The $100 million investment programme of Ghacem to expand operations to meet the rising demand of cement and Vice President’s call on African governments to embrace digital currency to facilitate trade and enhance other productive sectors of their economies are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Wednesday.The Graphic reports that Ghacem, Ghana’s oldest producer of cement, has unveiled a $100 million investment programme to expand operations to meet the rising demand.
The investment which starts immediately with the upgrade of its factories in Tema and Takoradi is aimed at enhancing the production capacity of the plants to produce more to meet increasing demand for cement.
A new factory has also been earmarked for construction in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region to meet demands of customers in the middle and northern sectors of the country.
The Managing Director of Ghacem Limited, Mr Stefano Gallini, disclosed this in an interaction with selected journalists on Tuesday, July 28, on the GHACEM premises in Tema.
Mr Gallini said the new factory in Kumasi formed part of the long-term capital investment to position the company well into the future.
He said the expansion programme in the Ashanti Region would take off from the last quarter of next year and was expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023, adding that construction works would take 18 months to complete.
Mr Gallini said the new factory in the Ashanti Region would produce 1.5 million tons of cement per annum, targeted at customers in the Ashanti,Bono, Bono East, Ahafo, Central, Savanna, Northern, North East, Upper East, Upper West regions.
The newspaper says that former President John Dramani Mahama has stated that the legacy and record of former President John Evans Atta Mills remain unmatched in the annals of Ghana’s history.
“He was a team leader and it was under his guidance that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration chalked up most of its notable achievements, including the longest period of single digit inflation in the history of Ghana for two years continuously; the highest economic growth record of 14.4 per cent that placed Ghana at the top of the World Bank ease of doing business survey for West Africa, thus making Ghana the number one preferred destination in West Africa for investors,” he stated.
Mahama said this when the leadership of the NDC commemorated the ninth anniversary of the demise of former President Mills with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Asomdwee Park last Saturday.
He said nine years after his departure, Ghanaians were reminded of the values and principles he (Mills) extolled and lived-by: a Leadership of Service, Compassion, Integrity, Humility, Sacrifice, and Unity.
“Yet, being the humble achiever that he was, Prof., in tandem with the tradition of the NDC, derived no satisfaction or desire to reel off his unmatched economic statistics in self-praise when his work was there to speak for him,” he said.
The Graphic also reports that the Accra Regional Police Command has impounded 394 motorbikes following an operation to clamp down on the use of motorbikes for criminal activities in the metropolis.
Some of the motorbikes were impounded because they were unregistered. Other offences include riding without helmets, use of motorbikes without licence or insurance, among others.
The exercise is part of periodic police operations to clamp down on criminal activities and prevent crimes usually committed by users of motorbikes.
The Public Relations Officer of the Accra Regional Police Command, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Mrs Effia Tenge, speaking on the penultimate day of the five-day operation said it was also in line with plans to sanitise the metropolis by reclaiming stolen motorbikes.
She said the exercise was also aimed at compelling recalcitrant riders to regularise or update their documentation in line with road traffic regulations.
Additionally, she said the operation was part of police efforts to sustain the current security situation in Accra.
Mrs Tenge said the exercise followed a directive by the Accra Regional Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mr Afful Boakye Yiadom to all police divisional commanders under the command.
The Daily Guide says that Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said that it is time African governments embrace digital currency (bitcoin) to facilitate trade and enhance other productive sectors of their economies.
He, therefore, lauded the Bank of Ghana’s decision to pilot digital currency later this year towards its nationwide roll-out in the near future, saying that it would give it the needed credibility and legal backing for usage.
Addressing participants at the opening ceremony of the Fifth Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference (GITFiC) in Accra on Tuesday, Dr Bawumia said, Intra-African trade had created the need to establish a Single Central Payment platform on the African continent where financial system operators could carry out all cross-border payments smoothly.
To that end, the Vice-President believed that the Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS)- a central payment and collection infrastructure- would allow businesses on the continent to clear and settle transactions in their local currencies without depending on third-party currencies.
He said it would also provide an alternative to the current high-cost and long correspondent banking relationships by facilitating trade and other economic activities across the continent through a single, low-cost, and risk-controlled payment clearing and settlement system.
The event brought together Governors of the Central Banks in Africa, captains of industry, chief executives of financial institutions, and the diplomatic community to share ideas and engage in conversations that would create a conducive environment for boosting economic activities and promote growth.