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CEMAB-USA Extols And Supports Vice President Dr. Bawumia’s Digitalization Drive 

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CEMAB-USA Extols And Supports Vice President Dr. Bawumia’s Digitalization Drive

The recent speech on digital economy delivered by the Vice President of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia at Ashesi University, Ghana could not have been given at a better timethan when covid-19 has taught the whole world to innovate andquickly. Speaking to students at Ashesi University under the theme, “TRANSFORMING AN ECONOMY THROUGH DIGITALIZATION- THE GHANA STORY”, the Vice Presidentdid not seek to politicize his presentation or tried to trace the origins of digitalization in Ghana but took time to highlightsome of the digitalization achievements in Ghana and under thePresidency of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. These achievements include but not limited to the issuance of biometric national ID cards, property addressing system, mobile money interoperability, e-pharmacy, e-passport among othergovernment interventions to digitalize the economy and the country has started to benefit from the dividends of this 21st century transformation.

CEMAB-USA a political advocacy group in USA, joins all well-meaning Ghanaians to applaud the government for these achievements. We thank the Vice President of Ghana for making digitalization of the economy a personal mission and passion to see Ghana become competitive in the global economy with the youth in mind to take advantage and drive the digitaltransformation of Ghana.

As Ghanaians living outside the shores of Ghana, we have seenfirst-hand how a digitalized economy like the USA hasleveraged technology to provide efficient services both within the private and government sectors in USA. No day passes by in the USA without the citizens interfacing with some type of e-service or technology for efficiency in service delivery; from education to healthcare delivery, driving on motorways, accessing public services, food delivery services among othershave all been digitalized because of the economic benefits and the convenience digitalization offers.

Digitalization is a global phenomenon that has come to stay, and Ghana should not be left out in the digital space of nation building. CEMAB-USA encourages all Ghanaians, most especially the youth regardless of political persuasion to join the President and the Vice President’s drive to move Ghana into the digital age in building a resilient economy. A well digitalizedeconomy has the potential to solve myriad of problems and financial constraints that have bedeviled Ghana since independence.

Some of these benefits include but not limited to the following:
• Expand Ghana’s economy
• Expand our tax net to be more inclusive and as a result have more money for development. Ease of collecting taxes for development will be enhanced.
• Control inflation and reduce cost of goods and services due to economies of scale factors
• Curb Corruption due to the reduction in the person-to-personinterface during service delivery. Inefficiencies and Corruption in the delivery of Public Services would be curtailed.
• Solve crimes and reduce incidences of crime in our societybecause citizens and residents would now be uniquelyidentified and could not alter their identity
• A functioning National Property Address System would ensure quick delivery of business services, delivery of public safety services such as ambulance and police response and broaden local tax and property tax revenue generation for local governments.
• The mobile interoperability has reduced financial exclusionwhich means large segments of the Informal Sector have access to financial and payment services to conduct their businesses thus curbing the theft and stealing of tradershard-earned monies from thieves.
• An integrated government database would help government better respond to the needs of citizens
• Efficient delivery of education, health, and human servicesamong others.

Digitalization does not only create jobs physically, but also within the technology space and most importantly encourages innovation and entrepreneurship. As noted by Dr. Gideon Boako, economic advisor to the Vice President, thanks to technology “there are many people today, who have turned their home kitchens into restaurants, yet no one visits them physically to eat. They advertise using digital technology, receive orders using digital technology, receive payments using digital technology and move their incomes to bank accounts using digital technology. This is how digitalization is creating jobs”. These technology transformations would boost entrepreneurshipnot only among the youth but anyone who seeks to pitch their business ideas in the technology space.

Through Dr. Bawumia, the consciousness and awareness of many Ghanaians on the transformative opportunities associated with digitalization have been enhanced and we urge the private sector to partner with government to increase investments in research and development to build on this drive towards a more and advanced digital Ghana.

Ghana is on the right side of history and on the right path and history and posterity will look favorably on Ghana and the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo andVice President Dr. Bawumia for not relenting in their efforts to transform the economy of Ghana through digitalization to stay competitive in a global economy that will not wait for any country who is not moving with the times or ready to move with the times.

CEMAB-USA calls on all well-meaning Ghanaians, both home and abroad to support the digital agenda initiatives of thegovernment. This is not the time for Ghanaians to politicize the discussion but an opportunity to embrace the vision as presented by the Vice President to transform Ghana’s economy, leveraging digitalization to grow and expand the fortunes of Ghana by leaps and bounds.

God Bless our homeland Ghana and make her great and strong.

