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SUNREF and partners, CalBank, GCB to support West Africa Automotive Village with renewable energy financing



Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Financing (SUNREF) and its partners, CalBank and GCB Bank have pledged to immensely support the West Africa Automotive Village initiative by the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey.

Part of a global initiative by French Development Agency to get public and private banks to finance private sector investments in green technologies and sustainable energy, SUNREF Ghana, is making available €32.5 million through its partners to support renewable energy financing in the country.

Team Leader for SUNREF, Normand Michaud, told participants at the first ever Greater Accra Regional Investment Opportunities Conference that the objectives of the project is to reduce the energy intensity of Ghanaian economy, secure energy supply for households, companies and institutions Leverage investments in renewable energy, among others.

He is therefore urging all to take advantage of the energy financing project to transform the renewable energy or green financing project in the country.

“SUNREF work with either the government or some agencies in each country. Here in Ghana, we are working with the Energy Commission, and the Energy Commission is the one managing the SUNREF project with the two banks [CalBank and GCB Bank] and the AFD [l’Agence Francaise de Developpement]. What am doing here and the service am providing here – technical assistance – we are not billing the customers, the banks etc.”

“We’ve been talking about green project, green investments and the need to develop the cities in an environmentally friendly way. So what SUNREF is trying to doing is exactly that; to work on reducing the energy intensities of the countries – how much the cities are consuming, how much the private sector is consuming, the industries, making sure that we secure energy for everyone – no more power outages”, Mr. Michaud said.

“We mentioned about environmental friendly projects, developing the countries, the cities in a green way. The type of projects for the credit line include solar energy, biomass or biogas. In terms of energy efficiency project, what we are looking for is a programme for saving energy”, he added.

The SUNREF Ghana boss also mentioned that institutions that are interested in purchasing electric vehicles will also be given the necessary financial support to do so.

SUNREF, a green finance label developed by AFD and supported by the EU launched its energy financing programme for Ghana in Accra in 2021.

The programme is a unique and innovative financial offer, with a credit line of €30 million from the AFD and €2.5 million as grant and technical assistance from the EU, provided to local partner banks.

CalBank was the first bank to partner with the programme.

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CalBank to pay shareholders 11 pesewas per share dividend for 2021 financial year



CalBank has announced a dividend of 11 pesewas per share to shareholders for the financial year ending December 31st, 2021.

All shareholders registered in the books of the bank at the close of business on Friday June 3, 2022, will however qualify for the final dividend.

In view of the foregoing, the ex-dividend date has been set as Wednesday, June 1st, 2022.

Consequently, an investor purchasing CalBank shares before this date will be entitled to the final dividend.

However, an investor buying CalBank shares on or after Wednesday, June 1, 2022, will not be entitled to the final dividend.

According to the bank, the final dividend will be paid from Thursday, June 30, 2022.

Cal Bank records 3.9% growth in profit to ¢215m in 2021

CalBank recorded a marginal 3.9% year-on-year growth in profit in 2021 to ¢215 million, despite the impact of COVID-19 on the Ghanaian economy, particularly in the first half of the year.

With the exception of interest income which it witnessed a decline in growth, it registered growth in all its income lines – net fees and commission and net trading income.

The drop in interest income from ¢519.6 million in 2020 to ¢465.3 million in 2021 was as result of a high interest expense on the profitability statement.

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Aqua Africa, CWSA conduct community engagement training for rural communities



In support of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR) in meeting the government of Ghana’s ‘Water for All’ policy, Aqua Africa and the Community, Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) has conducted an in-depth training and orientation programme for 150 rural communities.

This is to ensure the communities were aware, involved and informed prior to the arrival on the implementation teams later this month.

The community engagement training was the first of its kind to be coordinated in conjunction with CWSA and Aqua Africa

The 5-day workshop, arranged by the Aqua Africa Community Engagement team in partnership with the regional Extension Service Specialist (ESS) from CWSA, with the aim to equip the participants with the necessary skill set to guide key stakeholders within the community on the benefits of the Rural Communities and Small Town Water Supply Project (RCSTWSP) which is to be delivered across five of the regions in Ghana.

Each of the 13 participants was taken through the community engagement strategy, detailing the composition of the diverse communities they would be visiting to ensure that key stakeholders within the community were fully informed on the work plans that are due to take place later this year.

