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Gold, cocoa dip in revenues calls for focus on NTEs

Reflex Eco Group – Africa News

Antony Sedzro (Ghanaian journalist)

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The World Bank in its latest report is warning Ghana of huge drop in export earnings as a result of falling prices of gold and cocoa. The bank based its predictions on the huge fall in prices of the two commodities in the coming months.

The development has already affected revenue from these commodities. The Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of Ghana, the country’s central bank, in July released figures to show that export earnings from gold for the first half of 2013 was estimated at US$2.7 billion, compared to US$3.2 billion in the same period in 2012, fall of about 16%. This fall is attributable to lower prices and volumes.

The price of gold on the international market has fallen from a high of about $1,700 in November 2012 to a low of $1,200 in the middle of this year. This is the highest fall in the value of the precious metal in thirty years.

Gold is Ghana’s main foreign exchange earner and the country is Africa’s second biggest producer behind South Africa. The fall in the world market price of the commodity has equally hit mining companies in the country.

Anglogold Ashanti, which operates one of the biggest mines in Ghana, has started the process of laying off about 430 of its mine workers. Newmont Ghana will cut at least 300 jobs in a bid to manage costs more efficiently, directors of the company said last month. Other mining firms have cut back on new mining projects in Ghana, West Africa’s second biggest economy.
During the boom in commodity prices, Ghana last year produced 4.3 million ounces of gold in 2012, a record for the country. Artisanal (small-scale) mining, which contributes about 30% to the country’s total production annually, also blossomed and saw the attraction of thousands of Chinese miners who mined illegally. A public outcry against the presence of Chinese miners led to a security crackdown on their operations. But even the artisanal miners have seen a sharp drop in their activities due to the steep fall in the precious metal’s price.

In a contribution on how this fall in revenue on the country’s economy can be remedied in the long term, respected Ghanaian economist, Dr. Joe Abbey, has revealed that concentrating on Non-traditional Exports (NTEs) could help address the expected challenge in the long term.

“So there is no choice for us but to look at the factors that determine the quality and cost of producing in this country. Oil may save something for us now, but we need to go beyond oil and get to non-commodity-based thing.”

Ghana produces and exports pineapples, oranges, bananas, cashew nuts, and others. These are normally produced by small-holder farmers with very low production capacity but with enormous potentially if supported financially.
For many years, the country has depended on hard currencies earned from exports from gold and cocoa to finance imports and shore up the local currency’s value.
The fall in price of gold and cocoa has also adversely affected Ghana’s currency, the Ghana cedi.
To stem this trend, Dr. Abbey, states that with less earnings from exports and an less controlled imports, “the Bank of Ghana would have to draw down on its holding of foreign exchange to meet the gaps”.
In spite of Ghana’s political stability, the Ghana cedi is currently the second most depreciated currency in Africa, according to the latest Ecobank report on the performance of currencies in Africa.
The report puts the cedi’s rate of depreciation at 14.5%.


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by Dario Galluccio

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Ghana: Renewable energy sector gets €1.8m from Germany

Ghana’s energy sector has received a boost of 1.8 million Euros from the government of the Federal Republic of Germany through the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to be disbursed in two years. This is in pursuance of a successful implementation of the Renewable Energy Act 832 enacted in 2011.

Speaking at the launch of the joint programme for a successful implementation of the renewable energy Act in Accra, Deputy Minister for Energy and Petroleum John Jinapor commended the German government for its efforts over the years to build capacities in Ghana’s energy sector. He added: “Most high ranking officials in the energy sector today are beneficiaries of GIZ programmes.

Mr. Jinapor, giving the background of Ghana’s energy history, said the country relied solely on hydroelectricity until 1997 and 2007 when the water level in the Akosombo Dam fell drastically, forcing governments at the time to shift their attention to thermoelectricity by constructing thermal plants to support the energy sector.

Nigeria: U.S. invests U.S.$50 Mln in economy in 2013

United States of America Consul General, Jeffrey Hawkins said that the US has invested $50 million in Nigeria’s economy in 2013 alone. He said this during a courtesy visit to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). He said that Nigeria was a growing economy and assured that the United States government would help in growing the economy.

He pointed out that no country can progress without capital market investment, saying that the US was building a solid trade framework with the Nigerian government. He urged the NSE to create a transparent environment that will attract investors to the Nigerian capital market.

The CEO of NSE, Oscar Onyema, while welcoming the US Consul General, said Nigeria has a strong relationship with the US government, saying that the Stock Exchange would support the relationship and economic activities between the two countries. He added that the Exchange would also drive friendly portfolio investments from the deepest market(New York Stock exchange) in the world to emerging market which has the highest return on investment in the world.

Ghana: President Mahama to address economist Ghana Summit

President John Dramani Mahama is expected to address the Ghana Economist Summit on Tuesday, October 29th 2013 at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra as part of a two-day international business leaders’ event. The Ghana Summit would openly explore the risks and opportunities that are facing the thriving African economy.

It would bring together over 150 leaders from government, business and finance that have either invested in the country or expressed interest in its future.

In a special opening keynote address by the President, he would discuss how Ghana would take advantage of positive conditions and overcome further challenges to its continued emergence as a growing economy. Ghana’s economy has witnessed major changes in the last couple of years. GDP has more than doubled in four years from GH¢23billion in 2007 to GH¢59 billion in 2011. This has been aided by the oil production, which took off in December 2010. Last year, oil contributed GH¢3.7 billion to the country’s GDP.

Despite the positive outlook for the Ghanaian economy, there are a number of critical challenges that could restrict growth and slow down the progress of poverty alleviation and development. While the economy has seen low and stable inflation, the cost of credit for small and medium size enterprises is still high.

South Africa: Commuter rail investment gains pace

South Africa will invest over R50-billion in passenger rail infrastructure and services over the next few years, President Jacob Zuma said at the launch of the Bridge City Rail Link project in KwaMashu outside Durban. This follows the government’s investment of over R40-billion in the sector over the past four years, Zuma said.

