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IMF commends Ghana for effectively managing COVID-19 pandemic

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IMF commends Ghana for effectively managing COVID-19 pandemic

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), says Ghana has effectively managed the COVID-19 pandemic.

The commendation was contained in a statement after a team led by Carlo Sdralevich paid an official visit to Ghana.

The team had discussions with Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Ernest Addison, other senior government officials, the Finance Committee of Parliament, private sector representatives, and civil society organizations.”

The visit was from April 28 to May 12, 2021.

Head of the mission, Carlo Sdralevich, in a statement after the visit, said: “Ghana has managed very effectively the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, and thus succeeded in protecting lives. Almost 93,000 cases have been confirmed, and unfortunately, 780 people have died as of today. The launch of mass vaccine rollout has been a breakthrough, with the administration of approximately a million doses as of end-May”.

The IMF team noted that despite the economic challenges caused by the pandemic, the several policies put in place by the government are helping the Ghanaian economy to rebound.

Despite the economy growing steadily, the team advised that deeper, and more equitable, fiscal efforts are needed to address the debt vulnerabilities exacerbated by the pandemic. The 2021 budget’s recent policy pivot towards fiscal consolidation is an important step in the right direction and a difficult one in a pandemic. Fiscal consolidation should be deepened and anchored around debt and debt service reduction to create space for social, health, and development spending.”

Below is the full statement from the IMF:

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Carlo Sdralevich held consultations under the Article IV during April 28 – May 12, 2021 through virtual meetings. At the conclusion of the mission, Mr. Sdralevich issued the following statement:

“Ghana has managed very effectively the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, and thus succeeded in protecting lives. Almost 93,000 cases have been confirmed, and unfortunately 780 people have died as of today. The launch of mass vaccine rollout has been a breakthrough, with the administration of approximatively a million doses as of end-May.

“The impact of the pandemic on the economy has been severe. Real GDP growth slowed to 0.4 percent in 2020 from 6.5 percent in 2019, due to lower activity in the extractive industries and a collapse in hospitality and retail services, including the informal sector that especially employs female workers. Inflation spiked to double digit because of food price pressures, before falling to 8.5 percent in April 2021.

“Policy interventions in 2020 were also critical to safeguard livelihoods and paved the way for a faster rebound of economic activity. Real GDP growth is projected at 4.8 percent in 2021, driven by a rebound in mining and services. Inflation is expected to remain around the central bank’s target of 8 percent by end-2021. The CARES program has the potential to be transformative and inclusive for the Ghanaian economy, buttressed by its emphasis on SMEs and digitalization as well as leveraging the AfCFTA.

“Government interventions in 2020 also exacerbated pre-existing fiscal rigidities and public debt vulnerabilities. The government deficit, including energy and financial sector costs, reached 15.5 percent of GDP, while annual gross financing needs exceeded 20 percent of GDP. Public debt rose to 78 percent of GDP in 2020, from 64.4 percent in 2019, including ESLA of GHs7.63 billion in 2020.

“The 2021 budget’s recent policy pivot towards fiscal consolidation is an important step in the right direction and a difficult one in a pandemic. Fiscal consolidation should be deepened and anchored around debt and debt service reduction to create space for social, health, and development spending.

“Given the social and equity implications, fiscal consolidation should rely more on progressive revenue and spending measures, while guaranteeing fiscal support to the most vulnerable and social safety nets.

“Despite progress in rationalizing power generation, the financial viability of the energy sector affects people’s daily life and will remain a drag on productivity and a driver of public debt if not addressed decisively. Improving efficiency and collections remains a priority to achieve substantial savings.

“The planned audits of COVID-19 emergency spending and of arrears accumulated in 2020—in addition to routine budgetary reporting practices—are welcome as they will help account for the increase of spending and its effectiveness, and provide lessons to improve the robustness of Public Financial Management systems.

“The team had collaborative and constructive discussions with Vice President Bawumia, Finance Minister Ofori-Atta, Governor Addison of the Bank of Ghana, other senior government officials, Finance Committee of Parliament, private sector representatives, and civil society organizations.”

