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CFTA Secretariat: AU Delegation assesses Ghana’s bid

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CFTA Secretariat: AU Delegation assesses Ghana’s bid

A delegation from the Africa Union Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) has arrived in Accra to assess Ghana’s bid to host its secretariat.

Ghana is among six other countries that have put in a bid to host the CFTA secretariat which aims to establish a single market across the continent and extend the provision of regional public goods beyond hard infrastructure.

The other bids are from Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal and Madagascar.

Ghana’s Information Minister, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, on behalf of the Ghanaian government, received the 10-man AU delegation led by Ambassador Rosette Nyirinkindi Katungye, an advisor on Regional Integration at the Bureau of the office of the AU Chairperson, shortly after they arrived at the Kotoka International Airport.

Mr Nkrumah said the delegation was in town to inspect Ghana’s preparedness to host the secretariat.

He said Ghana was looking forward to grabbing the opportunity which comes with several benefits, including the creation of jobs.

“In the coming days, Ghanaian officials will take them round on an inspection to show our preparedness. If you have the secretariat in your country, it is a huge deal which will bring many opportunities for the growth of this country,” Mr Nkrumah told reporters.

The Africa Continental Free Trade Area is a planned free trade area outlined in the Continental Free Trade Agreement among 49 of the 55 AU nations.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in March last year, appended his signature to the three legal instruments, namely the agreement establishing the Continental Free Trade Area; the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and the Kigali Declaration which have brought the CFTA into fruition.

Source: classfmonline.com

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Poor records and non-existent data pose challenge to debt recovery – Governor

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Poor records and non-existent data pose challenge to debt recovery - Governor

Poor records and non-existent data pose challenge to debt recovery – Governor

Dr Ernest Yedu Addison, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, has stated that poor records and non-existent data has become a major challenge to receivers of the nine collapsed banks to recover debts owed to people and institutions.

He said out of the total loan debt of GH¢ 10.1 billion owed to people and institutions by these banks prior to the revocation of their licenses, only GH¢ 731 million have been recovered through loan repayment by customers, placement, liquidation of bonds and income and other income sources, leaving a balance of about GH¢ 9.3 billion yet to be recovered.

Dr Addison, addressing issues on the Banking Sector reforms at the fourth CEO Summit in Accra, said the difficulties had limited the effectiveness of the receivership process and delayed its outcomes.

He the situation had led to an engagement of the judicial system by the receivers to help in the recovery of certain assets from shareholders, directors and other loan defaulters.

He said there were currently about 50 cases pending before various courts across the country, but despite the efforts, the recovery process was being challenged by acts of some individuals involved, who had resorted to some measures to frustrate the system.

Dr Addison mentioned some of the challenges to include poor records, which made it difficult for receivers to identify and pursue some of the loan defaulters due to insufficient or non-existent information on their transactions.

He further explained that investigations so far had shown that some assets were not registered in the names of the financial institutions, but in the names of connected parties, making it difficult to dispose the underlined collaterals to offset their outstanding loans.

The Governor underscored the critical role of the judiciary in ensuring efficient adjudication in commercial cases, but said the country would not be able address some of the problems associated with the poor structural regime concerning Non-Performing Loans if the courts failed to adjudicate some of these cases with speed.

He recommended the possibility of setting up special courts to adjudicate matters relating to the specific issues arising out of the banks resolutions and revocation of licenses, as well as issues relating to collateral.

Dr Addison said a swift and fair judicial system would enhance the efforts being made by the Central Bank to bring some sanity into the banking sector, by fighting against financial crime including money-laundering.

Mr Ernest De-Graft Egyir, the Chief Executive of the Ghana CEO Network, thanked the Governor for shedding more light on what was going on in the banking sector, in order to ensure good corporate governance among the leadership of institutions.

He said the Summit on the theme: “The Futuristic Economy: Technology-Driven Future of Business and Governance for Economic Transformation,” had become necessary for discussions because the world of business and governance was at the threshold of transformation driven by emerging technologies.

He said the emerging technologies were profoundly changing the world of work, with regards to jobs, skills, education, industry, manufacturing, business models and economies among others, and CEOs must strategise to meet the demands and challenges that may arise from this transition.

Source: ghananewsagency.org

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BoG had 7 days worth of imports before requesting Fund’s support – IMF

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BoG had 7 days worth of imports before requesting Fund’s support – IMF

BoG had 7 days worth of imports before requesting Fund’s support – IMF

The International Monetary Fund’s Resident Representative to Ghana says when Ghana officially requested for the Fund’s support back in 2014, the country only had around seven days’ worth of imports in net foreign exchange reserves, equivalent to $400 million.

In an article, Dr Albert Touna-Mama said, “When Ghana officially requested the Fund support on August 8, 2014, the cedi had depreciated by 40 per cent, inflation was in the double-digits, and the Bank of Ghana only had around seven days’ worth of imports in net foreign exchange reserves, equivalent to $400 million.”

He added, “In the first half of 2014, the fiscal deficit was almost exclusively financed by BoG printing money for an amount equivalent to 22 per cent of the previous year’s fiscal revenue, compared with a target of only 5 per cent, as alternative financing sources were drying up fast. Interest rates stood at around 24–25 per cent on domestic debt.”

According to Dr Touna-mama, “The generous terms of the Fund financing provided Ghana with the needed breathing space to avoid resorting to measures that are harmful to national prosperity.”

“For instance, the Government was able under the programme not to accrue new arrears while at the same time adopting a clearance plan to deal with legacy arrears.”

The IMF Executive Board approved a $918 million loan to Ghana in 2015 to support a reform program aimed at faster growth and job creation while protecting social spending.

Source: Myjoyonline.com

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Government to offload shares of some state enterprises

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Government to offload shares of some state enterprises

Government has hinted of plans to offload part of its shares in some state enterprises onto the Ghana stock market.

The move is part initiative to power the private sector to hold a majority stake in some of the state enterprises. The government believes offloading the shares will maximise the profit of the enterprises.

In an interview with Joy FM, Chief Executive of the State Enterprises Commission Stephen Asamoah Boateng said discussions with the finance ministry are far advanced to float some of the state enterprises on the stock market.

The Chief Executive in the interview refused to disclose the possible state enterprises to be listed on the stock market.

“We are now preparing the grounds to see which ones are potentially good to float on the stock market so that Ghanaians can also buy into it, I am more relax in terms of getting the fundamentals right, now the new authority coming in need to get the structures going..”

He also explained the conversion of the commission into an authority and its centralisation.

“The other ministries which give policy directions sometimes they assume the role of ownership and you have the state enterprise setting there, the divestiture implementation committee so there were adverse authorities everywhere we have to bring everything under one authority to centralise it to have an oversight role and that authority then reports to the others including parliament.”

Source: primenewsghana.com

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