The R1.3-billion Bridge City station, which includes a bus and taxi interchange, is the largest rail infrastructure development project in the Durban area. Situated 17 kilometres from the Durban city centre, the Bridge City station links the communities of Phoenix, Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu directly to the urban transport system. The development is expected to boost economic growth in these communities as it improves their opportunities to work, travel, shop and do business. It will also serve as a social and commercial centre for an area housing a population of over 800 000 people, who at present have generally poor access to facilities and social services.

Ghana: Dangote withdrawing sugar

Dangote sugar refinery, Nigeria’s biggest producer of the sweetener, has told the current requirements in Ghana regarding the production of sugar are hindering them from entering the market.

Dangote Sugar plans to increase its capacity to enter more African countries beginning with Mali, Gambia, Burkina Faso and Togo this year and Liberia, Senegal and Mauritania next year.

The company’s Vice President, Sani Dangote stated that it will not be making a stop in Ghana saying, “we have two major problems in Nigeria you cannot produce without fortifying with vitamin A in Ghana you do not need to fortify that’s number one and that’s very expensive. You fortify sugar with vitamin A for the eye and in Ghana this is not compulsory.” He continued saying, “we have 45 units as the highest in Nigeria and in Ghana you have 150 units’ what’s known as brown sugar so to come to Ghana is very difficult because you can’t produce sugar in Nigeria without fortifying it but we have some Ghanaian businesses importing from us in Nigeria.”

Ghana over the last few years has spent over GHC 500 million on sugar imports with demand rising by over 5 percent yearly.

Rwanda: Free internet project to boost economic growth

Thanks to the launch of the government-backed “Smart Kigali” project, people in Rwanda now have access to free internet via Wi-Fi enabled devices. The project, which is line with Rwanda’s Vision 2020, symbolises another step towards achieving the East African nation’s prospects of becoming a regional IT hub, as it steadily moves past the tragic events of the 1994 genocide into a future built on a Knowledge-based economy in order to attract more foreign investment.

Five years ago, Rwanda launched the “One Laptop Per Child” initiative in schools across the country. So far, the project has seen about 200,000 laptops distributed to more than 400 schools. Going further, Rwandan government signed a $140 million deal with South Korea’s largest Telecom – Korea Telecom (KT) Corp in June, 2013 to provide 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) Broadband networks across the country especially in areas where internet connectivity is low. The deal is considered to be one of the biggest FDI deal ever embarked on by the East African nation.

Ghana: SEC to establish fund to promote investment education

The Security and Exchange Commission, (SEC) is to set up an advocacy fund to help it step up an investment education in the country, the Director General of SEC, Mr Adu Anane Antwi has disclosed. The move according to him forms part of measures to expand the investment base of the capital market.

He explained that although, the capital market has recorded growth in 2013, its investment education has had to face the challenge of getting sustainable finance hence, the fund would help address this challenge and would be funded by friends of the industry.

Mr Anane Antwi made these known at the launch of the EM Balanced Unit Trust (EMTRUST), a collective investment scheme set up by EM Capital Partners Limited, an investment banking institution.

The education he said was aimed at bringing Ghanaians closer to the capital market, something which had yielded positive results thereby, registering 35 schemes generating about GH¢301.47 million for the SEC to manage.

The EMTRUST according to the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the EM Capital, Mr Mike Ashong, has an objective of enhancing and preserving the wealth of its unit holders through investments in a diversified portfolio.

Rwanda: Among social entrepreneur fund beneficiaries

Rwanda is among the six African countries that have been lined up as beneficiaries for a new fellowship fund programme aimed at supporting social entrepreneurs in addressing food security issues. The new fund was announced last week by the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative, in collaboration with the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and World Food Prize Foundation.

The country has embarked on modern farming methods. The fellowship fund, dubbed ’40 Chances Fellows’, seeks to encourage innovation in developing market-based approaches that address food security in Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Guinea and South Sudan.

Launched at the World Food Prize in Iowa (October, 16-19), the programme will select four individuals with the most innovative social enterprise business plans and provide living expenses as well as start-up funds for one year to execute the ideas. “We are thrilled that this partnership will help to empower social entrepreneurs to test new ideas that can have a positive impact in Africa,” Tony Blair, a former British prime minister said.

Ghana: Now fastest growing economy in sub-Saharan Africa

Mr Seth Adjei Baah, President of Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, noted that Ghana is currently one of the fastest growing economies in sub-Saharan Africa. He said the country’s business environment is also conducive and supportive of foreign investments.

Mr Adjei Baah, who was speaking at a day’s business forum of Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Turkey IZMIR Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Accra, said Ghana is loaded with many trade and investment opportunities.

The forum served as a platform for Turkish businessmen to meet with their Ghanaian counterparts to discuss trade and investment opportunities. It is also facilitated the establishment of an honorary consulate in Izmir to advance trade and development between the two countries.

The visiting Turkish entrepreneurs would hold business meetings with their Ghanaian counterparts in areas such as agriculture and agro-processing, banking and finance, construction and real estate development, tourism, telecommunications, information and communication technology, oil and gas extraction, mining and quarrying.

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Ghana: Non-traditional Exports hits $3.3bn

Reflex Eco Group – Africa News

Antony Sedzro (Ghanaian journalist)

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Ghana expects to make more than $3.3 billion as earnings from non-traditional exports for this year.

The projected income is an improvement on last year’s earnings of $2.3 billion.

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) which supervises non-traditional exports says it has so far earned 12% more than what it had during the same period last year.

Chief Executive, Gideon Boye Quarcoo, told local media that the projected improvements from non-traditional export has also been influenced by progress made in the global economic recovery.

He said a dip in Tuna exports last year resulted in last year’s figures, noting that “when you have less coming from tuna which is a big winner your numbers go down”.

He indicated also that the availability of funds from banks and other funding institutions has brought about added value from local products enabling it to earn more in exports.


Mr. Quarcoo also adds that they are on track to hit their 5 billion dollar target in the next four years because the service sector has been booming.

