Accra, Africa, Anand Sharma, Angola, Business, Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Debt, Foreign Direct Investment, GDP, Ghana, Government, Gross domestic product, India, Invesments, Ireland, John Dramani Mahama, Mining, Nigeria, SADC, South Africa, Southern African Customs Union, Southern African Development Community, Sunil Mittal, Uncategorized

Africa Focused News

REPORT OF WEDNESDAY 02/10/13

by Dario Galluccio

This Blog is sponsored by http://www.reflexecogroup.com

Ghana to net-export power in four years

The President of the republic of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama has revealed that, Ghana will become a net-exporter of power within the next four years given the pragmatic and practical measures the government is putting in place to solve the energy crisis in the country. The President assured the Independent Power Producers, willing to invest in the energy sector of his unflinching government commitment to create an enabling environment for their business to flow efficiently, which would help mitigate the current energy crisis the country is facing.

The President made these remarks at a town hall meeting hosted for him at his hotel in New York City, to interact with Ghanaians across the United States. Speaking on the current state of the various sectors of the Ghanaian economy President Mahama noted that, the Ghanaian economy is moving at a faster pace, hence the government is targeting 8 percent growth rate per year. And expressed hope and optimism that, “Ghana will progress to a middle income status in the next eight years.” Touching on the transport sector, he disclosed that, “95 percent of our transports are dominated by the road sector, and there is the need for the government to revamp the rail sector, which adds to the GDP of any country.” He noted that the government has taken over the Tema Shipyard from the Malaysian investors, with the intention to revamp and re-invigorate it, so that all the ships in West African will use it to dry-dock in Ghana.

He also expressed government commitment to revamp Tema Oil Refinery to enable Ghana’s crude oil be refined right within the Ghanaian shores which will create more jobs for the unemployed youth.

 

Angola: To lead investment attraction in SADC

Angola is in a privileged position as compared with the other countries of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) regarding attraction of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), as it combines its economic potential with political stability.

This was said Tuesday, 1st of October, in Luanda by the economist Fiel Constantino.

Speaking to Angop, Fiel Constantino, who was speaking about the country’s FDI, said Angola’s political stability places the Democratic Republic of Congo in a second position, despite the neighbouring country’s huge economic potential. As to the continent’s strongest economy, South Africa, with an also stronger political stability and recognised established democracy, the specialist said it has not an economy as great as the above mentioned countries, as it is nearing exhaustion and more and more becoming an FDI emission economy.

Ghana: Fear grips mining sector

The Minerals Commission, which disclosed this, said the current price of gold had adversely affected industry operators. The falling price of gold globally in the past year has resulted in a significant drop in government revenues, provisional shutdown of some mines and massive layoff of workers.

According to some analysts, the price of gold would continue to drop from its current price to as low as $1,100 by next year. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Minerals Commission, Ben Aryee, in an interview with journalists recently, indicated that even though the industry was suffering from the effects of the price tumble, the situation could worsen next year.

He indicated that if the current situation worsens in the short-term, miners might continue to mine to cover costs, adding that mining companies would suspend their operations with the possibility of shutting down in the long-term. Already, the price drop has adversely affected the sector with a number of job cuts planned in the fourth quarter of this year.

Nigeria: Irish firms to invest

Various Irish companies would soon invest in Nigeria, Irish High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Fay has said. Fay, who disclosed this during a recent launch of a premium product – the Irish Mayor – in Abuja, said efforts are being made to boost commerce between Nigeria and Ireland. He stressed that, as part of efforts to enhance the economic ties between both countries, the Irish Minister for Trade and Development would, in November 2013, lead a trade delegation to Nigeria.

He said: “We are trying to develop the link and make it stronger. To do that, we are working closely with the Nigerian Ambassador in Dublin and the Department of Foreign Affairs to work together to develop our trade.”

Ghana: CLOGSAG threatens strike

Civil and Local Government Staff Association (CLOGSAG) on Tuesday, 1st of October, organised a day’s sensitisation forum in Tamale on an impending nationwide strike. Mr Isaac Bampoe Addo, Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG explained that the migration of its members into the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) about two years ago had a negative impact on members, hence the planned industrial action. He said three different committees instituted by government recommended that a premium should be paid to compensate the affected persons but nothing had come out of it.

