AHK Ghana February Newsletter

AHK GHANA ANNOUCES NEW E-MAIL ADDRESSES

The new email addresses are as follows:

EDITORIAL

Dear Members, Dear Clients,

The office of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce was finally outdoored on the 19th of January 2011 by Dr. Bernd Pfaffenbach, the Vice Minister for the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

The existence of the office of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce which is being hosted by the GGEA, will afford Ghanaian business men and women, the opportunity to partner and interact on a more frequent basis with their counterparts from Germany and elsewhere in the EU. It will also afford the Ghanaian entrepreneur, the opportunity to source for vital trade information from countries where Ghana presently has no diplomatic or trade representation. In effect, the existence of this office which instantly links Ghana to the over 80 other AHKs spread through all the continents of the world, will be a win-win situation for Ghanaian and German private sector operators.  It is a definite vote of confidence in the Economy of Ghana by the German government. Simply put, it is sending coded messages to the international investor community that Ghana is ready to do business.

For Ghana to maximize the benefits from the establishment of this office, we should continue to vigorously pursue programmes that will improve the business environment bearing in mind that Ghana is competing with investible funds not just with countries in Africa but also those in South East Asia and Eastern Europe.

We thank the present and previous board members of the GGEA especially the Vice President, Mr. Christian Potyka of Potyka Consulting, Stefan Ata of the Atlantic Group, Carsten Duver of C. Woermann Ltd., Douglas Arthur Mensah, Nouhad Kalmoni of Silver Star Ltd. and others for their untiring efforts towards the establishment of this office.

We would also like to commend our partnership with Afrika Verein, an association that represents over 700 companies based in Germany that have business interest in Africa for their steadfast support in our journey towards this juncture.

Stephen Antwi                                               Patrick Martens

President, GGEA                                          Delegate of German Industry & Commerce in Ghana


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MEMBER NEWS


 

 

GHANA’S WEBSITE GOES LIVE (http://ghana.ahk.de)

 

The Office of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana (AHK Ghana) has launched their website (http://ghana.ahk.de)

This website provides the opportunity for the members of the Ghanaian-German Economic Association (GGEA) to be listed on it with their contact details and business information to provide them exposure to the German Counterparts. The website provides up-to-the minute news from the Ghanaian business climate and also information on events organized by the GGEA and AHK Ghana.

 

The AHK Ghana website will be widely accessible to the business community worldwide via the DIHK Chamber network which gives the opportunity to be connected to foreign companies from the world over. Majority of German companies visit the AHK websites to search for business partners and hence this website will be a good avenue to connect them to Ghana.

Visit the website to get more information on the activities of the AHK Ghana Office.

 

The New AHK Ghana email addresses are as follows:

 

 

GOVERNMENT PLEDGES SUPPORT FOR GERMAN BUSINESSES

The Government of Ghana has assured the German business community of support that will enable them to establish viable business operations in Ghana. The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Mahama Ayariga, told a German Trade Mission in Accra that German businesses should not hesitate to forge mutually beneficial trade and business alliances with the Ghanaian counterparts to take advantage of opportunities in the Ghanaian economy. He was speaking at the first ever German- Ghanaian Business Summit, a one-day investment symposium in Accra to give policy makers and the private sector from both countries the platform to interact at close range. The 50-member high-powered mission from Germany is led by the Vice Minister of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, Dr Bernd Pfaffenbach. Members of Afrika-Verein, the biggest association of German companies active in Africa, make up the majority of members of the mission, the first of its kind to the country. Apart from exploring investment opportunities in energy, infrastructure, tourism, health, water and sanitation, the government and private sector German delegation will also grace the opening of a German Delegate Office for Industry and Commerce (AHK) in Ghana.

The opening of the AHK office has, therefore, hoisted Ghana high in the European and world market and ushered the country into the comity of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce in 82 countries worldwide. The deputy trade minister said the thrust of the policy agenda of the Ministry of Trade and Industry was based on integration, promotion, development and the growth of a vibrant, productive and competitive private sector which was being implemented through a trade, industrial and a private sector development policy strategies. He called on the German Trade mission, numbering about 40 mainly from the leading association of industrial and business entities active in Africa, otherwise known as “Afrika Verein” to immediately take advantage of opportunities in agriculture and agribusiness, which remained the mainstay in the Ghanaian economy. “The agricultural sector is the obvious choice for the maximisation of the benefits of accelerated growth,” the deputy minister said, adding that the emphasis on agriculture was borne out of its large contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Ghana, its pro-poor nature and its ability to ensure food security in Ghana and other countries. The President of the Ghanaian-German Economic Association (GGEA), Mr Stephen Antwi, expressed the hope that the Delegate Office, which was being hosted by the GGEA, would afford Ghanaian business men and women the opportunity to partner and interact on a more regular basis with their counterparts in Germany and other parts of Europe. “It will also afford the Ghanaian entrepreneur the opportunity to source for vital trade information from countries where Ghana presently has no diplomatic or trade representation,” Mr Antwi explained, adding that for Ghana to maximise its benefits she should continue to pursue programmes to improve the business environment. He thanked members of the GGEA and the German Embassy in Ghana for their untiring efforts at making the Delegate Office a reality in Ghana. Daily Graphic