In June this year, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, Ghana’s Minister of Trade and Industry announced that the total value of non-traditional exports was expected to increase to $5 billion between mid-year 2015 to end of 2016. Mr. Iddrisu was speaking at the inauguration of a nine-member Board for the re-launched Ayensu Starch Company Limited in Kasoa, in the country’s Central Region. The Starch Factory produces cassava on a large scale for domestic and export markets.

Consequently, Government would aggressively support agricultural production, growth of horticultural and other vegetable crops as well as shore up small out-grower farming schemes countrywide to meet the target, he added.

The Minister expressed optimism that the target would be achieved, adding that, stronger collaboration between the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture is expected to guarantee the desired goal of increasing export to improve the country’s terms and balance of trade.

He said Ghana was under obligation to improve her export standards to meet the European Union requirements, particularly in the area of cocoa. Cocoa is the main ingredient for making chocolate.

Meanwhile, statistics for the first eight months of 2013 have shown major shifts in the structure of Ghana’s export revenue base.

Whereas gold still remains Ghana’s highest export earner despite this year’s price slump – from a high, early this year, of US$1,600 to US$1,300 currently – on the global market, cocoa has slid from being Ghana’s traditional second, or sometimes even highest export earner to the fourth position due to production problems and a fall in price.

Crude oil, which the country started producing less than three years ago, has become Ghana’s second highest export earner – a spot it has occupied since 2012. Non-traditional exports (NTEs), however has this year overtaken cocoa as Ghana’s third highest export earner.

In 2012, gold was Ghana’s highest export earner netting US$5,643 billion. Crude oil was next in line with export earnings of US$2,976 billion. Cocoa followed closely at US$2,828 while NTEs earned Ghana US$2,362.

Earnings from gold declined by 12.6% to US$3.4 billion in the first eight months of this year as compared to the same period last year while cocoa exports also fell by 21.4% to US$1.4.

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by Dario Galluccio

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Nigeria: Federal Government woos Brazilians to invest in power

To ensure rapid development of electricity distribution, the Federal Government has appealed to the Brazilian Government to invest in Nigeria’s power sector with a view to revamping the ailing sector. The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo who said this while receiving a Brazilian delegation led by Vice-Minister of Development, Industry and International Trade, Mr. Ricardo Shaefer, said the government needs assistance from around the world to revamp the ailing power sector.

The minister also requested for synergy and co-operation of the Brazilians in Nigeria’s quest to ensure all her nationals are connected to electricity. He said that “Brazil has done well in many aspects of electricity especially in big hydro, biomass, solar, wind and coal. Nigeria intends to learn from the experience of Brazil, as the country has already leap frog in the attainment of development goals.”

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Amb. Godknows Igali, said that opportunities in the power sector is in mega dimension. He added that the nation’s target of moving from over 4,000 mega watts to 40,000MW in the next seven years would require double efforts from Nigeria’s friends abroad.

South Africa: French firms urged to collaborate

French and South African companies have been encouraged to work together on the industrialisation of South Africa and the African continent. Speaking at a business forum on the sidelines of the state visit by French President Francois Hollande on Monday, 14th October, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said that although France was among the country’s top five partners in the European Union (EU), a lot more still needed to be done.

France is among South Africa’s top 10 trading partners. The two countries have significant and sizeable trade and investment relations.

Davies said that what needed to be improved were partnerships between the two countries on industrialisation. He said the African continent was recognised as one of the growing frontiers in the world and that the African region needed to integrate.

South Africa is engaged in a massive infrastructure programme, with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) having also set up infrastructure programmes, and these should form the basis for industrialisation, Davies said.

Ghana: Cocoa products are safe

The Minister of Trade and Indusry, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, has assured the members of the European Union that government would always support measures designed to achieve a high level of health protection in foodstuffs, particularly for the most fragile segments of the population. He said the Ghana Government has been following keenly, ongoing discussions within the European Union with a view to amending various regulations which seeks to set maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs.

Addressing the ministers and officials at the 12 Joint Session of the ACP-EU Ministerial Trade Committee in Brussels Mr Iddrisu said ‘While recognising the right of the institutions of the EC to take measures to protect human health, my country, and for that matter, the ACP Group, is of the considered opinion that there is the need to ensure proper balance between the necessary and appropriate levels of health protection and the minimum negative impact.

Zimbabwe: Nation to have new diamond miner

The Government has granted a licence to Global Diamond Trekkers to explore for the gems in the Middle Sabi area of Manicaland province, about 100 km south east of the Chiadzwa fields. According to a statement issued by the company, it was given permission to investigate the potential for mining diamonds in the Middle Sabi area. The alluvial diamond concession lies in the Middle Sabi valley, about 167 km south of Mutare in Manicaland province.

Global Diamond Trekkers said it had since engaged a consultancy firm to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment for the project. The company will in the short term conduct an exploration exercise to determine the extent of the resources. Thereafter it would seek compliance with industry regulator the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme.

Zimbabwe is a notable diamond producer with huge reserves of the mineral especially in the Marange area. The five joint-venture mines in Marange produced a combined eight million carats of the gems last year and generated at least US$684 million in exports.

Industry experts say Zimbabwe has the potential to account for at least 25 percent of global production by the end of the decade.

Nigeria: To take ICT investment drive to Silicon Valley

The Ministry of Communication Technology is holding a Silicon Valley Investment Forum in San Francisco, United States of America (USA), to showcase the untapped potential of the Nigerian ICT sector – its success stories and investment opportunities to the global community.

The three-day forum will showcase the development of Nigeria’s technology sector including policy, economic development and individual success stories of start-ups in the country.

The aim of the forum is to further highlight the potential of the Nigerian ICT sector and increase exposure of ideation and innovation in Nigeria. The forum will showcase Nigeria’s Innovation drive and success stories of start-ups like Jumia, Co Creation Hub, Venia Business Hub,, Interswitch, Paga etc. Also, a new report on Nigeria’s ICT sector by the Oxford Business Group will be circulated at the forum.

The Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, will speak on the potential of the Nigerian ICT sector and initiatives of the Ministry to accelerate the growth of the sector.

Ethiopia: Growth is impressive – African Development Bank

Ethiopia’s strong, decade-long economic growth made it possible for the country to be on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals says the African Development Bank (AfDB).

