Ghana has received $200 million from the World Bank to help transform and diversify its economy through the promotion of private investment and robust growth in its non-resource base sectors.
The fund, to be administered through an integrated programme is set to build the country’s competitiveness and deliver sustainable jobs under the Ghana Economic Transformation Project (GETP).
The project, from the International Development Association (IDA) approved by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors on Tuesday.
The GETP will support improvements in the business environment and build capacity for investment attraction and retention as well as spatial development such as Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to address constraints to access industrial land.
The project will also support entrepreneurship and SME growth by strengthening the entrepreneurship support ecosystem, and it will include early-stage financing for growth-oriented entrepreneurs.
“Ghana needs to invest more, diversify, and increase productivity if it is to achieve the Government’s current strategy of transforming the economy through higher, inclusive and sustainable growth with the private sector as the main driver,” said Pierre Laporte, World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Laporte noted that “this operation directly aligns with the government’s strategy and with the World Bank’s Africa regional strategy, which lays out economic transformation as a mechanism to create sustainable and inclusive growth.”
The GETP will support the government’s strategy of transforming the Ghanaian economy to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth, with the private sector as the main driver to build the most business-friendly economy in Africa and foster the competitiveness of Ghanaian firms.
“This project applies the World Bank Group Maximizing Finance for Development approach, maximizing the Government of Ghana’s resources and will help ensure that IDA funding leverages and attracts complementary private financing,” said Douglas Pearce, Practice Manager Finance Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice.
The interventions under the project are complementary to initiatives of other development partners focusing on the investment climate, skills development, industrial parks, access to finance, agricultural value chains and climate innovation. The interventions under this project will contribute to the World Bank Group’s twin goals by supporting opportunities for business growth and job creation in non-resource-based sectors.
IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 75 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.5 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries.
Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 54 per cent going to Africa.
Zimbabwe’s inflation rate climbs to 175%
Supplies of essentials such as bread, medicine, and petrol are regularly running short in the country
Zimbabwe’s annual inflation rate hit 175 per cent in June, official data showed Monday, stoking fears of a return of the hyperinflation that wiped out savings ten years ago when the economy collapsed.
Official inflation is the highest since hyperinflation forced the government to abandon the Zimbabwe dollar in 2009.
Supplies of essentials such as bread, medicine, and petrol are regularly running short in the country.
“The year-on-year inflation rate for the month of June 2019 as measured by the all items consumer price index stood at 175.66 per cent, while that of May 2019 was 97.85 per cent,” the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency said in a statement.
Millions of Zimbabweans have fled abroad in the last 20 years seeking work.
Many others are now seeking to leave as conditions worsen under President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had promised an economic revival after succeeding long-ruling Robert Mugabe in 2017.
Mnangagwa vowed to end the country’s international isolation, attract investors and create growth that could fund the country’s shattered public services.
But the economy has declined further, with shop prices rocketing and long power cuts.
The U.S dollar has been the national currency since 2009.
But last month, Zimbabwe, in theory, ended the use of U.S dollars and other foreign currencies and replaced them by two local parallel currencies — “bond notes” and electronic RTGS dollars, which would combine to become the new “Zimbabwe dollar”.
The new “Zimbabwe dollar” does not yet exist in paper form.
Hyperinflation hit 500 billion per cent in 2009.
Central African Republic panel calls for closure of Chinese-run gold mines
The nature of the ecological disaster discovered onsite justifies the immediate, unconditional halt to these activities
Four Chinese-run gold mines should be closed in the Central African Republic because of pollution threatening public health, a parliamentary panel said in a report published Saturday.
“Ecological disaster,” “polluted river,” “public health threatened,” were some of the phrases used in the report.
“Gold mining by the Chinese firms at Bozoum is not profitable for the state and harmful to the population and the environment,” the commission found after its investigation into mining in the northern town.
“The nature of the ecological disaster discovered onsite justifies the immediate, unconditional halt to these activities,” the report found.
A local missionary, Father Aurelio Gazzera, has published a video showing the state of the river and named the four firms concerned as Tian Xian, Tian Run, Meng and Mao.
Members of the commission spent four days in Bozoum a month ago in response to “multiple complaints from the population.”
There, they found a badly polluted River Ouham, shorn of several aquatic species following the excavation of its riverbed.
They discovered that a rising death rate in fishing villages as well as shrinking access to clean drinking water.
The commission also turned up suspicions of accounting irregularities during its investigation.
“Average production is between 400 grams (1 lb) to 1 kilo per site per month. This situation seems unacceptable with regard to daily production costs,” the report says.
The investigators also voiced fears that the country’s “resources are being squandered with the complicity of certain ministry of mines officials.”
The C.A.R is rich in natural resources but riven by conflict which has forced around one in four of its 4.5 million population to flee their homes.
Under those circumstances, exploitation of the country’s natural resources is difficult to monitor effectively given that the state only has partial control of its own territory.
Airtel listing pushes Nigerian stock exchange market capitalisation up
Airtel Africa’s share price rose by the maximum daily percentage change of 10 per cent to close yesterday at ₦399.30 per share
Airtel Africa Plc started trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) with strong enthusiasm, rallying a ₦136.4 billion gain in the immediate hour after its shares were listed on the Exchange.
Airtel Africa’s share price rose by the maximum daily percentage change of 10 per cent to close yesterday at ₦399.30 per share.
The NSE listed 3.758 billion ordinary shares of Airtel Africa on its main board at ₦363 per share, the offer price for the telco’s initial public offering (IPO). Airtel Africa had last week listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), its primary listing exchange, at 80 pence.
As against the weak start on the first trading day at LSE, Airtel Africa’s dual listing on the NSE started on a positive note, with the telco leading the Nigerian market to a total gain of ₦1.38 trillion.
Airtel Africa’s debut trading on the LSE was, however, weak dropping by as much as 16 per cent during the first trading session.
Airtel Africa set out with an initial listing value of ₦1.36 trillion and closed the first day at the NSE with a market capitalisation of ₦1.5 trillion.
Under its IPO, Airtel Africa had allotted 39.23 million ordinary shares to qualified institutional investors and high net worth investors in Nigeria while 704.82 million shares were allotted to other global investors in various jurisdictions outside Nigeria.
Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Africa Plc, Raghunath Mandava, says Airtel Africa is delighted to be listed on the main board of the Exchange.
“This is an exciting time for Airtel Africa in the 14 countries it operates in and an important milestone in our development as a leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services in Africa”, Mandava says.
Speaking on the floor of the Exchange, Managing Director, Airtel Network Limited (Airtel Nigeria), Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, noted that Nigeria has been a great place for business and Airtel Africa remains committed to building a leadership position in Nigeria.
Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema, noted that Airtel Africa has made history as the first telecom company to simultaneously list on both the LSE and NSE.
He said the listing on the Exchange reaffirms Airtel Africa’s long-term commitment to expanding opportunities for Nigerians in addition to providing everyday services to them.
“This listing serves to deepen the telecoms and technology sector for investors and provides an opportunity for a wider group of Nigerians to be part of the African telecoms growth story.
This listing is a promising development in Africa with Airtel Africa being the second company to have its ordinary shares listed on both the London Stock Exchange and the Nigerian Stock Exchange,” Onyema said.
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