 

 

Source: CNR

Business

CODA Hands Over Two Projects At Breman Essiam in Ajumako Enyan Essiam District 

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CODA Hands Over Two Projects At Breman Essiam in Ajumako Enyan Essiam District

The Coastal Development Authority (CODA) has handed over a Lorry Park and a modern Community Library to the chiefs and people of Breman Essiam in the Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam District.

Community Library at Breman Essiam

Community Library at Breman Essiam

The ceremony was graced by traditional leaders led by the paramount Queen mother of Breman Essiam, Nana Efua Esiwa II, the DCE of Ajumako Enyan Essiam, Hon. Ransford Kwesi Nyarko and the DCD, Mr. Abdul Mohammed K. Also in attendance was the Assembly Member of the area, Hon. Ibrahim Issakah, Staff of the AEEDA, Representatives of GPRTU and the general public.

The DCE recounted the deplorable state of the Lorry Park and the Library in the past and commended the efforts made by the Omanhene of the Breman Essiam Traditional Area, Odefour Afankwa III in getting these projects.
Hon. Ransford Nyarko, stated that the projects are a dream come true for the community and the District at large.

The CEO of CODA Jerry Ahmed Shaib ESQ expressed the delight of CODA for the achievement. He was glad that the projects were not imposed by the Authority but rather ones that met the needs and aspirations of the people based on proper consultation with all stakeholders.

He again revealed that the projects being handed over and many others ongoing in the District run under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP). He commended President Akufo-Addo for fulfilling his “one million dollars per constituency” promise to the people of Ghana especially, rural folks. The CODA boss also took the opportunity to outline other projects which were being executed within District.

The gathering was assured of ongoing collaborations with institutions like the Ghana Library Authority to stock the Library as well as GIFEC to provide ICT equipment for the E-Learning wing of the Library.

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General News

GACA, 2021 Rewards Arts And Culture Industry Excellence 

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GACA, 2021 Rewards Arts And Culture Industry Excellence

The 2021 Ghana Arts and Culture Awards came off on Saturday 20 November 2021 at the Alisa Hotel, North Ridge in Accra. The Ghana Arts and Culture Awards seeks to reward individuals and brands excelling within the Arts and Culture industry in Ghana. The event was in partnership with the National Commission on Culture, Ghana Tourism Authority, National Folklore Board and Tourism Society of Ghana under the auspices of Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture. The event was also sponsored by Alisa Hotel, Planet drink, Verna Mineral Water, Ceejay Multimedia, Ankobra Beach Resort, Virtual Hub, Beyond the Return and the Ghana Tourism Authority.
In all, there were 24 categories for various awards on the night.


Check the full list of winners below;
1. Lifetime Achievement Award – Osibisa Band
2. Honorary Award – Amandzeba Nat Brew
3. Honorary Award – Alisa Hotel
4. Honorary Award – Bob Pixel
5. Outstanding Cultural Personality – Nana Krobea Asante Kwahu Mpraeso Adontehene
6. Corporate Support for Arts and Culture – Ghana Tourism Authority
7. Cultural Heritage Entrepreneur – Theophilus Agyekum Sarpong ( Getbusy Art Konsult)
8. Ghanaian Artiste – Ssue
9. Indigenous Caterer – Dimensa
10. Arts and Culture Media (Radio) – Angel fm
11. Arts and Culture Media (Television) – Kantanka Tv
12. Arts and culture media (blog) – Voyageafriq
13. Arts and Culture Media ( Photography) – Dromotion Pictures
14. Arts Festival Event – Black Arts Street Festival
15. Ghanaian Fashion Designer – Eugene d’ Wise
16. Discovery of the Year – Patti Blueh Art
17. Traditional Dance Group – African Music and Dance Foundation
18. Traditional Music Group – Ananse Band
19. Cultural Television Program – Efiri tete (Garden City Tv)
20. Cultural Radio Program – Odomankoma (Opemsuo fm)
21. Spoken Word Artist – Fapempong Acheampong
22. Ghanaian Visual Artist (Sculpture/Ceramic) – Kumi Samuel
23. Ghanaian Visual Artist (Drawing) – Rosebird Ama Dadzie
24. Ghanaian Visual Artist (Painting / Graffiti) – James Mishio