In its latest publication “AfDB and Ethiopia – Partnering for Inclusive Growth” the Bank point to huge investment in infrastructure and commercialization of agriculture as major causes for the average 11% annual growth over the past nine years, making Ethiopia the biggest economy in East Africa.

The Bank lauded the government’s development policy that lead to broad based growth and a considerable reduction in poverty, noting pro-poor policies accounted for 69% of expenditure in the 2011-12 budget year alone.

Prudent monetary policies brought inflation down to 7.7% in 2013 from a high of 40% in mid-2011. The Bank underlines its commitment to continue partnership with Ethiopia, aligning its country strategy with the Growth and Transformation Plan.

It notes “the government of Ethiopia’s key development objective is to achieve inclusive, accelerated and sustained economic growth and to eradicate poverty” and expresses the Bank’s strong conviction of the prospects of Ethiopia’s development.

The Bank’s country strategy principles included alignment with the Growth and transformation Plan, prioritizing infrastructure, regional integration, governance and private sector development and supporting the East African Integration strategy. The Bank has therefore supported the Ethio-Djibouti Electric Power Interconnection Project, the Ethio-Kenya Electric Highway project, the Mombasa-Nairobi-Addis Ababa Road Corridor and the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Program.

Since it joined the African Development Bank Group in 1964, Ethiopia has benefitted from loans and grants to the tune of US$3.75 billion, making it the sixth largest beneficiary in the continent.

Nigeria: Africa insurance market offers growth prospects

Despite the challenges in Africa, experts believe that Africa’s insurance and reinsurance markets offer potential for growth. According to a report by A.M Best Rating Company, insurance penetration in Africa is growing, but from a very low base, but in certain countries, given the economic development in the region.

The report stated that each country has different drivers for heightened insurance demand, ranging from economies dominated by the oil and gas and mining industries, to large populations. Accordingly, insurance market growth in recent years has also been characterised by an increase in the number of direct partnerships between businesses in Africa with others internationally.

South Africa: CoAL to invest $22.1m in Vele Colliery expansion

JSE-listed Coal of Africa (CoAL) said its board has agreed to a R220 million ($22.1m) extension of the Vele Colliery, located in the north of South Africa. The Vele Colliery spreads across ten farms with 8,663ha of land. Owned by Limpopo Coal Company, CoAL Africa has an 80 percent shareholding in Limpopo Coal’s shares. Eyesizwe Coal holds the outstanding 20 percent. The development aligns with the firm’s plan to focus on coking coal properties.

According to the company, the board’s approval came after the assessment and endorsement of Vele coal quality in August this year.

The firm has started raising money and this exercise will be completed by the end of March next year. After this, the firm will increase operations at the colliery in 2015, and the colliery will be in full swing at the close of that year.

South Sudan: Korean millionaires to invest

South Sudan will soon witness a number of investors from Korea coming willingly to invest in diverse natural resources in the country. The government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has already embarked on serious discussions on how these millionaires will be handled when they arrive in the country.

The head of Korean mission in Uganda, Park Jong Dae confirmed that the millionaires will arrive as soon as the necessary arrangements are completed. He said South Sudan has a promising investment potential and the Korean millionaires are interested to invest there.

He also said he will be leaving shortly for Juba to see how the Korean peace keepers can introduce new programs to improve its developmental service to South Sudan. The envoy disclosed all this after a meeting with the minister for Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, while in Kampala.

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Nigeria: MainOne signs $100m refinancing deal with 4 Nigerian Banks

To further expand its services in providing wholesale broadband and bandwidth telecommunications services, Nigeria’s indigenous fibre optic cable company, MainOne Cable Company Limited has signed a $100 million re-financing facility agreement with four Nigerian banks – Skye Bank Plc, Standard Chartered Bank Limited, First Bank of Nigeria Limited and First City Monument Bank Plc.

Chairman of MainOne Cable, Fola Adeola, said the facility was needed to expand the operations of the company and to further make business easy for their clients. He explained that the fund would help make interconnectivity easier and internet access faster and more efficient for the company’s clients.

MainOne has been expanding its services in Nigeria- its main market and other part of the West African region including Accra and Lome.

Ghana: France ready to establish more businesses

The French Ambassador to Ghana, Frederic Clavier has expressed his country’s readiness to establish more businesses in the country under the French Chamber of Commerce.

Speaking during a tour of AngloGold Ashanti Iduapriem mine at Tarkwa in the Western Region, he said Ghana has proven to be one of the perfect investment destinations in the sub-region. Ambassador Clavier said given the long standing relations between the two countries, France was ready to partner with institutions in Ghana to foster its socio-economic development.

He said some of the areas of social and economic cooperation in Ghana include education, science and technology. He said the time had come for institutions of higher learning in the extractive sector in the country to produce more expertise with technical know-how to enable those with the needed competencies to grab opportunities in the sector.

South Africa: Sanlam to acquire 49% stake in Nico

Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM), said it is putting final touches to an agreement aimed at acquiring 49 percent stake in Nico Holdings, the Malawi Stock Exchange-listed financial services firm. SEM is a unit within the Sanlam Group, South Africa’s second biggest life insurance company, which is overseeing the life insurer’s advancement into global emerging markets. SEM did not disclose the money it was prepared to splash on this acquisition.

The 49 percent stake that Sanlam wants to acquire covers Nico’s general insurance operations in Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and Zambia.

Heinie Werth, the CEO of SEM, said talks that the firm was engaged in currently were part of the company’s plan to increase links with present partners. SEM currently has a 49 percent shareholding in Nico’s life insurance in Malawi.

SEM has operations in 10 African countries, Malaysia and India. In the six months to June this year, SEM posted an 83 percent increase in gross result, describing this explosion as exceptional growth.

Ghana: To impresses investors in Chicago

Potential and existing investors in Ghana were impressed by the representation made by the Ghana delegation to the 9th Biennial U.S. – Africa Business Summit organised by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) in Chicago.

The two-hour “Doing Business in Ghana” forum, led by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, was organised by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and gave attendees the opportunity to learn about business opportunities, governmental policies and private success stories from high-level government officials and representatives from Ghana.

