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Ghana’s gov’t has a business-oriented mind set – WBAF Chairman

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Ghana’s gov't has a business-oriented mind set – WBAF Chairman

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the World Business Angels Investment Forum, an affiliated partner of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), has described the Government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as having a “business-oriented mind-set” which has set the nation apart in the eyes of the international community.

According to Mr Baybars Altuntas, this mind-set is reflected not just in the policies and programmes being implemented, but in the setting up of a Business Development Ministry, the first of its kind in the world.

Speaking in Accra on Tuesday, 6th August 2019 Mr Altuntas emphasised that the international community is increasingly becoming aware of Ghana’s attraction as the preferred investment destination and as a country with great entrepreneurial abilities in sub-Saharan Africa in recent times.

Mr Altuntas praised Ghana’s investment and entrepreneurship credentials when he signed a formal agreement with the Government of Ghana, represented by the Ministry of Business Development, at the launch of the Ghana Country Office of the World Business Angels Investment Forum, the first such country office in West Africa.

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The World Business Angels Investment Forum is an international organisation aiming to ease access to finance for businesses from start up to scale up, with the ultimate goal of generating more jobs and more social justice worldwide. It is committed to collaborating globally to empower world economic development by creating innovative financial instruments for innovators, start-ups, and SMEs.

“10 or 15 days ago, I was watching CNN International on TV. I was just moving from one channel to another and I saw Africa Market, and I watched the interview from start to end. The last question of the interviewer was ‘which countries in Africa have very entrepreneurial, SME start-up friendly environment? In which countries is it easy to make business?’ The interviewee said ‘there are two countries, and one of them was Ghana,” the WBAF Board Chairman disclosed.

“I was very happy to hear this because in February we hosted our general congress in Istanbul, and in in congress we have the World Excellence Awards Gala Dinner as part of the Congress…We received 32 nominations from 29 African countries for the best African Policy maker, to the most start-up friendly environment country. Every country was claiming that they have the best environment.

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“When I saw that Ghana was the awardee for 2019, I immediately checked the Reasoning Page, because the jury members, nine members, prepare a reason why they decided to give this award to a winner. I saw an interesting detail: they said GDP in 2018 was very high, one of the highest in the world, and the highest in Africa. It is very difficult to keep the GDP of a country at more than 7% level in 2018.

“Plus, the activities of the Business Development Ministry is very interesting. Around the world, we don’t have this kind of around the world tapping of business. They put a note as well: ‘We are seeing for the first time, a country which has a Business Development ministry. This is a very good role model for all countries because business development is what, as a matter of fact, all governments around the world need. This is a very entrepreneurial mind-set, and this shows that this Government in Ghana has an entrepreneurial mind-set, and is trying to develop by developing businesses. So the result is the 2019 winner was the Business Development Ministry.”

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The international jury members of the World Excellence Awards also adjudged Ghana’s Minister for Business Development, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal as the ‘The Most Business Oriented Minister of Africa’.

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who gave the Keynote Address at the launch, underscored Government’s commitment to creating a business-friendly environment, adding, “Ghana is a haven of peace and stability, indeed the safest country in West Africa. Ours is a country where we insist on respect for democratic accountability, rule of law, and human rights. Our ultimate goal is to make our economy the most business-friendly in Africa where the private sector and the business community are at the center of building a progressive and prosperous country.”

Source: classfmonline.com

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No more expiry of voice, data bundles – Telcos ordered

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No more expiry of voice, data bundles – Telcos ordered

The Ministry of Communications has directed telcos to roll over all unused data and voice bundles purchased by customers.

This will mean unused data and credit will not expire.

“All unused data and voice bundles purchased by subscribers do not expire and must be rolled over with the next recharge,” the Ministry said in the statement that also directed teclos to cease the instant deduction of the Communications Service Tax (CST).

The Ministry assured that Mobile Network Operators will be subjected to “strict compliance with exiting Quality of Service (QoS) standard to ensure value for the subscribers’ money in accordance with their licence obligations.”

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The directive came in a letter written to the National Communications Authority and was copied the Chief Executive Officers of MTN and Vodafone as well as the two Deputy Ministers of Communication.

The Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said this was part of measures to”minimise the negative impact of deduction of the CST.”

Currently, only AirtelTigo offers data bundles that do not expire.

Source: citinewsroom.com

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Wa Community Co-operative scoops GHC130K profit in 6 months

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Wa Community Co-operative scoops GHC130K profit in 6 months

The Wa Community Co-operative Credit Union (WACCU) made a net surplus of ¢130,426.12 between June 2018 and December 2018, immediate ex-Board Chairman of the Union, Naa Bawa Seidu, has said.

The amount was more than twice the total budgeted surplus of ¢155,833.92 for the period.

Mr Seidu said this while addressing large crowd of members of WACCU during its 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Wa on Saturday for the financial year to render accounts to contributors.