CEMAB-USA
Communications Team

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Government To Reduce Proposed 1.75% E-Levy – Ofori-Atta

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Government to reduce proposed 1.75% E-Levy, says Ofori-Atta

The Finance Minister says the government has considered the concerns of Ghanaians on the E-Levy and is ready to reduce it accordingly

Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister says the government in consultation with the various telecommunication companies will scale back the proposed 1.75% levy on all electronic transactions in the country.
The minister who was making his final submission before Parliament [30 November 2021] to address some concerns raised by Ghanaians after the presentation of the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the government said the move is to manage the impact of the policy on citizens.
“We have considered the issue of the 1.75% E-Levy in which Mr Speaker, we’re in discussions with the telcos and to scale back and moderate the impact of the 1.75% E-Levy so that in the end, the impact on the citizenry will be manageable,” he stated.
The Minority in an earlier statement indicated that the “government should suspend the E-Levy and properly engaged stakeholders to agree on a reasonable policy. How can mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments, and inward remittances be charged 1.75%? The policy is retrogressive, not pro-poor and does not support the much-touted digitalisation agenda and cash lite economy that we all yearn for.”

Aker Energy deal

The Minority’s statement also urged the government to properly reconstruct the wording relating to Aker Energy and also involving the GNPC acquisition of stake from Aker Energy and AGM Petroleum.
In response, the finance minister assured the House that the committee assigned to discuss the Aker Energy and its related issues will address them as per the demands of the Minority.
“Mr Speaker, there was an issue about Aker Energy which we agreed in our statement that we will correct the language appropriately during committee meetings and that, we commit to doing,” he added.

Withdrawal of Agyapa

The Minority in their demands and in connection with the Agyapa deal also indicated that it will not support any collateralisation of the country’s revenues particularly mineral resources.
But Ofori-Atta again, addressing Parliament on Friday explained that “there was another request which has to do with Agyapa and we agreed that consultations are not finished. Attorney General is still working on that and any such issue will also be brought to Parliament. Mr Speaker, in fact, the estimate does not include any revenue from that transaction,” he said.

Asaase Radio 99.5

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Tour Operators’ Union of Ghana outdoors maiden newsletter

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Tour Operators’ Union of Ghana outdoors maiden newsletter

The Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA), on Friday, November 24 launched the ‘Tougha Newsletter,’ the maiden publication of the Union.

The 44-page, full colour brochure is awash with information on the activities of TOUGHA including tours to sites and destinations and donations to selected orphanages in various parts of the country. The Union’s support towards promoting domestic tourism is also given much prominence in the new publication. Readers can also learn about travel tips in Ghana in the newsletter. Several articles, including one by TOUGHA President, Mrs. Alisa Osei-Asamoah on domestic tourism is also featured. Also contained in the newsletter are pages where almost all members of TOUGHA and their contact information can be found.
The colouful launch event at the Labadi Beach Hotel attracted a broad spectrum of Ghana’s tourism industry stakeholders, both public and private, traditional authorities, academia and the media.

Mrs. Alisa Osei- Asamoah described as historic, the publication of the newsletter. “Indeed, this is a day that I have looked forward to for a really long time. This day marks yet another important milestone in the forward march of our beloved union,” she said.
She added that the newsletter seeks to offer a credible and authoritative medium for disseminating critical industry information, analysis of sector trends, and among others, offer alternatives to policy initiatives and inspire right partnerships and penetration into unexplored products of the country’s tourism sector.
Mrs. Osei-Asamoah postulated: “TOUGHA is contributing this newsletter as a tool that we believe can perform a useful role in facilitating the creation of a more congenial environment for sustainable growth and development of the travel and tourism industry in Ghana.”
Deputy Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku Mantey congratulating TOUGHA also highlighted the significant role in Ghana’s tourism, stating that “We could not call ourselves a Ministry of Tourism without TOUGHA.” He said the Ministry would continue to partner and work with the Union to achieve the goals of building a robust tourism sector for the country.

Also pledging their continuous support and collaboration was the CEO of the Ghana Tourism Development Company, Kwadwo Odame Antwi who also spoke on behalf of the Ghana Tourism Authority CEO, Akwasi Agyeman.

 


A representative of Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu, the Life Patron of TOUGHA, Manwerehene Baffour Osei Hyiaman Bretuo VI commended TOUGHA for the initiative to publish a newsletter. Calling for more support from the Ministry and its agencies for the Union, the Manwerehene said TOUGHA has over the years established itself as a formidable body for which reason the doors of the Asantehene were open to them on the regular.
Alongside the launch of the newsletter, founding members of TOUGHA were also given citations of honour for their pioneering role in establishing the Union. Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal and CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman were also presented with citations for constantly supporting TOUGHA’s activities and Ghana’s tourism.
The evergreen Winneba Youth Choir and whiz kid, Nakeeyat were also in attendance to serenade patrons with beautiful music renditions and poetry performance respectively with exciting cultural music and dance also on display.
An e-version of the newsletter is available for download at www.touroperatorsgh.com