The U.S. – Africa Business Summit is organised biennially to satisfy various needs of host African countries, potential investors and business partners. These needs include:

– Obtaining information on the latest trade and investment opportunities in Africa’s most promising sectors including agri-business, energy, health, infrastructure, capacity building, security, ICT and finance;

– Networking with as many as 1,500 key African and U.S. private sector and government representatives;

– Learning from a wide array of industry-specific and country-focused informational sessions;

– Exploring new business opportunities by identifying specific growth areas and projects;

– Discovering the latest financing options open to them; – Meeting potential business partners;

– Interacting with exhibitors representing companies on the cutting edge of investment in Africa, and

– Closing new business deals.

Mozambique: Spanish companies seek opportunities

Representatives of 35 Spanish companies have arrived in Maputo in search of business opportunities. In particular, the companies are interested in energy, water treatment, airports, roads and rail.

On 8 October, the delegation participated in a meeting with Mozambican businesses seeking partnerships. The event was organised by the Spanish Embassy in Maputo. A source in the Embassy told the daily newspaper “Noticias” that the delegation seeks to boost the Spanish presence in Mozambique, with world leading companies sending representatives on the trip.

The source stated that the world’s top three companies in the management of transport infrastructure projects are Spanish. In addition, the Spanish rail sector is present in five continents, with Spain’s high-speed rail network the second largest in the world. The country is also a world leader in logistics, oil refining, finance, security, biotechnology, the environment, water treatment, aerospace, naval technology, information and communications, sanitation and electronic governance.

According to the Spanish Embassy, major projects planned for electrification, tourism and agro-business make Mozambique an economy of huge interest. The Spanish government is to support its companies through a credit line of 75 million euros (102 million US dollars).

Ghana: To boost economic cooperation with Indonesia

Mr Lasro Simbolon, the Director for African Affairs of Indonesia, led a delegation of investors to pay a courtesy call on officials of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry to discuss cooperation between the two countries. Mr Lasro Simbolon said the two countries could collaborate to enhance bilateral relations. “Indonesia sees the potential in areas of economic growth in Africa, and we are committed to see that transition is carried out with Ghana,” he said. Mr Simbolon noted that the two countries had rich potentials to explore business opportunities to sustain economic cooperation. He said the Ghana’needed economic growth in areas of infrastructure, agriculture, technological development and capacity building and invited members of the Chamber to one of Indonesia’s biggest Expo being held between October 16th and October 20.

Mr Seth Adjei Baah, President of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the two countries should in line with national development plans enhance economic cooperation for the welfare of their people. “As you decide to invest in Ghana, be assured that your money is safe, our hands are opened and I believe we can do more by collaborating with each other,” he added.

Nigeria: Rich increase investment in agric sector

Indigenous investors who have made fortunes in other sectors of the economy are now increasingly investing in agriculture under the new dispensation of agricultural transformation agenda. The new commercial farmers, seeing the prospects in the agricultural sector, are putting huge investments into agribusiness investments.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, disclosed this to the audience at the Agribusiness Forum 2013, an annual programme for Africa, organised by the European Marketing Research Centre (EMRC) based in Brussels, Belgium. “Our billionaires used to make money” from other sectors, including oil, “now, they are moving back to the farm,” he noted.

The minister was optimistic about the prospect of agriculture, as he said “the future of Africa is bright. We need to secure that future,” and “agriculture as a business is what is needed to secure that future.” The minister gave specific examples. “We have treated sorghum as a subsistence crop before now. We are now turning sorghum into a cash crop,” he said.

The minister vowed that “Nigeria will be the largest processor of food sorghum,” as he explained that “Dansa is investing 36 million euros into the production of high energy foods,” using sorghum as one of the inputs. “Food Concept,” a Nigerian investor, he added, “is partnering a Rwandan counterpart in a $27 million investment in poultry.”

Adesina, concurred, however, that “investing in infrastructure is very expensive, but, in Nigeria, to overcome that constraint, “we have developed staple crops processing zones,” which are to set up food manufacturing plants, a cluster of infrastructure “to close the missing link between agriculture and industry.

Ghana: Cedi stable to US Dollar

However, the local currency had depreciated by 14.5 percent against the American currency on the forex market so far this year. Analysts say the Bank of Ghana’s efforts to support the Ghana Cedi and other liquidity management efforts are finally having a positive impact despite robust import demand; they are predicting a further stable currency if the Central Bank continues its liquidity management operations despite pressure from large fiscal and current account deficits.

Meanwhile, on the currency market today, the Ghana Cedi remained relatively stable to the US Dollar. It however rose to the other major foreign currencies on the interbank market.

Africa: Private energy sector key to continent’s commercial future

Co-Founder of the $500 million Africa50 infrastructure fund, Mr Kola Aluko says the continued influence and growth of independent companies in the energy sector in Africa is vital, if the continent is to fulfil its true potential as a commercial power. Speaking to an international audience of business leaders during a discussion on the prospects and Challenges for Africa’s Energy sector at the US-Africa Business Summit in Chicago, Aluko made the statement as a panel member, just two weeks after the Made In Africa Foundation he co-founded with British designer, Ozwald Boateng, launched the ‘Africa50’ fund in association with the African Development Bank, at the NASDAQ in New York.

According to Aluko: “In the past, 97% of Nigeria’s production was dominated by the International Oil Companies who’s understandable focus on what was best for shareholders, didn’t always reflect what was best for the country. But the government is aware of the importance to change that and the introduction of tax benefits to independent operators is a major incentive to work for the wider benefit and generate a trickle down effect which then benefits the population.”

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Ghana: Road fund jumps up by GH¢9m within six months

Ghana’s total Road Fund accrual from January to June this year, stood at GH¢126 million, representing an increase of about GH¢9 million over the amount recorded during the same period in 2012, the Minister of Roads and Highways, Alhaji Amin Amidu Sulemani, has announced.

He attributed the increase in the revenue inflow to regular field visits by the ministry to ensure that funds were being collected in conformity to laid down procedures and paid into the designated bank account.

