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Gov’t underscores resolve to prioritize gender-sensitive trade policies – Citi Business News



Women constitute a major part of small-scale informal cross-border traders who face major obstacles in moving their goods across the borders.

These obstacles include lack of knowledge of border procedures and lack of finance among others.

As women all over the world are being celebrated, a Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah-Adjei, has underscored government’s resolve to prioritize the roll-out of gender-sensitive trade policies that will allow for women to take advantage of the opportunities that come with cross-border trade especially with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Speaking at a sensitization workshop for women in cross border trade organized by the Ministry of Trade and Industry in partnership with GIZ Ghana, the sector Minister said, “It is important to note that as part AfCFTA phase two negotiations, the Council of Ministers have received and approved the terms of reference to commence negotiations on protocol on women and youth.”

She continued, “The expected benefit of the new protocol include the following; to mainstream and amplify the gains of women and youth-led businesses who predominate the MSME ecosystem of all the state parties to the agreement, to guarantee targeted approach for the provision of capacity building, investment and advocacy to African MSMEs, and to ensure that the AfCFTA works for African women and youth. This is an indication that at both national and continental levels, issues relating to women in cross-border trade is if high priority.”

The Coordinator for the Network for Inclusive Economic Development (NEID) cluster at GIZ Ghana further highlighted the need for women participation in all sectors of the economy.

“We need to improve the training opportunities for women in cross-border trade, improve the existing conditions and framework for MSMEs which are mostly owned and managed by women. We need more women in customs, immigration, and other border agencies to support women in cross-border trade. We need more women friendly financial services for women in cross-border trade. We need more men who will be gender champions for women in cross-border trade.”

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Ghana has highest interest rates among top 11 African countries – Report



New data shows that Ghana presently has the highest interest rates among top 11 African countries.

According to Databank Weekly Fixed Income Update, the country’s 18.23% and 19.26% rates for the 91-day and 182-day Treasury bills respectively are the highest on the continent.

The Treasury bill rates in the country are however lower than the inflation rate of 23.6%.

Indeed, the relentless pace of inflation has stretched real returns on short term securities further down into the negative territory. So if you have bought Treasury bills in recent times, the return on your investments is negative.

This situation will compel the Bank of Ghana to increase its Monetary Policy Rate which currently stands at 17% further, to help mop up excess liquidity in circulation, and consequently halt the rising inflation rate.

“Real returns on fixed-income securities are depressed with the high inflation profile, continually undermining the Treasury’s financing operations. We note that short-term interest rates are misaligned, resulting in negative real yields, which could prompt the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to act in the week ahead”, Databank Research.

“However, Ghana cedi liquidity levels are already tight on the interbank market, and a further tightening of the MPR could stifle economic growth. So, while we maintain an additional 200 basis points (2%) hike in the policy rate in 2022, we expect the MPC to exercise restraint in May 2022, deferring a potential 100 basis points (1%) hike in MPR to July 2022.

The rising interest rates are expected to increase the cost of borrowing and production cost per unit of most businesses.

At the same time, government will borrow at a higher cost on the financial markets.

Meanwhile, Egypt follows Ghana closely with a 91-day Treasury bill rate of 13.67%.

Its currency – the Egyptian Pound – has been recording rapid depreciation to the dollar.

Nigeria has the lowest interest rate of 1.74% among the top 11 African countries.

Countries with lowest interest rates

COUNTRIES 91-Day T-bills 182-Day T-bills RANKINGS
Nigeria 1.74% 3% 1st
Tanzania 2.60% 2.78% 2nd
South Africa 4.28% 5.50% 3rd
Namibia 5.34% 4.84% 4th
Rwanda 6.10% 6.40% 5th
Uganda 6.77% 8.16% 6th
Kenya 7.68% 8.72% 7th
Zambia 9.30% 9.90% 8th
Malawi 9.74% 13.00% 9th
Egypt 13.67% 13.68% 10th
Ghana 18.23% 19.26% 11th

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Pay no-claim discount to active policyholders – some life insurers demand



Some life insurance companies are making a case for a remunerative benefit to be offered to the policyholder after every three months under their life insurance policy.

