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Mahama Is A Credible Personality, Ignore Somalia – Bambande To AU

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Mahama Is A Credible Personality, Ignore Somalia – Bambande To AU

A former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs under the Mahama administration, Mr Emmanuel Bombande, has asked the African Union to ignore the concerns raised against the selection of former President John Mahama to mediate in the political tension in Somalia.

He said Mr Mahama is a credible personality and is more than qualified to perform the role assigned him by the AU.

Somalia has formally written to the African Union to stall its decision to send former Ghana President John Dramani Mahama to the country as the AU High Representative for Somalia in an effort to mediate the political impasse in the country.

 

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In a letter dated Sunday, May 9, 2021, Somalia’s Foreign Minister, Mohamed Abdirizak Mohamud outlined the reasons for the withdrawal of support for the AU representative.

First of all, he said the process to find an amicable solution to the impasse in the East African country started way back in September, 2020 with the Prime Minister leading efforts to finalise political agreement.

He added that the parties had even reached an agreement to meet on Thursday, May 20.

“It’s my concern, introducing envoy in to the process now will only confuse the present amicable arrangements and at worse risk the politicisation of the process further than necessary.”

Secondly, the Foreign Minister doubts Mr Mahama’s impartiality and competence to handle the mediation talks given his “extensive link” with Kenya’s government, which is being accused of supporting one of the parties.

“Secondly, given the politically sensitive nature of the task of a high representative in any case, I’m certain you will appreciate the importance of any candidate for such a post to be seen as impartial and competent without any links to the region.

“The earlier envisaged role of the high representative was all the more sensitive given the political nature of the task. Therefore, it’s indeed surprising that a candidate with an extensive link with Kenya’s leadership has been chosen by the AU to facilitate talks on a political impasse partly engineered by those the Kenyan leadership has supported.

“I hereby notify the African Union of the formal withdrawal of support by the Federal Government of Somalia for the AU High Representative of Somalia.”

Commenting on this development, Mr Bombande who is also a former Executive Director of the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) said “What you see happening is very normal. In a situation where there is a protracted disagreement over an issue and parties try to check one another out and you begin to see it as a kind of their preparedness and willingness to talk.

“Whether or not you begin to have these fears, the geopolitics of the Horn of Africa including the Eastern Africa region is one in which they have economic interest and will want to co-exist as neighbours.”

“Former President Mahama does not live in East Africa, he is not a citizen of the Horn of Africa and yet if I were to relate to, who do you arrive at to be the convener of the type of dialogue we are talking about, contest matters, Somalia is one of the most protracted, most difficult places to be able to convene dialogue.

“Since 1991 when the civil war started they have never been able to come together as the world knew it as Somalia. And so for me, the question is, is former President Mahama a credible convener? The answer will be yes.

“Will he provide credible facilitations? The answer will be yes. Does he have a vested interest in the outcome of any settlement that will lead Somalia towards a transparent election? He does not have that vested interest,” he told Accra-based Joy FM.

Source: 3news

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General News

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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Business

Post budget workshop helps MPs to interrogate budget statement

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Post budget workshop helps MPs to interrogate budget statement

Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has stated that post budget workshop was to help members interrogate critical issues during the consideration of the budget estimates and conduct effective oversight role.

He said it was also designed to provide members with insight into the budget to enable them debate and make meaningful contributions on the floor of the House.

He said as representative of the people they owed it a duty to thoroughly scrutinize the budget to determine the extent to which it addressed the country’s developmental challenges particular issues relating to poverty eradication, gender, children and vulnerable issues, employment, social issues, infrastructural challenges and the security of the nation.

He made the observation at a Post Budget Workshop for Members of Parliament (MPs) on the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government at Ho in the Volta Region.

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu has however served notice to government that the Minority Caucus in Parliament would not support the introduction of the proposed electronic levy policy in the 2022 budget statement.

He said the proposed levy served as a disincentive for the growth of the digital economy, investment and the development of the private sector of the country.

“Mr Speaker, our concern is whether the e-levy itself is not and will not be a disincentive to the growth of the digital economy in our country. We are convinced that the e-levy may as well even be a disincentive to investment and a disincentive to private sector development in our country.

“Mr Speaker, we in the minority may not and will not support the government with the introduction of that particular e-levy. We are unable to build a national consensus on that particular matter.”

The workshop is aimed at equipping members with skills to enable them scrutinize the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government and to pass the 2021 Appropriation Act.

The platform also created opportunity for knowledge and experience sharing by members and to understand the policy-underpinnings of government on finances and economic planning for the year 2022.

Mr Iddrisu added that the Minister of Finance in his effort to redeem the economy sought to introduce some measures including; the controversial e-levy or digital levy.

He said the proposed e-levy would be dangerous to the Ghanaian economy as many people would move back to the cash system and defeat the drive towards the paperless system, which he said was their motivating factor not to support the introduction of the levy.

“To paraphrase the Vice President why tax the ordinary poor people…since when have the poor been above ordinary for momo and banking to be taxed and even the projection of 1.75 percent e-levy may as well workout to be 3.75 percent” he added.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta in his comment highlighted some of the positive fiscal and macro-economic indicators, which he said pointed to good economic trajectory.

He said 2022 Budget Statement was geared towards post COVID-19 recovery agenda, revitalization and transformation of the economy while ensuring fiscal and debt sustainability to promote macro-economic stability for the recovery process and growth of the economy.

The proposed e-levy is scheduled to start on January 1, 2022, if approved by Parliament.

In 2020, the total value of transactions was estimated to be over GH¢500 million with mobile money subscribers and users growing by 16 percent in 2019.

According to a Bank of Ghana report, Ghana saw an increase of over 120 percent in the value of digital transactions between February 2020 and February 2021 compared to 44 percent for the period February 2019 to February 2020 due to the convenience they offer.

GNA

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Politics

Debate on 2022 Budget Statement begins Tuesday, November 23

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Debate on 2022 Budget Statement begins Tuesday, November 23

Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has informed Parliament that the debate on the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government would commence next Tuesday, November 23.

He said the Business Committee looked forward to a well-researched and informed debate, and proposed that discussion for each day be structured along specific sectors.

“That is to ensure coherence, comprehension and logical flow of the debate,” the Majority Leader said, as he presented, in Parliament, the Business Statement for the Fifth Week Ending Friday, November 26, 2021.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the Business Committee recommended Tuesday, November 23, for the Finance, Environment, Gender, Foreign Affairs, Youth and Sports and Employment committees to take their turn.

Wednesday, November 24, is for the Health, Trade and Industry, Communication, Local Government, Lands and Forestry, Works and Housing, and Energy and Mining committees.

Thursday, November 25, would have the Education, Agriculture, Roads and Transport, Defence and Interior, Judiciary, Parliament, Independent Governance Institutions and Government Machinery committees taking their turn.

The leadership; the Majority and Minority sides, would conclude the debate on Friday, November 26.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said on each day of the debate, two members from each side of the political divide would be expected to contribute to the discussion.

He urged the House to stick to the 1000 hours normal time to start proceedings, having regard to the business scheduled for the week under consideration.

The Business Committee recommended extended sitting for each day to enable the House to conclude on Friday, as scheduled.

 

GNA

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