The improved revenue generation into the Road Fund for the maintenance of the road networks came at a time when a total of GH¢706 million, under the 2013 Budget, was approved for the Road sub-sector, out of which about GH¢350 million had been released as at June 2013, according to him.

Alhaji Sulemani told members of the Progressive Road Contractors Association (PROCA) in Accra: “As a result of the many interventions that have been made in the sector since the last couple of years, the condition mix of the road network has improved from 29% good, 27% fair and 44% poor in 2000, to 43% good, 25% fair and 32% poor as at end of 2012.”

Nigeria: Barclays to expand operations ‘cautiously’

Barclays Bank CEO, Anthony Jenkins said the British banking group is planning to expand its footprint in Africa’s second largest economy, Nigeria without making a large or expensive acquisition in the country.

We have a rep office there. We do some business in Nigeria and we are going to grow that business and I think quite cautiously over time, and then we will see what opportunities present themselves,” Jenkins said.

Although Barclay does not have much representation in Nigeria, it is likely to launch corporate banking in Nigeria like it did with First Rand’s Rand Merchant Banking (RMB) in order to tap into the opportunities being presented by multinational companies looking to invest in Africa. RMB previously had a representative company but was awarded a merchant banking license in Nigeria last year.

Jenkins said all options are still open as the bank has not decided whether to apply for a license or acquire some business in the country. He also noted that there are opportunities for corporate banking.

We have quite a footprint from the African continent and so bringing our corporate customers to Africa is going to be a very important strategic focus for us and that’s the unique advantage of Barclays because we have got a global footprint and we have got the presence. If you put those two things together it’s a very powerful combination. So a lot of this is about execution and accelerating the pace of execution within the context of the aspiration to be the Go To Bank,” Jenkins said.

Ghana: To participate in Dubai Corporate Leaders Summit

Ghana will participate in an International Conference dubbed: Dubai’s Corporate Leaders Summit in Dubai to learn tried-and-tested strategies and techniques that nurture and inspire high branded global organizations and teams whilst participants enjoy their leisure in the extravagant and luxurious city of Dubai.

This “Dubai Corporate Leaders Summit” is scheduled to take place, from December 7 – 14, 2013 on the theme “Becoming The Next Global Leader”. Other countries confirmed to attend the summit include Nigeria, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Nepal, Pakistan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Liberia, London, South Africa and Ethiopia.

Senior representatives from several international companies have also confirmed participation in this summit. QualityRole FZ LLC is the headline coordinator of the “Dubai’s Corporate Leaders Summit” in collaboration with QualityRole Ghana.

The summit will bring together business professionals from around the world and diplomatic representatives from Africa, Asia, South America and Europe to learn and share the proven techniques that nurture and inspire those who have led and continue to do so in organizations that continue to succeed.

Africa: Developed markets rate hikes to reduce African portfolio

A surge in interest rates in the developed markets – the Eurozone and US – could damper portfolio inflows that African states are enjoying right now, it has emerged.

However, David Lashbrook, the head of Africa Investment Strategies at Momentum Global Investment Management, said the reduction in portfolio inflows would not certainly lead to major strain in those African markets. Portfolio inflows refer to investments in a range of securities, bonds and other types of investment strategies in a particular country. The African continent has many rapidly growing economies in the globe. This means they can fight their way out of debt.

Nigeria is by far the most liquid fixed income market in Africa outside of South Africa and its local and hard currency bonds feature in JPMorgan’s GBI Emerging and EMBI indices respectively. Because of this, Nigeria’s bonds sold off more than many other African bonds during the EM sell off in Q2 of this year,” Lashbrook said in a statement.

Late last week, the European Central Bank (ECB) left interest rates unchanged at 0.5 percent, preferring not to react, at least for now, to indications of a swelling financial strain in the Eurozone. Mario Draghi, the president of the ECB, said his bank will maintain rates at “current or lower levels” for a longer spell.

With smaller FX (foreign exchange) reserves and twin current account and budget deficits, Kenya could be seen as more vulnerable. Yet, the country withstood the flight of foreign capital before March’s election and Kenya’s local currency bonds…rallied during the second quarter because the base rate was cut by 1% to 8.5% in the face of declining inflation,” Lashbrook concluded.

Ghana: Petroleum sector to see a $20 Billion investment over the next 5 years

Ghana’s Oil and Gas Industry is projected to attract a $20 billion investment in the next five years on the many discoveries that have been made. This was disclosed by the deputy Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Dr. Ben Dagadu, in Accra at the launching of a book titled ‘Oil and Gas Ghana’.

He stated that the government, since the discovery of oil, had taken measures to see to it that the petroleum sector was run efficiently to ensure that the resource benefits all Ghanaians.

In this wise, the deputy Minister said several legislations such as the Petroleum Revenue Management Act and the Petroleum Commission Act had been worked out to provide direction and clarity for the management of oil revenues and for regulating the sector. The Minister noted that in order to build the capacity of Ghanaian entrepreneurs, small and medium scale enterprises – which form major stakeholders in the industry – for the realization of this goal, the Ministry together with the Jubilee Partners had established the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC).

Rwanda, Uganda: Ties Stronger

Uganda has made economic progress over the years both as a country and as a core believer in the region’s integration process, especially as its ties with Rwanda gets ever stronger, Amb. Richard Kabonero has said.

The Ugandan High Commissioner to Rwanda was hosting his compatriots working and living in the country as well as well-wishers at his residence in Nyarutarama, Kigali, to celebrate Uganda’s 51st Independence anniversary.

“We have been growing despite some shocks and challenges. We have made tremendous investments in infrastructure and energy. At regional level, Uganda has played a big role in promoting peace in the region, including hosting nine summits that seek peace in the DR Congo,” Amb. Kabonero said.

He said bilateral ties between Uganda and Rwanda will always remain strong through collaboration on several development projects.

Ghana: Fall in gold, cocoa prices to devalue cedi

The Ghana cedi is set to come under serious pressure again over the projected fall in prices of gold and cocoa on the international market. The World Bank in a recent report noted that Ghana’s earnings from the exports of gold and cocoa will drop substantially in the days ahead. The bank based its predictions on the huge fall in prices of the two commodities in the coming months.