SILVER STAR SHOWCASES NEW E-CLASS MERCEDES

Silver Star Automobile Company, local franchise dealers for Mercedes Benz, has showcased the range of new E-Class Coupe at its showroom at the Silver Star Towers located in the Accra Airport City Centre. This was at an open-day held for Silver Star customers, corporate clients in the upper-grade transportation sector and the general public to enable them to observe the E-Class Coupe at close range. The guests also inspected and sat through a presentation on its features. The Sales Manager of Silver Star, Mr Francis Larbi-Odame, presented the range of the new E-Class series with support from the company’s technical staff. The main presentation session was also witnessed by Silver Star executive directors, including Mr Nouhad Kalmoni, the Chief Executive Officer; Mr Hazem Chalabi, Human Resource, Administration and Legal Manager; Mr Francis Amegayibor, the General Manager in charge of Sales, and Mrs Juliet Yeboah, the Public Relations Manager. According to Mr Larbi-Odame, the new E-Class Coupe continued in the tradition of Mercedes Benz as the leader in the automobile industry. He described the new E-Class as “sophisticated, sporty and elegant,” saying in addition to coming with innovative technology, the vehicle also came with attractive engine in classy elegance and sporty design with high quality interior features. He said the vehicles came in three diesel and four petrol engines. The E220 CDI and the E250 CDI models have four-cylinder diesel engines, while the E350 CDI has a six-cylinder diesel engine. Mr Larbi-Odame said the new E-Class range also continued in the Mercedes Benz’s comprehensive safety features and was fully covered by the highly developed Mercedes Benz Comprehensive Safety Policy. Daily Graphic



GHACEM RECORDS MORE PROFIT LAST YEAR


GHACEM Ltd., a cement manufacturing giant in Ghana, made a profit of USD 265 million in 2010. Out of the profit, the company paid GH¢ 58 million as tax to the government, according to the Managing Director, Mr Morten Gade. He noted that the total market for the year under review was 3,800,000 tonnes with a growth of 14.6 per cent over the 2009 figures, stressing that such great performance by the cement industry impacted positively on the Ghanaian economy last year. Mr Gade was speaking at the 2010 Customers Appreciation Night in Kumasi to award distributors and customers. The managing director indicated that Ghana’s continuous deepening of democratic practices to the admiration of the international community was a great signal for the promotion of businesses and expressed the hope that the discovery of oil would accelerate the development of the economy. He said GHACEM was considering an expansion programme this year to increase its production capacity.  He said the company had also acquired more raw material deposit sites in the Western Region to augment the deposits in Yongwa in the Eastern Region. Mr Gade was, however, not happy that the government was not keen on ensuring fair competition in the cement industry. “A certain company is importing powdered cement into the country and claiming it is raw material because raw materials attract five per cent tax from the government,” he said. He explained that powdered cement bagged in the country attracted a 20 per cent tax because they are considered finished goods and for the government losing control of the issue means its losing between USD 4million and USD 6 million in taxes a year. The managing director said the company petitioned the Finance Minster last year but no action had been taken. The Ghanaian Times

KRIF APPOINTED SOLE DISTRIBUTOR OF HIGH SECURITY VAULTS

Krif Ghana Ltd., a company noted for its counterfeit-detecting money-counting machines, has been appointed the sole distributor of Technoexpress, the European Union’s leading manufacturer of top class vault doors, armoured doors, bulletproof glass doors, strong, safety security boxes and high security safes. Technoexpress is a member of the Ormazabal Group of Spain, a renowned name in manufacturing and marketing of physical security targeted at financial institutions, commercial users as well as individuals who cherish high security and the safety of their valuables and belongings.  Krif Ghana, will thus be the sole distributor of high safety boxes and will be fully backed by Technoexpress’ after sales service support for all in Ghana. The Executive Director of Krif Ghana, Mrs Awura Adjoa Okosun, said: “we are delighted to be partners with one of the European Union’s best and quality manufacturers of security and safety equipment which have been certified by both the EU and other high rated international organisations for their efficiency and quality products.” She said Krif Ghana, thus brings to the Ghanaian market top-notch product ranges such as vault doors, armoured doors, modular safe deposit boxes, security cabinets, under the counter safes, strong doors and money transfer safes. According to Mrs Okosun, the safes had been built with high quality and reinforced steels with special features that are unmatched in the industry and had been duly certified as one of the best safes in the world. Business and Financial Times


