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Press focuses on Presdent’s call for inclusion of African Union in G20, others

The call by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the inclusion of the African Union in the G20 to redefine global policy co-ordination and the report that Ghana’s population has reached 30.8 million are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Thursday.The Graphic reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has advocated for the inclusion of the African Union in the G20 to redefine global policy co-ordination

He contended that adding Africa to make it G21 would ensure the emergence of a more prosperous, inclusive and sustainable world.

President Akufo-Addo made the call when he took his turn at the 76th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York in the United States of America yesterday.

“Admitting the AU to an expanded G21 will have the same galvanising effect within Africa that the EU’s participation in the G20 has within Europe, strengthening policy co-ordination and coherence across the 54 African economies,” he said.

The G20 is an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union. It works to address major issues related to the global economy, such as international financial stability, climate change mitigation and sustainable development.

It is composed of most of the world’s largest economies and collectively accounts for around 90 percent of gross world product.

President Akufo-Addo noted that with the AU at the table, the group suddenly would have representation for 54 more countries, 1.3 billion more people and $2.3 trillion more output.

He said that an extraordinary increase in representation would add just one seat to the table, and about 10 minutes to the discussion.

The President reiterated the commitment of Africa to the fight against climate change and maintained that “the fight is better-advanced if we are able to maintain the crucial balance among economic, political and environmental imperatives”.

Those positions, he stated, would be articulated at the COP 26 Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, which should form part of the new Global Compact.

The newspaper says that the country’s population has reached 30.8 million, according to a preliminary report from the 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS).

The Chief Census Officer and Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, who announced this yesterday, said there had been an annual intercensal growth rate of 2.1 percent, which is less than what was observed in the previous intercensal period of 2000 to 2010, which was 2.5 percent.

One of the highlights of the report is that the Greater Accra Region has marginally overtaken Ashanti as the most populous region in Ghana. Prior to the 2021 census, the Ashanti Region had, since 1970, been the most populous region.

The Greater Accra and the Ashanti regions both have population sizes of 5.4 million each, while the Central Region has, for the first time, become the fourth most populous region, after the splitting of the former Western, Brong Ahafo and Northern regions.

Also, from the preliminary report, 15 percent of all structures in the Greater Accra Region were metal containers,

In a detailed presentation that lasted almost two hours, the Government Statistician examined the data that were gathered during the 2021 PHC, but noted that the released data were only provisional results of the exercise and could be subjected to changes before the final report was released.

Prof. Annim said at the rate of growth, the country’s population would double within 33 years, indicating that Ghana’s population had gone up five fold since independence — from 6.5 million in 1960 to 30.8 million this year.

The Ghanaian Times reports that the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has signed a US$1.5 billion syndicated loan agreement with a consortium of international and local financial institutions for the purchase of cocoa beans for the 2021/2022 crop season.

Parliament earlier this year approved the deal which comes with a 1.1 per cent interest plus libor compared to the 1.75 per cent it paid for the US$1.3 billion it secured for the 2020/2021 crop season.

With the first tranche of more than 50 per cent of the amount expected to hit the COCOBOD’s account next month, the loan is expected to be retired by August next year in seven equal instalments.

The loan request, according to the COCOBOD, was oversubscribed by US$200 million from the 24 financial institutions which include the Amro Bank, Bank of China Limited in London, Standard Chartered Bank, Industrial, and Commercial Bank of China and Ghana International Bank, Cooperative Rabobank, UA, and Societe General.

The amount is expected to be used to purchase some 950,000 tonnes of cocoa for the period.

The newspaper says that a renowned archivist and researcher, Daniel Awuley Tetteh, has identified five historical sites in Accra for the government to develop into tourism sites to enable the country to rake in the needed tourism revenue for national development.

These include the James Fort formerly the James Fort Prisons; the Accra Light House; the Accra Royal School; the James Town Alata Mantse Palace (Official residence of the Gold Coast Governor James Stuart) and Ussher Fort, all located in the Former British and Dutch Accra.

According to him, when developed into tourist sites because of their colonial historical facts, it would attract foreign tourists and rake in millions of dollars for the economy.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday, Mr Tetteh said Ghana being one of the centres which served as exit point for the Transatlantic Slave Trade, tourists were interested to come and see some of these historical sites.

Mr Tetteh who was speaking against the back of the billions of dollars the country stands to gain from tourism more than what it was currently earning from gold, cocoa, diamond and timber.

He said there was hundreds of volumes of documents available on the 500 -year-old slave trade which saw millions of Africans shipped to the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean.

These could be produced into books, block buster animated films, movies and cartoons could rake in much needed revenue for the country’s development without the need to exploit our natural resources.

He said there were a number of countries which depended solely on tourism as the largest foreign income earner, adding that Ghana could do same.



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Published on 10.02.2021

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