The country over the years has depended on hard currencies earned from exports from gold and cocoa to finance imports and shore up the local currency’s value.

Dr. Joe Abbey, an Economist, states that with less earnings from exports and an less controlled imports, “the Bank of Ghana would have to draw down on its holding of foreign exchange to meet the gaps”.

Despite its stability, the Ghana cedi is currently the second most depreciated currency in Africa, according to the latest Ecobank report on the performance of currencies in Africa. The report puts the cedi’s rate of depreciation at 14.5 percent, second to the Lesotho’s Loti of 19.3.

Nigeria: To plan regular Bond sales in bid to build yield curve

Nigeria is planning to raise debt abroad regularly as Africa’s largest oil producer seeks to develop a benchmark for borrowers, Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said.

The government returned to international debt markets for the first time in two years in July, issuing $1 billion in five-year and 10-year Eurobonds. The country now plans to raise $100 million by selling so-called diaspora bonds targeted at citizens living overseas.

If it succeeds, we’ll do more,” Okonjo-Iweala said, adding that the sale will take place in the first quarter of next year. “We intend to enter the market on a regular basis because we’re trying to build a yield curve.”

Nigerians abroad would have sent $21 billion home by the end of 2013, according to World Bank figures, and the government wants “to tap some of that,” Okonjo-Iweala said. The nation is stepping up debt sales to finance infrastructure as it faces inadequate budget allocations for capital spending.

The yield on Nigeria’s $500 million in Eurobonds due July 2023 dropped 18 basis points this month to 5.94 percent yesterday, the lowest level since July 23, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Nigerian economy may expand 6.75 percent next year, compared with an estimate of 6.5 percent in 2013, Okonjo-Iweala said. The budget deficit will stay little changed at 1.9 percent of gross domestic product, she added.

Ghana: Turkey to build industrial parks

Turkey is to construct two industrial parks at Accra and Kumasi respectively beginning next year at a cost of over $300 million.

Outgoing Charge d’Affairs of Turkey Embassy in Accra, Simay Erinoglo, speaking to journalists in Accra, said the two projects, which are designed to attract many Turkish investors into Ghana would be funded by the Turkish Exim Bank.

The Ankara Chamber of Industry and the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce & Industry signed an agreement to that effect recently. Ms Erinoglo said Turkish exports to Ghana last year recorded $223.5 million while it imported $303.5 million worth of goods from Ghana. For the first six months of 2013, Turkey exported $103.6 million worth of goods to Ghana while it imported $128.9 million worth of goods from Ghana.

Ms Erinoglo said Turkish investors were eyeing a number of projects in the various sectors of Ghana’s economy, including construction. Also, it intends to help with the construction of an international airport. In the health sector, Turkey wants to assist with the construction of eight pre-fabricated hospitals at a cost of $118 million.

The Turkish Development Agency (TIKA) is working on a lot of projects in Ghana, she indicated. Turkish investors are hesitant to come over to Ghana to invest because of the monstrous land acquisition challenges, she stated.

Cape Verde: AfDB approves $24m budget support loan

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group, approved a €15-million general budget support loan for Cape Verde, to help the country finance its Public Corporate Governance and Investment Promotion Support Programme (PAGEPPI). The Programme aims to help Cape Verde consolidate its macroeconomic framework and foster growth by improving public corporate governance in State-owned enterprises and promoting private investment.

The PAGEPPI’s operational objectives are to improve public corporate governance so as to streamline public expenditure and promote private investment to spur economic growth and foster job creation.

On completion, the Programme is expected to strengthen public corporate governance and improve the operational and financial performance of State-owned enterprises. This will help to reduce the burden on the State budget and corresponding risks on public finances. The Programme is also expected to clarify the State’s role as both a shareholder and a regulator as well as to implement international and local investment promotion measures that will create a more attractive environment for economic activities and private sector development. The Programme will enhance Cape Verde’s overall development strategy which rests on economic diversification based on competitive clusters. In particular, it will support governance and private sector development reforms that constitute two main pillars of the government’s Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (GPRSP) 2012-2016.

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Nigeria: To slashes business registration fee by 50%

Nigeria’s Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga has said the cost of business registration in the country has been slashed by 50 percent to encourage investment in the country.

Speaking at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a 19-man Brazilian delegation led by Brazil’s Deputy Minister of development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Richardo Schaefer on the promotion of trade and investment between Nigeria and the Southern American country; Aganga said the Corporate Affairs Commission had since October 1, 2013 slashed the capital registration cost by 50 percent for equity registrations of N500 million or lower, and by 25 percent for equity registrations above N500m.

Nigeria’s Trade Minister said the initiative was in line with the ministry’s investment climate reform programme, which was aimed at strategically repositioning Nigeria as the preferred destination for both local and foreign investment. He also stated that the new regulation has been designed to ensure that the bulk of these savings goes to smaller businesses which needed the lower fees more. This will save companies over N2m ($12, 520) per annum which they could use to hire more workers expand their businesses, Aganga said.

Ghana: Inflation hits11.9%; highest since March 2010

Inflation for September hit a record high rate of 11.9%. This is up from the 11.5% recorded in August this year and it is the highest it has reached since March 2010, when it recorded 13.32%. Monthly inflation for September however remained the same as August indicating that general prices of goods and services have been falling at a rate of 0.7 percent in the past two months.

Deputy Government Statistician Baah Wadieh told, though transport hikes pushed inflation up, the overall impact was mitigated by falling prices of food.

He said: “September prices compared with August were generally lower. They declined. We are in the main harvest season, so from the previous month to now, the prices have declined. Food items have declined. If that had not happened the figure could have been the same. The situation last year is that we did not see a fuel increase. But now we have seen a fuel increase which has hiked transport. So when we compare those two we can see the change.”

Nigeria: Dangote plans U.S.$34.7 Billion fresh investment in economy

The President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has said that the Group is poised to make an additional investment totaling $US 34.7 billion in the economy by 2017. He also said the cement arm of the group will commission an additional 10 million metric ton capacity in Nigeria by mid 2014 with an additional plan to also invest US $4.7 billion over the next four years in order to ensure that cement supply stays ahead of demand.