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Unemployment rate started rising under Mahama – Duffuor

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Unemployment rate started rising under Mahama – Duffuor

Former Finance Minister Dr Kwabena Duffuor has said he was able to assist the late Professor John Evans Atta Mills to reduce unemployment rate from the time Prof Mills became President in 2009 to 2012.
But, he said, the rate started increasing from 2013 to 2015, the period that Former President John Dramani Mahama was in office.
Delivering a public lecture in Accra on Monday November 29, he said “High and rising inflation increases the cost of living at a fast pace, thereby eroding people’s real incomes and savings. By fueling wage pressures and raising the cost of other production inputs, it also increases the cost of doing business. Furthermore, rising inflation forces up interest and lending rates, since savers—whose surplus funds are lent to borrowers—naturally demand a higher reward for deferring consumption to the future. Higher lending rates then lead to the cancellation of otherwise viable investments, with negative effects on economic growth and employment generation.
“Historically, Ghana has experienced these effects of inflation in their most destructive forms, as the country’s post-independence economic history is marked by many episodes of runaway inflation, including prolonged periods of hyperinflation in the 1970s and 80s.
“Because Ghana relies heavily on imports to meet its consumption needs, a rapidly depreciating exchange rate is a major source of inflation. In addition, given the country’s rapid build-up of foreign debt, which accounts for about half of total public debt, a sharply weakening exchange rate significantly increases the size of the foreign debt and the cost of servicing it in domestic currency terms. In fact, research conducted by the Institute for Fiscal Studies has shown that exchange rate depreciation is a significant driver of Ghana’s public debt dynamics, as it accounted for almost 30% of the growth of public debt between 2006 and 2019.
“These problems call for the effective management of inflation and the exchange rate to ensure their stability to protect living standards and support rapid economic growth and development. To achieve this requires, from the macroeconomic perspective, disciplined fiscal and monetary policies.
“Mr. Chairman, this has been done before. In 2009–2012 under the Mills NDC administration, our success in lowering the fiscal deficit from 14.5% of GDP in 2008 to 4% of GDP by 2011, as well as our success in slowing the rate of monetary growth, facilitated a fall in inflation from 18.1% in December 2008 to single digits for 31 consecutive months starting from June 2010 to December 2012. This remains to date the longest period of single-digit inflation in Ghana since independence. The exchange rate also achieved a measure of stability during the period, as it depreciated by 10.1% per annum on average in 2009–2012, which is one of the lowest rates of average depreciation during the Fourth Republic. The World Bank indicated in their 2011 report that in 2011, Ghana was the fastest growing economy in the World with GDP of 14.5% and a decline in interest rates to the lowest level in four decades.
“In his 1999 speech at ‘President Ball and Fundraising dinner’ at the Tema Rotary Club, Dr. J.L.S Abbey lauded the 1998 Macro-Economic Performance of Ghana, saying ‘Last year, most of the financial targets of Government were met: monetary growth over the period was less than 18 percent: the exchange rate depreciated by less than 5% and the rate of inflation declined. These targets were achieved by the strong enforcement of laws relating to banking and use of foreign currency, by prudent use of repurchase agreements in monetary management, and by placing a limit on excessive budgetary spending by government’. We have done this before. Mr. Chairman, I have personally been part of doing this before, so I know it can be done and that it must be done.
“As concerns mount about rising inflation in recent months, the government should take a second look at its fiscal and monetary policies, especially the former, and ensure that they are sustainable and conducive to the effective control of inflation and the maintenance of a stable exchange rate.
“Besides firm fiscal and monetary policies, good real sector policies that lead to strong economic growth play a critical role in ensuring price and exchange rate stability. The stellar performance of real GDP growth in 2009–2012 was therefore a significant factor that led to the stable macroeconomic environment during the period. From 2009–2012, overall real GDP grew at an average rate of 9%, which is the highest rate under any administration in Ghana’s history. Even the non-oil real GDP growth rate, which stood at an average of 7.4% during the period, is the highest under any administration in the country’s history. Effective real sector policies should therefore be pursued to achieve high economic growth and employment creation, as it happened between 2009–2012, and thereby helped to maintain a stable macroeconomic environment.
“Again, through effective real sector policies, unemployment was tamed under the Mills NDC Administration and I was the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.  The total unemployment rate which stood at 10.4% in the year 2000 witnessed a declining trend to 5.3% by the end of 2010 and further declined to 2.2% by the end of 2013. However, after 2013, total unemployment rate saw another upward swing, increasing sharply to 6.8% by the end of 2015.
“It is therefore clear that the stellar performance of real GDP growth in 2009–2012 was a significant factor that led to lower unemployment level and which further led to job creation during 2009–2012 period.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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