Mr Addo said the national executives of CLOGSAG followed up and commenced a voluntary arbitration with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC), National Labour Commission and other stakeholders but getting to the end of the process the FWSC pulled out. He reminded government that all the successful programmes the country boast of were as a result of the hard work of its members nationwide.

Nigeria: Konga launches Africa’s largest e-Commerce warehouse

Leading Nigerian online shopping mall Konga.com, announced it has relocated to a 120,000 sq ft fulfillment centre which is the largest warehouse of any e-commerce firm in Africa, tromping Jumia Nigeria’s record warehouse launch in July by 30,000 sq ft. The Lagos-based e-retailer made the announcement on Tuesday,  1st of October, during Nigeria’s 53rd Independence Anniversary adding that it just hired a new COO Alex Kamara.

Consumer buying is on the rise in Nigeria driven by a rapidly growing middleclass and retailers are aggressively expanding to capture the over 160 million-population market.

Konga.com, founded by Nigerian Entrepreneur, Sim Shagaya, is a ‘Proudly Nigerian’ online mall and gives customers online access to the widest range of products online in Nigeria, ranging from home accessories, mobile phones, to groceries, fashion, shoes, recharge cards and so much more.

Africa: India wants early trade pact with African nations

India has pitched for early conclusion of the preferential trade pact with African nations, which is expected to help enhance business ties between India and minerals rich countries of the continent. Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma urged his South African counterpart Rob Davies to expedite the much delayed India-SACU preferential trade pact that will reduce tariffs on several key products. Sharma is in Johannesburg for the third Indo-Africa Trade ministers meet. The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) consists of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland.

India has been waiting for the response from the African side on its proposal of an average margin of preference of 70%. This means imports from SACU will be subject to a tariff 70% lower than the most favoured nation rate.

The bilateral trade target of $100 billion by 2015 and $200 billion by 2020 is a modest one and is certainly achievable, Sharma said. Air connectivity and visa related issues were the two other concerns raised at the second India-Africa Business Council ( IABC) meet here, co-chaired by Bharti group chairman Sunil Mittal. Indian business chamber FICCI is the institutional partner of the council.

Sharma assured that the air connectivity issue has been taken up at the highest level and that Air India will resume its flights to Africa from 2014 onwards.

Ghana: To host Success Africa Conference 2013

Ghana will host the Success African conference in Accra from October 5 to October 26. The conference on the theme: “Defying all odds” marks the 7th edition of the African Young Leadership and Entrepreneur’s Summit. A statement issued in Accra by Mr Albert Kusi, Chairman of LEC Foundation, organisers of the event said the conference is to develop next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs. It said for the past six years the foundation had organised series of leadership and career development seminars for tertiary students and senior high students.

The statement said in the quest to reduce graduate unemployment, the Foundation believes the conference would enable young people to discover themselves and get the opportunity to be mentored to start and manage their own businesses.

South Africa: Debt could grow to 63% of GDP by 2020

South Africa should set a debt target to improve the credibility of its fiscal policy as slower economic growth makes it difficult to keep the budget deficit under control, the International Monetary Fund said.

Government debt may stabilise at about 47% of gross domestic product in five years, with a 10% chance that the ratio can reach 63% by 2020, the Washington-based lender said in its annual Article IV country report, published on its website today.

“Determining an appropriate debt benchmark remains highly controversial,” the IMF said. “Given South Africa’s outlook, the magnitude of macroeconomic and fiscal shocks, and cross- country comparisons, reducing the debt-to-GDP ratio to around 40 percent by 2020 would allow the country to rebuild adequate fiscal space.”

Falling tax revenues and spending pressures contributed to a widening in the budget deficit to 5.1 percent of GDP in the year through March, prompting the government to increase borrowing. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan forecast gross debt will reach 45 percent of GDP in the year through March 2016 from an estimated 42 percent last year.

While the state’s agreement to limit wage increases for the next three years to 1 percent and to set explicit expenditure ceilings were positive, “the government’s poor record in controlling the wage bill and potential spillovers from high wage demands in other sectors represent downside risks,” according to the report.

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