The night also witnessed energizing cultural dance and music performances from Fapempong Acheampong, Akuma Dance Ensemble, Miishe Band and African Dance and Music Foundation. The High Commissioner of South Africa (Her Excellency Grace Mason), Mr. Kifalu S. Masha General Manager of Alisa Hotel, Prophetess Mercy Coffie Chief Servant of Mesukkah Organization Ministry International and CEO of Aunty Aku systems, Mr. Kofi Atta Kakra Kusi Deputy Corporate Affairs Director of the Ghana Tourism Authority ,Mr. Bessa Simons Ag. President MUSIGA, Mrs. Brandina Djaba Wear Ghana Ambassador, Mrs. Alisa Osei Asamoah President of Tour Operators Union of Ghana, Mr. Eric Bannerman CEO of Goldstar Air, Mrs. Delphine Brew Hammond CEO of Miss Tourism Ghana, Mr. Isaac Larmie CEO of Miss Culture Ghana, Mr. Joel F. K Abakah General Manager Ankobra Beach Resort, Mr. Benjamin Oduro Arhin Jnr Asst. Lecturer of School of Creative Arts University of Education Winneba, Gregg Kofi of Osibisa band, Amandzeba Nat Brew, Mr. Peter Akai Anum Executive Director The Head of State Award Scheme and past winners of Miss Tourism Ghana were present at the award ceremony.

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Education

African Court engages Law School of Tanzania students

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African Court engages Law School of Tanzania students

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights has rolled-out a comprehensive programme to engage Law Schools and universities to clarify to the next generation of lawyers of the purpose and objective of the African Court.

It also seeks to use the engagement with up and coming lawyers to understand the operations and powers of the African Continental Court.

In view of the broader scope to school especially law students on its tenets, the African Court has set up Law Schools and Research Centres which will serve as focal point for universities.

Dr. Micha Wiebusch, a Senior Legal Officer at African Court speaking at workshop for law students at Law School of Tanzania said that African Court does not sit as appellate body against national courts.

Instead, it evaluates facts that usually take place in the national context, but it evaluates them in relation to international human rights standards; also, it does not have criminal jurisdiction, or at least, not yet.

“So, we do not establish individual criminal responsibility in relation to international crimes, such as genocide, aggression or war crimes.

“You would be surprised how often people confuse our mandate with that of the International Criminal Court in The Hague or the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which also had its headquarters in Arusha and still has some residual mechanism there,” he said.

Dr Wiebusch explained that the engagement with universities also provided an opportunity to share insights with scholars on the functioning of the African Court and thereby subjected itself to “fair” and “constructive” criticism, voiced in scientific publications.

“The African Court does take notice of scholarly articles and books that concern it, and it does happen that we change our working methods as a result from an academic study and the evidence-based recommendations contained in them. “This is just to say, that academic writing on the African Court can and has had an impact on the way it operates”.

Dr Wiebusch said the African Court considers law schools and more specifically law students to be particularly important stakeholders because “you are the future of the legal profession.

“In some few years’ time, you will be able to qualify as a registered lawyer on the roster of legal counsel of the African Court and you may be invited by the Court to represent clients before it through its legal aid scheme.

“But even before then, you may be working in law firms or in the ministry of justice, and to strengthen your legal arguments before national courts you may be referring to the case law of the African Court on key issues such as fair trial rights, both in criminal and civil proceedings, or to our case law dealing with electoral matters, or on equality issues.

“Alternatively, it is possible that you may even have a case that you litigate directly before the African Court and will need to be familiar with the procedures of litigation before the African Court.

GNA

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