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SGS & Thinkstep Train Banking & Real Estate Executives To Be Experts On EDGE Green Building.

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After decades of efforts, a standard document to regulate the activities of the building and construction industry in Ghana has been instituted.

The comprehensive Building Code, GS1207 of 2018, encompasses requirements and recommendations for efficiency and standards for Residential and Non-Residential buildings and as well cover planning, management and practices in the construction of buildings.

The document also covers the smooth and safe operation of the building and construction industry such as Occupancy Classification and Use, Site Development and Land Use, General Building Heights and Areas. It also includes types of Construction, Fire and Smoke Protection Features, Interior Furnishes, Energy efficiency and Sustainability, Soils and Foundations, Electrical Systems and Allied Installations, Plumbing Systems, Lift and Conveying Systems, Safeguards during Construction and Green Building Requirements.

In the backdrop of setting standards to ensure that Ghana’s building environment is safe and meets international standards, Stanbic Bank has signed an MOU with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, to train 18 staff of Stanbic Bank as certified Edge Experts, to support developers to be able to go green.

According to Mr. Stanislaus Deh, head of product personal and business banking at Stanbic Bank Ghana, in an interview with Newsghana.com.gh at the training, on Thursday February 28, 2019, at the World Bank Office in Accra, he said, “What we are doing as a bank in spearheading this project is to make sure that every project that we finance, that is building, we go green with the people.”

“And the good thing is that, when you go green, it benefits you, it increases your profile, it prepares you for the regulations that are going to hit us very soon from 2020,” he added.

In an answer to the question, as to whether the people will be willing to adopt green buildings, he said, “For me, a lot of people will be more than willing to adopt it. What we have to do to scale up more now is together with the international community educate people quickly, so they know why we are doing what we are doing now.”

Mr. Deh, expatiated that, the Sustainable Principles Committee of Ghana, has for the past three years been developing the sustainable principles for the banks. Saying, “Basically, like we all know that sustainability has got to do with meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising that of the future. So, looking at the fact that, in the past three years we as a world have agreed to deal with climate change. The country as a whole is doing what they can do to deal with mitigation and adoption.”

According to him, one of the low hanging fruits when it comes to climate change has to do with the issue of green buildings and built environments. “So for us in Stanbic Bank, apart from the Ghana Home Loans, we are one of the biggest in terms of providing built environments for the country. So, as the team in Stanbic, we thought that it is time to lead the crusade for green buildings with energy efficiency, water efficiency, and making sure that material embodiments are also good to be yoked with the regulations for the buildings to be certified as green.”

On his part in an interview, Mr. Dennis Papa Odenyi Quansah, Program Lead for IFC EDGE Green Building Market Transformation Program in Ghana and Nigeria, explained that, “It is important to invest in green buildings, because it will minimize the use of water and electricity in buildings.

Green building structures are energy efficient, environmentally friendly and use resources wisely as well.”

He said, it wasn’t for nothing that the government of Ghana instituted the Ghana Building Code. That it was set up to champion efficient usage of scarce resources including energy and water

According to him, Green building is a step in the right direction towards conserving global energy because, energy consumption is predicted to grow by 37% by 2035 and 96% of this expected growth will be attributable to developing nations. Mr. Quansah said, there is the need for green construction which offers a chance to secure emission cuts at a low cost.

A section of the trainees commended the authorities of Stanbic Bank and IFC, for the great opportunity to train them as certified Edge Experts, to support developers to be able to go green. They however called for more of such trainings in order to get more experts to help in the education.

About EDGE

An innovation of IFC, EDGE helps property developers to build and brand green in a fast, easy and affordable way. EDGE is supported by free software that encourages solutions to reduce energy, water and the energy used to make building materials by at least 20 percent, which is the standard for EDGE certification. EDGE Certification and Audit in Ghana is done by the consortium of thinkstep-SGS. The program has been generously supported by the Switzerland government through the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

By: Roger A. Agana

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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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