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Ghanaian press spotlights plans by govt to grow economy faster, others

President Akufo-Addo’s assurance that the government is working to grow the economy at much faster rate to ensure a win-win environment for both the private and public sectors is one of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Monday.The Graphic reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said that the government is working to grow the economy at much faster rate to ensure a win-win environment for both the private and public sectors.

He said this would engender a situation where companies would not only survive, but actually thrive.

President Akufo-Addo was addressing a Ghana-Norway business and investment forum in Accra yesterday.

The forum, which was on the theme: “Reconvene, reconnect re-engage”, attracted captains of business associations in the country and from Norway, including some government officials.

The President said the major programme driving the revival and revitalisation of the economy was the Gh¢100 billion Ghana Cares Obatanpa initiative, which main elements included attracting educated youth to commercial farming and building the country’s light manufacturing sector.

Others are developing engineering machine tools and ICT digital economy, housing and construction industry, the establishment of a regional hub, reviewing and optimising the implementation of government flagship food and key programmes, creating jobs for young people and expanding opportunities for the vulnerable in society.

President Akufo-Addo further said it was exciting time to do business in Ghana and mentioned global car manufacturing giants, Toyota and Nissan of Japan and sinotruk of China who had already established assembly plants in the country, as a first step towards the production of vehicles.

He said Twitter would also be establishing its African headquarters in Ghana, adding that Google’s first African artificial intelligence centre was already in the country.

The newspaper says that firms operating under the free zones enclave in the country exported goods valued at US$1.096 billion in the first half of this year.

Capital investments made by free zone enterprises amounted to US$173.84 million and a total of 30,189 jobs were created, mainly in the manufacturing sector.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA), Mr Michael Oquaye Jnr, who made this known at the sixth annual meeting of the Africa Economic Zones Organisation (AEZO) in Accra on November 25, observed that the development was an indication of the contributions by the free zone companies to the country’s economy.

“It is refreshing to report that the Ghana Free Zones Authority remains the anchor for the Government of Ghana’s Industrial Parks and Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and continues to achieve positive results.

“For the first half of the year 2021, the Free Zones enterprises generated total export revenue of US$1.096 billion,” he said.

The meeting, which was on the theme, “Connecting African Special Economic Zones to Global Value Chains in the African Free Trade Area Era,” was attended by AEZO members from over 40 African countries.

The Graphic also reports that the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye has stated that a case of the heavily mutated new COVID-19 variant named Omicron has not been identified in the country.

Addressing a press briefing yesterday in Accra, Dr Kuma-Aboagye urged the public to disregard false messages on social media about an Omicron variant case being recorded in Ghana.

“…We have not identified one (Omicron) in Ghana. All people who are tested positive at the airport, their samples are sequenced, all of them,” Dr Kuma Aboagye said.

“We also pick samples from reference labs across the country to do sequencing. Currently, they have a bunch of 160 that they are working on now but, there is no indication of Omicron in Ghana. So all those messages flying around, it’s not true, there is no case in Ghana”.

He said the GHS response to the new variant was similar to previous variants and would be hinged on preventive measures such as the wearing of masks, vaccination and social distancing.

“The preventive measures remain the same, we have not had any evidence that it would pass through a different part than what we know now and so all the mechanisms that are in place continue to work and we will also continue our surveillance and once we discover, we will look at that”.

He said the GHS response to the new variant was similar to previous variants and would be hinged on preventive measures such as the wearing of masks, vaccination and social distancing.

The Ghanaian Times says that the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bank of Mauritius (BoM) to deepen the existing ties of engagement between the two central banks.

The Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Mauritius, Mrs. Hemlata SadhnaSerwah-Gopak, signed for the Bank of Mauritius, while Ms. Sandra Thompson, the Secretary of BoG, signed for BoG, in the presence of Governor of Bank of Mauritius, Harvest Kumar Seegolam and Governor of BoG, Dr. Ernest Addison.

The objectives of the MoU are to establish an arrangement for the exchange of information concerning the stability and development of their respective banking systems and to establish a framework for capacity building in the financial services industry.

The MoU is also expected to strengthen areas of compliance with international standards and regulations related to the financial market and the performance and development of the payments system.

Other areas include, but are not limited to the retail payments system, large-value payments and settlement system, financial inclusion, digital innovation in financial services including digital currencies, FinTech regulations, risk-based supervision/macro-prudential supervision, anti-money laundering, and combating the financing of terrorism and proliferation (AML/CFT), cyber security, climate change policies and other areas of central banking that are of mutual interest to the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and the Bank of Mauritius (BoM).

It will also enhance co-operation in the areas of research related to central banking.

Governor Seegolam expressed appreciation to the BoG for the signing of the memorandum, noting that it will open up channels for cooperation between the two central banks.

He commended the BoG for the strides it had made in financial sector reforms including the area of digital financial services.

In response, Dr. Addison stated that the MoU which established a formal basis for cooperation was expected to strengthen previous cooperation and facilitate the performance of the respective monetary policy, supervisory and regulatory duties of the two central banks.

mm Published on 01.08.2022

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