The government of Ghana’s vision for the water sector, as enshrined in the Water Sector Strategic Development Plan, is for ‘all people living in Ghana have access to adequate, safe, affordable, reliable and sustainable water services, and practice safe sanitation and hygiene’.

To maintain this, the training also included a visit to a local community within the Eastern Region to allow for hands-on practice, meeting with community chiefs and members.

Rita Ambadire, Community Relations Manager at Aqua Africa said “it was a great occasion for both teams to bond and provided an opportunity for all regional community engagement teams to carry the same message. CWSA and AA expressed their assurance to work harmoniously together to effectively engage and mobilise the project communities for successful project implementation in the five regions.”

The project value of €30 million euros was a 100% structured financed project through by UK Export Finance & HSBC.

Aqua Africa was accredited as the Green Loan water project by UKEF & HSBC providing nano-filtration systems to 150 communities with water quality challenges. The full project will deliver a sustainable project that will alleviate 280,000 people from the plight of daily water poverty.

By providing clean drinking water, contributing to seven of nine sub-goals under the UN Sustainable Development Goal for Water & Sanitation (SDG 6), Aqua Africa is supporting the Government of Ghana by improving water quality & efficiency as well as by adapting the water collection process, impacting the advancement of further SDGs 1, 3, 5, 8 & 9.

The climate-smart solution of installing off-grid solar-panelled systems will apply innovative technology and financing methods that will give access to water in communities with revenue secured through a digitalised ‘pay as you fetch‘ approach.

A percentage of revenue will be allocated for Operations and Maintenance (O&M) to secure community management through maintenance and any future expansion of the water systems.

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Agyapa deal still unconscionable and unpatriotic – Bright Simmons



Vice President of IMANI Africa, Bright Simmons.

Honorary Vice President at IMANI Ghana, Bright Simons, has reiterated his reservations about the controversial Agyapa Royal deal; stating that, the deal, remains ‘unconscionable’ and ‘unpatriotic’.

He made these comments, while contributing to discussions on NewsFile on Saturday.

In his submission, he rehashed the point that, the deal will not inure to the benefit of Ghanaians, and therefore the need for it to be completely discarded.

According to him, the structuring of the deal alone, gives reason for worry; given that it threatens the minimum royalties Ghana derives from its gold and mineral reserves.

“The most important is that, no government should be given the power to deny future governments of revenue in the fashion that is being proposed at the rate that is being proposed.

We’ve seen instances where consistently, the current government takes future streams of income that other governments will use, front loads it, keep that money for today, and forgets about future generations.

Think of all the money from ESLA or the energy levies. Think of the monies from the GETFUND. And consistently, we create these structures, front load the money, spend it, forgetting how we are going to pay for our other debts in a few years forward. We think that is not really acceptable”, he lamented.

He also added that, “there should be a sense in which even if the government wanted to securitise the gold, through a much more cleaner, efficient process than has been proposed, they should not be looking at all the discretionary income that we earn from royalties apart from those that are bound by statute to other purposes.

That money that they want to put in, they should have put it in a smaller fraction of the gold at a much higher valuation”.

The comments by Bright Simons, were in reaction to a recent call by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, for a re-look at the controversial Agyapa Royalties Agreement, instead of abandoning it.

Mr. Ofori-Atta said the deal must be taken through the appropriate process in order to make it work because it could reduce the country’s debt exposure.

Speaking at a press briefing to announce details of the African Development Bank’s 2022 Annual General Meeting on Thursday, the Finance Minister explained that the Agyapa deal “is not about whether the monetisation of mineral royalties or listing of the company is bad or good, it is good because that is how you raise resources”.

But Bright Simmons thinks otherwise. In expressing his reservations on NewsFile, he accused the Finance Minister of failing to engage the relevant stakeholders on the deal, after its implementation was stalled.

This position was further reiterated by Dr. Steve Manteaw and the Executive Director of the African Centre for Energy Policy, Benjamin Boakye. Expressing their opinions on NewsFile, they posited that failure of the Finance Minister to widen consultations on the deal, is unhealthy.

Making reference to the initial circumstances of the Agyapa deal, Bright Simmons praised the efforts of the former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, for his rigour and vigilance in exposing the gaps in the deal.

“So our argument is, this is a way to take something that belongs to the people of Ghana, and give it to investors and others that are perhaps favoured by this administration. But not necessarily people that if Ghanaians had a say in the matter, they will want to take over those assets”, he added.

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