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EU Commissioner for International Partnerships in Ghana to support green energy, entrepreneurship, others

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The European Union Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta URPILAINEN, is in Ghana for a working visit.

Her visit is to reaffirm strong ties and increasing partnership between the EU and Ghana, particularly in the domains of energy, green growth, youth entrepreneurship, and health and vaccines.

Commissioner URPILAINEN will also use the opportunity to officially launch the EU’s new cycle of cooperation with Ghana for 2021-2027 together with Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, based on shared priorities.

Commissioner URPILAINEN was expected to have started her visit yesterday 30th March, 2022 by meeting President Nana Akufo-Addo and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, at Jubilee House. They discussed the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its impact on global security and commodity prices, as well as the regional security situation in West Africa and Sahel.

The Commissioner is also expected to present the EU’s new Global Gateway strategy and several flagship programmes, such as the Global Green Bond Initiative and the Africa-EU Green Energy Initiative.

On 31st March, 2022, the Commissioner will meet with the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta. They will discuss the global economic impact of the conflict in Ukraine and explored avenues for a stronger EU-Ghana partnership to sustain and stimulate green growth and job creation in Ghana. The Commissioner will emphasise that EU and Ghana are important trade partners, notably through the EU-Ghana Economic Partnership Agreement. Accra plays a central role for continental economic integration as host of the AfCFTA Secretariat.

Commissioner URPILAINEN and Mr. Ofori-Atta will then take part in the signing ceremony of a financing agreement for a project to build irrigation infrastructure in Northern Ghana, together with France. The European Union is contributing with 44.7 million euros grant to the project.

This will be followed by the launch of the EU’s Multi-Annual Indicative Programming (MIP) in Ghana for 2021-2027 together with the Minister of Finance and the EU Member State  Ambassadors  in Ghana (Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Spain).

This new programming falls under the EU’s new Global Gateway investment package for Africa and will provide €203 million for the period 2021-24 to support the three priorities – green growth for jobs, smart and sustainable cities as well as good governance and security.

These priorities were jointly determined with Team Europe partners and in close consultation with Ghanaian authorities, civil society and other relevant stakeholders.

Commissioner URPILAINEN will then meet with the Minister of Energy, Matthew Opoku Prempeh. They will discuss the Global Gateway strategy and prospects for further cooperation under the Continental Power System Masterplan. They will also talk about the EU’s and Ghana’s ambitions and transition plans towards green energy including opportunities on renewable energy, notably green hydrogen, in line with the EU Green Deal.

As a concrete example of EU interest in supporting green jobs and entrepreneurship in Ghana, Commissioner URPILAINEN will have the opportunity to engage with young entrepreneurs during her visit of Innohub. This is a business accelerator and investment platform supporting entrepreneurs in green and circular economy.

Commissioner URPILAINEN will discuss challenges and opportunities offered by the dynamic Ghanaian business context. Several Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) from a variety of sectors – including cocoa and waste management – will share their innovative and green business ideas. They will underline how their businesses are improving communities’ livelihoods while contributing to the green transition.

Building resilient health systems in Africa, strengthening local pharmaceutical systems and manufacturing capacity to be ready for future pandemics are essential objectives of the EU Global Gateway strategy for Africa.

Commissioner URPILAINEN will therefore visit the laboratories of the Food and Drug Authority (FDA), which regulates local manufacturing of vaccines and is supported by the EU and Germany.



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GRA and Finance Ministry engage Information Services Department on E-Levy implementation

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More than 200 staff of the Information Services Department across the country are undergoing a special training in Kumasi to help intensify public education on the implementation of the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy).

This is part of measures by the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Ministry of Finance to address misconceptions about the E-levy and its implementation.

Deputy Information Minister, Fatimatu Abubakar, is positive the ISD will use the various local languages to properly disseminate the right information and clear the misconception about the e-levy.

The passage and implementation of the electronic transfer levy have come with diverse concerns and misinformation.

This has compelled authorities to engage officers of the Information Services Department across the country to help with the education.

Deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei Asare, says it is crucial for the ISD to employ the various local languages to better address the misinformation on E-levy.

There have been concerns about logistical constraints often associated with the work of the Information Services Department.

Fatimatu Abubakar insists the Department is well equipped enough to carry out the education.

The initiative is expected to empower the Information Service Department on the e-levy mechanics.



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Government must complement monetary policy with sound fiscal measures – Economist

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Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has been urged to embark on comprehensive fiscal measures to complement monetary measures by the Bank of Ghana to restore economic stability and confidence.

Some financial observers have cautioned that investors will continue to shun government Treasury bills until the Finance Minister embarks on tight fiscal policy to bring down inflation, which hit 23.6 percent in April.

Speaking to Joy Business, Economist, Professor Lord Mensah, warned that investor confidence will continue to decline until inflation is stabilized.

“Government has been struggling to meet its target because the investor community has started shying away from short term investments, “Professor Mensah said adding that the uncertainties in the money market has made investors skeptical.

He stated for example that, investors are rationale business owners who always respond to activities in the market.

According to him, uncertainties create unpredictable future – a situation investors watch out for before committing their funds.

“Usually when uncertainties are so high in the system, most of the investors move their funds from the long term to the medium term. If the uncertainties continue to get deeper, they move their funds to the short term. If the investor is not comfortable at the short term then it means the economy is not doing well,” he explained.

He maintained that one of the major ways for judging confidence in an economy is to examine where and how investors are willing to invest their funds.

“With high inflation investors know that the value of their investment will be eroded. For me, the most important thing to do now is to work and bring inflation down”.



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Economy growing strongly, data suggests robust pick-up – Governor

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The Ghanaian economy is growing strongly despite the threat of rising inflation and the recent sharp volatility of the cedi, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison has pointed out.

According to him, data secured by his outfit so far indicates that the economy continues to rebound, irrespective of the challenges.

Speaking to Bloomberg ahead of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, which began yesterday, 18th May, 2022, Dr. Addison said he real sector of the economy has been resilient despite the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Ghanaian situation in a sense also reflects what happened in 2020 where the government took a very expansionary stance on policy. Therefore there were many interventions that was put into place in order to protect lives and livelihoods.”

“The impact of that was real sector being more resilient than we see in other places. As I said, we are beginning to see a pick-up in growth in 2021”, Dr. Addison emphasised.”

Indeed, sectors such as Information, Communications and Technology; Tourism and Hospitality; Manufacturing have bounced back, registering strong growth rates.

“Some of the data that has come in 2022 does not suggest that we are slowing down”, the Governor noted.

“I believe, if we were to choose between growth and inflation, the policy priority should be managing the pace at which prices are increasing”, he added.

Economy expanded by 5.4% in 2021 – GSS

Ghana’s economy expanded by 5.4% in 2021, far higher than the 0.4% recorded in the year 2020, a period that COVID-19 pandemic had severely hit the global economy.  

Without oil, the economy recorded a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 6.9%

According to provisional estimate by the Ghana Statistical Service, only 10 countries in Africa recorded growth rates higher than that of Ghana. They included Cote d’ lvoire and Uganda.

The strong growth rate was driven by the Services sector, particularly the Information, Communication and Technology (33.1%) and the Agriculture sector, such as Fishing (13.4%).

The Services sector recorded the highest GDP growth rate of 9.4% in 2021.



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