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Oil Prices Drop After IMF’s Review Of Global Economic Growth

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Oil prices fell on Tuesday [October 10, 2018] following the IMF’s downward review of the global economic growth forecasts.

Reuters however reports that markets were supported as Hurricane Michael closed nearly 40 percent of U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil output and U.S. sanctions restricted Iranian exports.

The Fund reduced the global economic growth from 3.9 to 3.7 percent.

The IMF also raised concerns that demand for oil products may slump as well.

But on Tuesday, the price of Brent crude went down by 44 cents or about half a percent; to reach 84.56 dollars a barrel.

This was after a 1.3 percent gain earlier in the day.

Again, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down by 41 cents, also about half a percent, to 74.55 dollars a barrel, after rising nearly 1 percent in the previous session.

The decline in prices may impact Ghana in two ways; that the country will receive less for the exports of crude during the period which will affect projected oil revenue.

On the other hand, the country could save some dollars as it will have to spend less in purchasing crude that it imports.

But the effect on imports will be higher as the country imports more than it exports.

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‘Going To School In The Middle East And North Africa’, A Book By Dr. Kwabena Dei Ofori-Attah

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‘Going To School In The Middle East And North Africa‘ is a book authored by Dr. Kwabena Dei Ofori-Attah of Ghana.

According to Dr. Ofori-Attah, he wrote the book to show the world that apart from the violence we read in newspapers, from social media, and other media, the Middle East and North Africa region is home to a good education.

The region according to Dr. Ofori-Attah, is the cradle for our modern school system. In the quest to find out more, TheAfricanDream.net had a chat with the author to learn more about the motivation behind the book published a decade ago.

“I got the inspiration to write the book from two of my college professors, Dr. Gifford Doxsee and Prof. Milt Ploghoft. I took three demanding classes with Dr. Doxsee about North Africa and the Middle East. After graduation, I decided to put my ideas together to write the book,” said Ghana-born Dr. Ofori-Attah when asked what gave rise to the book.

Dr. Kwabena Dei Ofori-Attah journeys into the genesis of his book

In June 1995 the author completed his doctoral studies in education at Ohio (OH) University in Athens, OH in the United States (US). Soon after graduation, he started teaching at University of the Cumberlands (formerly Cumberland College) in Williamsburg, Kentucky. After a while, he received the academic financial inspiration to write the book from Prof. Ploghoft.

“I was inspired by him to develop the online journal, ‘The African Symposium‘ from which I got a lot of information for my work. The online platform is for publishing educational research reports on Africa. The journal published by the African Education Research Network (AERN) is basically what set all of this off,” said the author who spoke highly of Prof. Ploghoft, the man who provided him with the funds to develop the AERN website.

Until he wrote the book, the Ghanaian author’s only connection with North Africa was through his studies and also letters from his younger brother who taught the English language in Libya. “Also, I had three students in my classes from North Africa and the Middle East who I interviewed for information about the book,” explained Dr. Ofori-Attah who also interviewed others outside his classes for the project.

Besides being Founder of the AERN, the author was its Managing-Editor for over five years. He has over 25 years of teaching experience in the West African nations of Ghana and Nigeria, and also in the US.

Impressed with literacy spurt in region ten years after the book

When asked of his opinion on what has changed in the region’s educational system since the book was published in 2008 vis-a-vis today, the author said some of the significant changes that he has witnessed are in the simple development of higher education systems in the region: “the halving of illiteracy which had aggressively begun even before my book started has been greatly improved upon today”

“The region has almost achieved a total gender parity in their primary education sector and literacy rates for young adults has greatly improved in the last 20 years from 59 percent in 1990 to 78 percent in 2010. That indeed is highly impressive,” — Dr. Ofori-Attah.

Looking back today, the author told TheAfricanDream.net that he is glad he pushed on with work to get the book published by the publisher — Greenwood Press. He said some of the setbacks he encountered at the time involved some interview candidates and students talked to for the book, who initially felt uncomfortable talking to him about education in the region.

“Again, I did not want to include Israel in the book because of the ongoing conflict but the publishers refused to agree with me on this because they argued it is part of the region. So we went on and added it. Today it is such a humbling opportunity to look back at all that good work and the impact it is having on lives.”

Higher education institutions from all over the world are opening up branch universities in the region. Qatar for instance now has created what is called the ‘Education City‘, where many countries outside the region are competing for space to build branch campuses.

