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.
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.
“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.”
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.”
6 arrested by National Security over illegal gold business
Some six individuals have been arrested by National Security officers in Kumasi, Ashanti Region for allegedly engaging in the illegal gold business.
Operatives of the National Security, who had the necessary permits, made the arrests.
The suspects have been transferred to the National Security headquarters in Accra for further interrogation.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah who is the Minister for Information confirmed the arrest at a news conference in Kumasi yesterday but did not give further details.
The Minister also talked about the security situation in the country and said the government was doing everything practicable to ensure that the country was safe.
He said the government had shown good faith by retooling the security agencies and recruiting more men and women to beef up the security of the state.
Matters of security, he said, were critical to national development and would, therefore, be tackled with all urgency.
Contractors going bankrupt; pay them – Nduom
The Chairman of Groupe Nduom, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, has said the delay by the government in paying local contractors, some of whom, he said, are customers or investors, has led to the lock-up of GHS2.2 billion from the Groupe’s Gold Coast Fund Management, alone.
“When we keep fighting for Ghanaian contractors to be paid, we are fighting for customers/investors to get their money. How much? GHS 2.2 billion is currently locked up in the process from Gold Coast Fund Management alone”, Dr Nduom wrote on social media Saturday, 10 August 2019.
Other Ghanaian financial institutions, he said, “Have funds locked up in infrastructure projects. The contractors are going bankrupt. The customers have it worse. They are suffering. When a contractor is not paid after three years of completing a job, the financial institution does not get paid. The customers who invested their monies with the financial institutions don’t get paid”.
“Who should fund infrastructure – roads, bridges, schools, etc. – in Ghana?”, the former presidential candidate asked, adding: “Gold Coast has been doing it for 15 years. Over 14 billion Ghana Cedis invested. Now with a portfolio of 2.2 billion Ghana Cedis”.
“It is the government that stopped giving advance payment to contractors and asked them to pre-finance projects. Gold Coast stepped in to support our indigenous Ghanaian contractors and has funded over 600 projects. This is a good thing the company has done.
“Our concern is to get the payment process going so contractors can complete projects, get them certified, get paid so they can pay back what they owe to Gold Coast so that Gold Coast can pay back money to its customers/investors.
“This is not Nduom’s money. It is not politics. It is pocket-level economics. The money is in Ghana with government agencies and in infrastructure projects”, he said.
Dr Nduom added: “This is not the only investment made by Gold Coast, which is why it paid back over 1 billion Ghana cedis in 2018 and has paid about GHS100 million this year”.
Recently, a coalition of local contractors threatened to lock all public schools and facilities they built if the government delayed further in paying them their funds.
CBOD petroleum price outlook: Refined products review and outlook
The international market prices of gasoline and gasoil averaged $648.98/mt and $584.73/mt respectively in the first pricing window of July (12th-26th July 2019), $5.70/mt lower than the previous window in the case of gasoline and $0.89/mt higher than the previous window for gasoil.
These prices (12th-26th July) were 29% and 7% higher than average prices observed in the beginning pricing window of the year. Average international market prices have been sporadic during the year, starting the first window of January at $504/mt for gasoline and $545.63/mt for gasoil.
Prices for gasoline and gasoil peaked in the first selling window of June at $749.68/mt and $639.88/mt respectively. This was 49% and 17% higher than the prices observed in the first window of January 2019.
International market prices are expected to drop between 1%-2% for both gasoline and gasoil in the second pricing window of July (27th July-11th August 2019). This is attributable to the ongoing trade war between USA and China which has slowed the growth in China’s demand.
The forward FX rate (FuFeX) used is the average of the quoted indicative forward forex rate from major oil financing banks adjusted by the covered-interest parity pricing model. The FuFex60 is computed as the average 60-day forward fx rate of selected major oil financing banks. The Fufex60 to be applied for the first selling window of August 2019 is Ghs5.60/USD.
The adoption of a FuFeX30 (30-day forward rate) instead of FuFeX60 can reduce pump prices by about 2%. It is therefore necessary that BDCs revise their trade credit tenor downwards to help reduce consumer prices at the pump.
The Ex-refinery Price Indicator (Xpi)
The Ex-ref price indicator (Xpi) is computed using the referenced international market prices as observed to be usually adopted by BDCs, factoring the CBOD economic breakeven benchmark premium for a given window and converted from USD/mt to Ghs/ltr using the FuFeX.
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