Also known as No-Claim Bonus (NCB), Acting Head of Metropolitan Life Insurance (MetLife), Emmanuel Oteng Tuffour says active policyholders deserve some motivation.

Speaking at the launch of a Family Financial Wellness Plus product and Whatsapp Chat Bot named ‘Yaa’ for current and potential policyholders of MetLife, he said MetLife Insurance is making a case for a remunerative benefit offered to the policyholder after every three months under their life insurance policy.

According to him, active policyholders deserved some motivation, hence the innovation.

“We believe that you don’t necessarily have to make a claim. So you benefit if you also sign up to the product for that period that you have not actually not made a claim. This is also an opportunity for you to make some cashback benefit.”

Also known as No-Claim Bonus (NCB), it is a modest way through which the insurance company rewards the policyholder for having a claim-free year. Under this benefit, a monetary benefit is provided to the insured if no claims are raised in the previous policy tenure.

The FFW product has assorted benefits including Death Benefit, Permanent Total Disability Benefit, Temporary Disability Benefit, Critical Illness Benefit, Cashback Benefit as well as Survival Benefit.

Mr. Tuffour believes product development is the surest bet to improving insurance penetration

For his part, the Board Chair of the company and Managing Partner of CFY Partners, Charles Akun Egan, said life insurance should no longer be ‘business as usual.’

“They must think out of the box and be innovative around the tripod of Products, People, and Platforms to enhance their competitiveness”.

Meanwhile, CEO of KEK Group, Shaibu Ali has allayed fears product innovation in the insurance sector will serve as disincentive to brokers.

“A lot of us brokers are getting on board the technology platform so that we will be able to also interact with the customers on these same products. We are complementing each other.”

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AGRA president Dr Agnes Kalibata appointed to high-profile Climate Overshoot Commission



President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Dr. Agnes Kalibata

The President of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Dr Agnes Kalibata, has been selected as one of 16 eminent members of the Climate Overshoot Commission.

She joins former heads of government, national ministers, environmental leaders, and high-level international officials, who will evaluate additional approaches for reducing the climate risks of overshoot in an integrated way.

The Climate Overshoot Commission was formed upon the realization that global warming is fast approaching the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement, and an ‘overshoot’ of that goal is likely within the next decade.

The Commission, which is chaired by former World Trade Organisation Director-General Pascal Lamy, will balance the potential, costs and risks of enhanced adaptation, carbon dioxide removal, and sunlight reflection against the serious impacts of a warming world.

The commissioners will meet six times over the next fifteen months – starting in Italy, New York and Egypt – to prepare a strategy that will be unveiled before the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) of 2023. The expected strategy will be evidence-based, just, and promote equitable approaches for reducing risk in a dangerously warming world.

“Rising global temperatures are already creating challenges for global food systems. Africa’s smallholder farmers are facing adverse consequences as a result of fluctuating weather patterns. We are seeing this in droughts, floods, mudslides, and pest attacks across Africa.

“This Commission brings together leaders to work together in advocating for action that can prevent climate overshoot and develop appropriate response strategies to reverse global warming and limit the impacts of worsening climate change,” said Dr Kalibata, who served as the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the UN Food Systems Summit in 2021.

Dr Kalibata brings to the Commission a wealth of experience from her involvement in agricultural and food systems, both as a successful minister of agriculture (Rwanda) and as the leader of AGRA.

In both these roles and many others, she has led the development of strategies enabling farmers to adapt to the vagaries of climate change and mitigating further damage.  

Her contribution to finding global solutions to end hunger has seen her win numerous awards and international recognition, including the prestigious Africa Food Prize, an honourary doctorate from the University of Liège, and the National Academy of Sciences’ Public Welfare Medal, amongst many others.

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