What Dr. Ofori-Attah has been up to these days
“I am a Research Fellow for the AERN. In this capacity, I work with international students all over the world, something which keeps me busy,” said the author.

He is am a member of several international organizations such as the Commonwealth of Learning COL; an intergovernmental organization created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources, and technologies.

“COL is helping developing nations improve access to quality education and training.” said the author who currently teaches at Central State University, Wilberforce, OH. He has published a number of articles in places like the Encyclopedia of Education (2004), and a chapter in International Handbook on Urban Education, 2006, and many others.

Stay tuned for more info on two book chapters the author is writing on Teacher Education in Liberia and Sierra Leone. For now, you can get ‘Going To School In The Middle East And North Africa’ at Amazon by searching bit.ly/deioforiattah.

Written by Oral Ofori

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Aggrieved Customers Give Menzgold 4-week Ultimatum To Pay Returns

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A group calling itself aggrieved traders of gold dealership company, Menzgold has given the company a four-week ultimatum to pay 50% principal investments of all customers.

The group made this known at a press conference to drum home their demands following the refusal of the company to honor contract obligations of paying them their investment returns.

The press conference was in response to several statements from Menzgold since the impasse between the gold dealership company and the SEC began.

The company has recently hinted of its plan to make payment of the principal investment of all customers within three months. ,

General Secretary of the aggrieved customers of Menzgold, Kenneth Nimoh gave a four-week ultimatum for the company to provide 50% of the principal investment of customers.

“We do not subscribe to the prolonged period of 90 days stated in Menzgold communication as the company has not adhered to timelines in the past periods. We are even more concerned that this is nothing more than the time-bound strategy as the company in these past few weeks has rebranded its official vehicles, laid off staff, and it is likely to vacate their offices in the coming weeks.

“We recognize the difficulty Menzgold faces should it attempt to pay all customers at a go. Members of aggrieved traders of Menzgold are therefore giving them four weeks per their stipulated time to pay 50% of the total value of gold traded to customers and pay the rest of the remaining amount when the 90 days are due.”

The customers also disagreed with the company’s decision to make the payment via their accounts.

“They have promised us that we should go to our various branches and right from day one nothing has been done about it. If they say we should go and they will send money into our accounts, we not believe that it will happen,” an aggrieved customer said.

Menzgold has not been able to pay matured returns to its investors since the Security and Exchanges Commission (SEC) ordered it to suspend its gold trading operations to the public.

The company in an attempt to call the bluff of SEC came up with a payment schedule to pay its clients, but the said payments have been postponed for three consecutive times.

The delayed payments continue to stir up anger among Menzgold customers, as they have vowed to use every means possible to retrieve their investments.

‘We may pay in 90-days if you terminate your transaction’ – Menzgold

Menzgold had earlier indicated in a statement that customers who wish to terminate their investment transaction with the company will receive a full payment of their investment in 90 days if the ongoing misunderstanding with statutory institutions is resolved.

“Should Menzgold succeed in reaching an amicable resolution with the authorities, customers wishing to continue trading with Menzgold are free to exercise the option of continuing to trade with us. Similarly, customers wishing to terminate their business with Menzgold are free to do so and should be rest assured of their full payment in 90-days as stipulated…” the statement said.

Source: CitiBusiness News

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BoG Gets Thumbs Up For Acting On Insolvent Savings & Loans Companies

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The Association of Savings and Loans Companies has backed an intended action by the Bank of Ghana to rid the system of insolvent operators.

The Association is confident the move will restore confidence and stabilize the financial sector.

“Whatever happens, there are certain effects such that it is going to make sure that financial institutions are better positioned to serve their customers which also has an effect on the institution. The other side has to do with those who will not be able to continue their operations, the regulator will also make sure that adequate measures are put in place to safeguard the depositor,” Executive Secretary of the Association of Savings and Loans Companies, Tweneboa Kodua Boakye said.

The Bank of Ghana is set to crack the whip on all insolvent operators of the thirty-seven Savings and Loans Companies through mergers or purchase and assumption processes.

It follows a similar exercise carried out in the banking sector to protect depositors’ funds.

Mr. Boakye says although the move will cause apprehension among customers, he believes it will ultimately sanitize and birth a stronger sector.

“Mind you that regulation first and foremost looks at the depositor. How do we protect that depositor to make sure that his or her money is safe? So we support the action of the regulator and we will want to encourage all customers to continue to use the services of these institutions who are regulated by the Central Bank because the regulator will make sure to do what is right,” he explained.