The AGM was also to elect new executives including Board members, and Supervisory Committee members to oversee activities of the Union for the next four years.

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Within the period, the Union made a total income of ¢1,883,545.04 which fell short of its target income of ¢2,180,423.59.

But Mr Seidu added that ¢274,510.97 loan loss provision was made to “cater for our deteriorating portfolio quality and for risk growth”.

He assured union members that their leadership would not relent in their efforts to explore available viable means including effectual loan recovery mechanisms and legal processes to recover overdue loans.

The management of WACCU, according to him, was pursuing ten loan cases in court while 26 others had been handed over to Purple Holdings Debt Recovery services to recoup monies due the Union, without resorting to the court.

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“These court actions, though expensive to the Union in money and time, are meant to send a strong signal that the Union will never renege to use the legitimate processes to defend the rights of its members and secure the Union’s resources,” Mr Seidu said.

The newly elected Board Chairman of WACCU, John K. Seidu, pledged that the new board would work to ensure progressive and sustainable growth of the co-operative Union in both membership and financial bases.

He said they would do a feasibility assessment to map out districts and areas to extend their services and ensure its easy access by WACCU members for their mutual benefits.

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As at December 2018, the Wa Community Co-operative Credit Union had 12,208 members with 10,747 fully paid up members, comprising 4,767 females, 5,939 males 1,502 groups and organisations.

Source: ghananewsagency.org

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Africa’s three richest men have more wealth than the poorest 650m people across the continent

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Africa’s three richest men have more wealth than the poorest 650m people across the continent

Three African billionaires today have more wealth than the poorest 50% – or 650 million people across the continent, reveals a new Oxfam report today.

The report, called “A Tale of Two Continents”, is launched as African political and business leaders gather this week for the World Economic Forum Africa meeting in Cape Town, South Africa. It shows how rising and extreme inequality across Africa is undermining efforts to fight poverty.

A Tale of Two Continents reveals that while the richest Africans fortunes are increasing, extreme poverty is rising in the continent. The report also looks at how unsustainable levels of debt and a rigged international tax system are depriving African governments of billions of dollars in lost revenue each year – money that could otherwise be invested in education, healthcare and social protection.

The continent is rapidly becoming the epicentre of global extreme poverty. While the number of people living on less than $1.90 a day has plummeted in Asia, this number is rising in Africa. The World Bank estimates that 87% of the world’s extreme poor will be in Africa by 2030, if current trends continue.

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Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, said:

“Africa is ready to rise – but only once it’s leaders have the courage to back a more human economy that works for the many and not a few super-rich men. They can achieve this by investing in inequality-busting, universal and quality public services like health and education and by developing truly progressive tax systems. These are particularly powerful for women and girls living in poverty. They can also back a transformation towards decent and dignified work that protects the rights of workers, especially in the age of the African Free Trade Area and the new digital era.”

The report features a first-ever ranking of African nations on their commitment to tackling inequality. The Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index, developed by Oxfam and Development Finance International, ranks countries on their policies on social spending, tax, and labour rights – three areas the organizations say are critical to reducing inequality. South Africa and Namibia take first and second place respectively, with their strong social spending and a progressive tax system. Nigeria meanwhile has an unenviable distinction of being at the bottom of the Africa ranking, as well as the global ranking for two years running.

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The report shows that:

3 African billionaires now have more wealth than the poorest 50% – or 650 million people across the continent

The most unequal country in the region, Swaziland, is home to one billionaire, Nathan Kirsh, who is estimated to have $4.9bn. If he worked in one of the restaurants that his wholesale company supplies on a worker’s minimum wage, it would take him 5.7 million years to earn his current level of wealth

The combined wealth of the 5 richest Nigerians is more than enough to end poverty in Nigeria. Nigeria’s girl population makes up 60% of the more than 10 million children who do not go to school.

75% of the wealth of African multi-millionaires and billionaires is held offshore, as result the continent is losing $14billion annually in uncollected tax revenue.

Dangerous and unsustainable levels of debt are hurting social spending. In 2018, Angola spent 57% of government revenue on debt repayments while public spending was cut by 19% between 2016 and 2018. Similar trends are present in Ghana, Egypt, Cameroon and Mozambique

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African women and girls are also most likely to be poor. They also stand to lose the most when public services like healthcare and education are underfunded. In Kenya, a boy from a rich family has a one-in-three chance of continuing his studies beyond secondary school. However, a girl from a poor family has a 1-in-250 chance of doing so. Women and girls also bear the brunt of failing healthcare systems, clocking in hours of unpaid care work looking after sick relatives. In Malawi, women spend seven times the amount of time on unpaid care work than men.

Ms Byanyima said:

“African political and business leaders face a clear choice. They can stay on the path of increasingly extreme inequality, where poverty continues to rise while wealth in the hands of a tiny elite and foreign companies’ spirals. Or they can choose another way: towards a more prosperous and equal Africa that invests in and respects the dignity of all its people.”

Source: Oxfam International

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