LUFTHANSA TO FLY WITH A380 TO SAN FRANCISCO

Deutsche Lufthansa AG says it will start using Airbus A380 super jumbo jet on its route from Frankfurt, Germany to San Francisco, USA starting May. The company said in a statement that from May 10, its daily flights would be able to carry up to 526 passengers, 420 in economy, 98 in business and eight in first class. Lufthansa says it would be the first airline to have regular flights with an A380 in and out of San Francisco International Airport. The airline currently uses its A380 fleet to link its main hub, Frankfurt airport, to Johannesburg, Beijing and Tokyo. Flights to New York are planned from February onwards. As matters stand, Lufthansa will be the first and only airline operating an A380 service to and from San Francisco International Airport. Passengers can already fly on the super jumbo jet, the most advanced airline in the Lufthansa fleet to Johannesburg, Beijing and Tokyo. From the end of February, the Lufthansa flagship will also operate to New York.  Business and Financial Times

 

GHANA BUSINESS BREAKFAST – JOHANNESBURG

Mr Patrick Martens, the Delegate of the German Industry and Commerce in Ghana was the Guest of Honour and Speaker at a Business Breakfast on the topic Business Opportunities in Ghana. This was held in Johannesburg by the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday 4 February 2011.

The workshop was to provide the participants first-hand information on business opportunities in Ghana and also focused on the challenges for South African companies that intend to expand their businesses.
ThyssenKrupp in South Africa is interested in the Pipeline Project (Offshore Golden Jubilee Field - Takoradi) whereas; Linde Process Plants (Pty) an engineering company could be of interest in the gas-fired power plant. Kuehne + Nagel, a logistics company is planning on setting an office in Ghana.

Mr Martens’ presentation touched on the business climate and services provided by the AHK Ghana / GGEA office in Accra including Individual Business trips and Group Delegations to Ghana. Mr Martens also introduced to the participants GEREU Trade Fair which is organised in Ghana by the GGEA / AHK Ghana. South African companies represented at the GEREU 2010 were BASF and Jonson Workwear Pty.
A few of the foreign direct investments in Ghana include Newmont Ghana, Scancom Limited (MTN), Stanbic Bank, Zenith bank and Millicom Ghana (tiGO).

German Investments in Ghana includes Neoplan, DHL, Liebherr, Nexans and Heidelberg Cement.
For GEREU 2011, there will be the African-German ICT Conference and the Renewable Energy Conference which will bring in participants from all over the world.
As part of the Opening of the AHK Ghana Office in January, a German Trade Mission made up of over 50 companies came to Ghana and a Ghanaian-German Business Summit was organized along with a Business to Business Meeting for the companies.
The Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana is one of 82 chambers of the German Chamber Network around the world.

 

RECENT EVENTS

HK GHANA LAUNCH

The Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana (AHK Ghana) and the Ghanaian-German Economic Association (GGEA) organised a business and economic affairs oriented programme for the high-level Delegation members representing the industrial sectors Finance, Energy including Renewable Energy, Security, Commercial Automotive, Building and Construction, Oil & Gas, ICT, Water Treatment as well as the Pharmaceutical Industry.
The following companies took part of the whole event: ABB, assmann beraten+planen, BAUER Resources Ghana Ltd, BHF BANK, Cbb software GmbH, Chamber of Industry and Commerce Magdeburg, Christian Pfeiffer, Continental POWER, DIETMAR JOCHEM Security Management GmbH, Fintec Holding GmbH, Chamber of Commerce Hamburg, HOSPITAL ENGINEERING, ibes SYSTEMHAUS, iLF CONSULTING ENGINEERS, ILV, INROS LACKNER AG., KOCKS INGENIEURE, Labotect, LENZ Finance Management, MAN, Pharmadrug Production GmbH, Roche, RWE DEA AG, RRi, SIEMENS, Stephan Buchmann Medical Service, WestLB AG and WILO.
On Tuesday the 18th of January 2011 this German Trade Mission got a first overview about Doing Business in Ghana by E. Schanze, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr. Patrick Martens,  the Delegate of German Industry and Commerce and Mr. Stephen Antwi, President of  GGEA.  In the afternoon the German Delegation received a warm welcome from the Millenium Development Authority (MiDA) headed by Mr. Martin Esson Benjamin (CEO) and Mr. Ing. I. Kirk Koffi, Deputy Chief Executive Engineering & Operations of the Volta River Authority.
The following day, Wednesday the 19th of January, was the core event of the entire programme. In the context of the German-Ghanaian Business Summit at Labadi Beach Hotel high-ranking represenatives from the Ministry for Trade & Industry, Ministry of Energy, Chamber of Mines, Minerals Commission, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, German African Business Association, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Association of Ghana Industries and Nexans Kabelmetal Ghana Ltd. delivered speeches and presentations which focussed the economical interests of the audience. 300 guests listened to the programme which started at 9:30 h.