The exercise by the BoG is expected to cost 2 billion cedis to secure the funds of depositors.

The action will see BoG move beyond the banking space to other deposit taking institutions for the first time.

Source: Ghana Web

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Ghana Post To Revamp Domestic Parcel Deliveries

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The management and board of Ghana Post Company Limited have outlined a number of strategies to revamp postal services, especially domestic parcel services.

Interest in domestic parcels has waned considerable affected the operations of the company and management says it is determined to reverse the trend. Between 2012 and August, this year, the company delivered 56,145 domestic parcels raking in revenue of GH?525,750.40.

The breakdown of the deliveries of domestic parcels are 2012 – 4,789; 2013 -9,003; 2014 – 13, 520; 2015 – 13,857; 2016 – 12,771; 2017 – 1,913 and 2018 – 292 as at the end of August.

As Ghana joins the world to mark World Postal Day today, Managing Director of Ghana Post, Mr James Kwofie,is of the view that many customers are unaware that the company undertakes domestic parcel deliveries.

The domestic parcel delivery services, he explained, would help its customers and prospective customers to safely send their items from one part of the country to another.

Between 2012 and August 2018, Ghana Post delivered 205,074 foreign parcels raking in revenue of GH?1,974,425.30.

The breakdown of the foreign parcel deliveries are 2012 – 44,459; 2013 – 35,422; 2014 – 27,828; 2015 – 25,562; 2016 – 25, 867; 2017 – 26,233 and 2018 – 19,703.

Charges 30 percent lower than competitors According to Ghana Posts, its charges are about 30 percent lower than what is charged on the market.

E-Commerce Service

Kwofie also said the company has also introduced an e-commerce service to support companies engaged in buying and selling to freely advertise their products.

Opening up Ghanaian markets to non-Ghanaian customers He said the e-commerce platform, which would operate like Amazon and the likes, would also open up the Ghanaian markets to non-Ghanaian customers, since the service could be accessed anywhere in the world.

To further make the e-commerce platform more convenient for customers, he stated that Ghana Post would actively take part in the service by delivering items that are bought on the platform to its owners.

One free adverts on e-commerce platform for all companies Kwofie added that the e-commerce platform would be run for free after its launch this month for the first 12 months, before companies that would be advertising on the platform would be made to pay for their content.

Electronic Evaluation System

Similarly, he said, Ghana Post is also introducing electronic evaluation system to enable its customers to easily know the amount they are supposed to pay on received parcels, particularly those sent from abroad.

He explained that the electronic evaluation service would help to clear some of the inconveniences customers go through before taking their parcels from the company.

Blocking leakages in the company’s finances Kwofienoted that the service would also help to block some of the leakages in the company’s finances, stressing that the service would help to ensure consistency in their pricing system.

Customers To Pay For Services Online

He said under the electronic evaluation service, customers could pay for the delivery cost of their parcels online and the item would be delivered to them in their homes.

GPS App

Touching on the successes of the company, he said the Ghana Post GPS is gradually gaining acceptance by many people in the country, adding that the company would continue to create awareness about the service and also encourage its usage.

Ghana Post GPS is a ‘home-grown’ location-based system which provides the most effective means of addressing every location. The Ghana Post GPS App was launched on October 18, 2017 by President Nana Akufo-Addo to provide accurate data for planning and service delivery for service providers and ultimately, make it easy to identify and find locations, as well as boost emergency service delivery.

The app was designed by Vokacom, a Ghanaian information technology firm, with the National Information Technology Agency (NITA).

10,000 Items Using Ghana Post GPS

Kwofie said over 10,000 items have also been delivered using the digital addressing system, noting that the digital address makes it easier for the company to deliver items to people at their homes.

Successes

He said for the first time since 2012, the company has been able to grow its revenue by 25 percent, which it intends to double in the next four years. He said as part of strategies to improve its operations, the company has procured 22 new vehicles to ensure efficiency and also embark on additional new routes.

Kwofie noted that the company has also taken full control of its operations which,hitherto, was in the hands of third parties, stressing that the company remains the leader in the cross-border postal services in the country.

He added that as part of measures to provide effective and efficient postal services in Senior High Schools (SHSs) across the country, the company intends to tag all SHS buildings with digital addresses.

This, he said, would make it easier for the company to directly deliver items to students whilst in school, pointing out that the exercise would cover all schools under the Ghana Education Service (GES).

Kwofie said government also intends to harmonize street naming exercises with the digital addressing system.

Source: Ghana Web

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