In a keynote address during the just ended Nigeria’53rd Independence Anniversary Lecture, organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, Dangote said, the Nigerian financial sector has demonstrated its ability to support big ticket industrial projects – the most recent being the US$9 billion refinery project by Dangote Group and is poised to invest $US 34.7 billion by 2017.

Dangote said in setting an agenda for the next decade, government should improve the business climate and continuously benchmark our business environment against “best-in-class” investment destinations, implement the recently unveiled Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan, support the new investors in the power sector to ensure they “hit the ground running” and provide the kind of outcomes Nigerians desire.

He said their investment in agriculture is driven by our desire to create jobs for thousands of Nigerians and that It will increase their workforce from its present level of 26,000 employees to 750,000 employees .

Ghana: GIPC investment drives get results in energy sector

Ghana’s energy challenges will soon witness a massive improvement as United States Energy Company Symbion power commits to construct a 450 megawatt power in Ghana. A memorandum to that effect has already been signed between Ghana and the Symbion power. The realization of this agreement came to light after months of negotiation between Symbion and the Ghana Investment Promotion Center led by its Chief Executive, Mawuena Trebarh. Under the letter of Intent signed by the energy minister Emmanuel Kofi Buah and the chief executive officer of Symbion Power Paul Hinks, Symbion power proposed to finance the establishment of a 450 megawatts combined cycle energy facility to meet the need of an expanded energy facility in Ghana.

The Volta River Authority on its part on behalf of Ghana is expected to give prompt and fair consideration to the Symbion proposal within the requirements of the country’s laws and policy. The ceremony which took place in New York in the US is expected to start soon in Ghana.

Somalia: Oil and gas discovery offers ‘hope’ for investment

Somali Minister of Finance and Planning Mohamud Hassan Suleiman encouraged foreign investors to “seize the opportunity” to invest in Somalia during the Somalia Oil and Gas Summit in London Monday (October 7th).

“The discovery of oil and gas in Somalia opens up an array of hope and opportunities for the new Somalia, enabling it to influence the pace of economic recovery and the future stability of the country,” Suleiman said. “International investors and multi-national corporations are turning their attention to Somalia and we must now seize the opportunity and work with them.” Suleiman added that the government recently revised the Investment Law to make Somalia “investment friendly”, while at the same time ensuring that a fair portion of profits from the industry are re-invested in the country’s economic growth.

Ghana: Kumasi will need 16m to realise its MDGs

Kumasi mayor Kwadwo Bonsu has said the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) requires €16 million between 2013 and 2015 to enable it attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Out of the amount, €6 million will be channeled into educational projects, €3 million will go into health and the remaining €7 million will be used to address sanitation problems in the metropolis.

The mayor disclosed this at an investment roadshow organised by the assembly in collaboration with its development partner, Millennium Cities Initiative (MCI), in Accra. The investment roadshow is aimed at attracting investment into the metropolis from potential investors at home and abroad.

According to Mr. Bonsu, the assembly does not want to depend on the government alone to realise its dreams: that is why it has come out to organise this investment show to woo investors to the city. He said KMA has worked with the Millennium Cities Initiative to undertake extensive research to identify viable investment opportunities in and around Kumasi. Investment opportunities have been identified in the areas of property development, agriculture, agribusiness, and food processing amongst others, he added.

Nigeria: Agreements establishment of local transformer assembly plant

In a bid to boost its power supply, Nigeria has approved the establishment of a local transformer assembly plant in the country.

According to the Executive Vice Chairman of National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) Mohammed Sani Haruna, Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan sanctioned the commencement of coupling of transformers locally as part of his determination to create more jobs and reduce capital flight. He also revealed that a small hydro-power turbine awaiting commissioning has been designed, fabricated and installed in Ikeji-Ile, Osun State – a move which is line with the President’s desire to focus on renewable source of power supply with emphasis on small hydro sources.

The agency has also developed capacity in the area of design, development and production of most parts and components of motor cycle and is collaborating with the National Raw Materials Research and Development Council in harnessing and putting into optimal use, the natural resources in the country.

Ghana: Nkrankwanta Area Rural Bank makes profit

The Nkrankwanta Area Rural Bank Limited in the Dormaa West District, Brong Ahafo Region, recorded a profit before tax of GH¢63,566.00 in 2012, as against GH¢60,215.00 in 2011, representing a marginal increase of six per cent. The bank also increased its deposits by 65 per cent, from GH¢1, 314,035.00 in 2011 to GH¢2,162,051.00 last year and this was due to the mobilisation strategy adopted by the bank.

Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu, the Member of Parliament ( MP) for Dormaa Central and a board member of the bank, announced this in a report he read on behalf of Mr Emmanuel Joseph Akomian, Chairman of the Board of Directors, at the fourth annual general meeting (AGM) of the bank at Nkrankwanta, over the weekend.

He also said the bank had chalked up some successes within its few years of operations, indicating, among other things, that the bank was ranked among the first 34 in the country, out of 133 and placed fourth out of the 20 rural banks in Brong Ahafo Region, by ARB Apex Bank’s Efficiency and Monitoring Unit (EMU) Report for the first quarter of 2013.

Ghana: Indonesian investors confer with Chamber of Commerce

A delegation of investors from Indonesia have held bilateral discussions with the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), aimed at strengthening business relations cooperation between the countries. The delegation was led by the Director for African Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Mr Lasro Simbolon.

Mr Lasro Simbolon underscored the need for the two nations to forge ahead in business by creating opportunities that can help increase cross-border investments.

He said was particularly impressed with the country’s development agenda, especially in areas such as infrastructures, agriculture, technological development and capacity building, which, he said are geared up to meet the expansion plans of the country.

The President of the GCCI, Hon Seth Adjei Baah, who received the delegation, said it is time to review and explore new areas of cooperation that the two countries can share experience and benefit from. He said the two countries’ interest should be in line with national development plans which are geared towards enhancing economic growth for the welfare of their people.