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President Akufo-Addo accredits 13 new envoys

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President Akufo-Addo accredits 13 new envoys

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Thursday presented letters of credence to 13 appointed envoys, with a charge on them to prioritise Ghana’s post COVID-19 recovery agenda at their duty posts.

The envoys including three High Commissioners, eight Ambassadors, one deputy High Commissioner, and a deputy Ambassador, are Dr Winfred Nii Okai Hammond, Ambassador to China, Mr Adagbilab Boniface Gambila, Ambassador to Burkina Faso; Mr James Komla Nyasembi, Ambassador to the Czech Republic; and Madam Perpetua Joyce Naana Dontor, Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea.

The others are Mr Samuel Jojo Effah-Broni, Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco; Mr Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, High Commissioner to India; Alhaji Rashid Bawa, High Commissioner to Nigeria; Mrs Angelina Baiden-Amissah, Ambassador to The Holy See; and Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq Abdulai, Ambassador to the State of Kuwait.

The rest are Mr Anselem Ransford Sowah, High Commissioner to Canada; Ambassador Kwabena Osei Danquah, Ambassador-at-Large; Madam Akua Afriyie, Deputy Ambassador to China; and Madam Rita Tani Iddi, Deputy High Commissioner, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

At a ceremony at the Jubilee House, Accra, the President administered the Oaths of Office, Allegiance and Secrecy to the envoys, and congratulated them on their “well-deserved” appointment, saying, “I am confident that you will make our nation proud.”

He told them that their appointments had come at a particularly important moment, where all countries, including Ghana, are working to return themselves to a state of normalcy following the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic that had plunged economies into recession, collapsed businesses, disrupted lives and livelihoods, and taken over 3.5 million lives.

The President noted that the pandemic had brought to the forefront the need for nations to strengthen and deepen alliances and cooperations because “no country can afford to go it alone” and “We either succeed together or perish together.”

“And this is where your work as Ambassadors and High Commissioners would be needed the most,” he stressed,

Ghana, by the grace of God, and the effectiveness of Government policies, and the cooperation of the Ghanaian people, the President noted, had had a favourable situation concerning the pandemic, even though the country had recently witnessed an upsurge in the number of cases.

He said the ongoing vaccination campaigns “are offering us a ray of light at the end of a very dark tunnel, hopefully, sooner rather than later, the world will make up for lost time.”

The President told them that his administration’s unprecedented flagship initiative, the GhS100 billion post-COVID-19 Ghana CARES Obaatanpa Programme geared to stabilise, revitalise and transform Ghana’s economy, must be the pivot around which they engaged the rest of the world.

He said they should familiarize themselves with the objectives of the Ghana Cares Obaaatanpa Programme, which is at the core of his second term mandate because they represented“our surest way out of the pandemic and would thrust Ghana back onto the path of progress and prosperity.”

“Each one of you must help and contribute to the success of the programme by facilitating amongst other things, as much foreign investment into the country as you can,” he charged.

At the multilateral level, President Akufo-Addo asked them to work with the respective governments of their accreditation to assist in the prosecution of the common agenda in the fight against the scourge of armed conflicts, terrorism, and violent extremism, the effects of climate change, and the continuing illicit flow of funds from Africa.

He urged them to at all times promote the image of Ghana, whose reputation amongst the comity of nations continued to be high.

“You represent a country that as a result of the commendable conduct of the Ghanaian people, is regarded as one of the most stable on the African continent. It is a functioning democracy, governed by the rule of law, and respect for individual liberties, human rights, and the principles of democratic accountability.

“We are regarded as a beacon of democracy in Africa, you are the most visible symbol of our country out there. In all your actions, you must jealously guard our country’s image… I am confident this is a charge you would keep,” he said

Dr Nii Okai Hammond, on behalf of the envoys, thanked the President for the confidence reposed in them at a time when the world had been brought to its knees by the pandemic.

He gave the assurance that they would capitalize on their experiences, and work earnestly to help the recovery process of the country from the impact of COVID-19, and would stay on course for the realization of the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.

 

 

 

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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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