Deputy Minister’s suggestion comes on the back of weak domestic revenue performance, pushing government to look at other sources to boost revenue.

The use of mobile money continues to grow every day with last year data mobile money grew by 43.2 percent from the previous year, with transaction value hitting over GH¢233billion.

It has even overtaken cheques as the largest payment system in the country, as the value of cheque transactions last year was GH¢203 billion – a sure sign of the looming threats the OBG report has highlighted.

Source: CitiBusinessNews

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Jasikan Chief Eulogizes President Akuffo-Addo.



The Paramount Chief of the Jasikan Traditional Area, Nana Abram Akpanja VI, has stated that, the people of Jasikan and Ghanaian's are not ignorant about the numerous achievements of the New Patriotic Party's administration led President Akufo-Addo within a record period of two years in office.

According to Nana Abram Akpanja VI, the management of Ghanaian economy, under your leadership, has led to a big drop in inflation rate to a single digit of 9%, whilst economic growth has doubled from about 3% to 6% in two years of your rule.

He indicated that, the agricultural and services sectors have recorded over 100% growth from what you inherited during the short time of your regime. This, together with other factors, have resulted in a decline in interest rate, thus creating a better climate for business and growth.

The Jasikan Chief made this known on Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, when the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, commenced a two-day working visit to the Oti Region, as part of his 6-day tour of the Oti, North East and Savannah Regions.

The Paramount Chief of the Jasikan Traditional Area, Nana Abram Akpanja VI

Nana Abram Akpanja VI also indicated that, under President Akuffo-Addo's regime, Ghana’s economic performance is on record as one of the best in Africa currently adding that, under your human capital programme, the Free Senior High School policy has opened up immeasurable opportunities for more young Ghanaians.

The Jasikan Chief, Nana Abram Akpanja VI showed gratitude to President Akufo-Addo and his government for being the political midwives that oversaw the safe and successful delivery of the Oti Region.

Nana Abram Akpanja VI stated that, they can never find the appropriate words to convey their joy, appreciation and gratitude to the Commander In Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces for making this half-a-century old dream of the people that geographical location, including their ancestors, come true.

A Citation Presented To President Nana Akuffo-Addo

The Jasikan Chief stated that, With the demand for the Oti region beginning in 1954, before Ghana gained independence,  Buem, Biakoye, Sall, Jasikan, will forever be grateful to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his government for demonstrating boldness and commitment to principle, notwithstanding the strong, needless opposition against the Oti project by people who had always wished that they, in this part of Ghana, remained relatively less developed for reasons best known to them.

Nana Abram Akpanja VI was delighted by the commitment expressed by President Akufo-Addo to ensuring an even spread of developmental infrastructure in the region, notwithstanding their disappointment at not having the regional capital of Oti sited in Jasikan.

The Paramount Chief of the Jasikan Traditional Area, Nana Abram Akpanja VI, thus, urged President Akufo-Addo to consider locating the soon-to-be constructed Oti Regional hospital at Worawora, and a University of ICT and Urban Planning at Jasikan, explaining that, this could go a long way to compensate for the leadership role, efforts and expectations our people had invested towards the creation of the Oti Region.

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