Furthermore, Business to Business Meetings were organised to bring the German companies together with potential Ghanaian business partners. The late afternoon was reserved for the official ribbon-cutting-ceremony at the entrance of the renovated office of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce. In the evening of this eventful day the AHK Ghana and the GGEA invited 200 guests to a reception at the private beach area of the Labadi Beach Hotel. It was a momentous occasion for the Vice Minister Dr. Pfaffenbach to congratulate the Delegate of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana, Mr. Patrick Martens, officially on the effort to establish an additional chamber in the German Chamber Network.
On the last day of this event, the 20th January, the Business Delegation successfully completed company visits and got in contact with Mr. Ishac Diwan, Country Director of the Worldbank in Ghana as well as with Dr. Fred Brandl (Country Director of GIZ), Dr. Amichia Biley (Country Director of DEG) and Dr. Helmut Schoen (Country Director of KfW), Luc Niesseron (Factory Manager of Nestle) and Mr. Richard Amanor (Director Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority). In the afternoon individual roundtable meetings with Hon. Sherry Ayittey, Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, Hon. Alban Bagbin, Minister for Water Resources Works and Housing and Mrs Adelaide Anno-Kumi, Director F & A of the Ministry of Transport were used for conducive discussions.


UPCOMING EVENTS

GLOBAL PLAYERS FORUM


Venue: Coconut Groove Regency Hotel
Date: Wednesday, 23rd February, 2011
Time: 15:30hrs- 18:30hrs

GGEA would like to invite you to the Global Players forum which seeks to present the outsourcing opportunities that exist in key companies that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) could take advantage of.

Speakers at this forum will include:

Mr. Conrad van Niekerk, MD, Coca Cola Bottling Gh. Ltd.Dr. Amichia Biley, Regional Director, DEGMr. Isaac Sackey, HR & Administrative Manager, DHLMr. Samuel Ashietey, MD, Ecobank Gh. Ltd.Mr. Morten Gade, MD, Ghacem Gh. Ltd.Dr. E. K. Annan, Nexans Kabelmetal Gh. Ltd.,  Ltd.Mr. David Mureithi,

The cost per participant is:
Member : GH¢ 10.00
Non Member : GH¢ 30.00

Please confirm your participation before close of work, Friday, 18th February, 2011

NATIONAL / ECONOMIC NEWS

EDIF TO DISBURSE GH¢ 56.91 Million

The Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF) is hopeful of disbursing approximately GH¢ 56.91 million for the year 2011 to promote the growth of small businesses in the county, acting Chief Executive, Mr. Agyabeng Antwi-Agyei, told Business &Financial Ttimes. This amount, which consists of both grants and credit components, will be aimed at boosting the export trade finance sector.

EDIF budgeted support for small businesses in 2010 was GH¢ 40.0 million; disbursement for the year however exceeded the budgeted amount, with total disbursements coming to GH¢ 55.12 million.

Mr. Antwi-Agyei at a media interaction in Accra said: “In line with the government’s policy to turn the savannah regions of Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Volta and Brong Ahafo into a mango production hub, EDIF has developed a five- year mango development plan targetted at financing the cultivation of 20,000 acres of mango over the period 2009-2013.”

“As part of the project, key infrastructure along the mango value chain such as the pack houses and a processing facility would be provided. These will ensure international market certification requirements are met as well as reducing post-harvest losses to the barest minimum through value addition to non-exportable fruits,” Antwi-Agyei revealed.

The estimated cost of the project is GH¢ 52,240,205 and as at December 2010, the EDIF Board had approved a total amount of GH¢ 8,276,800 for the cultivation of 6,600 acres of mango in 32 districts - providing direct employment to over 1,800 people.
To ensure a ready market for the fruits, a strategic marketing partnership has been reached with Minor, Weirs and Willis – a British Produce Buying Company, to purchase the produce. Under the deal, the British firm is expected to provide a large clientele ready for Ghanaian farm produce that meets UK market standards. The agreement is expected to generate a total revenue of GH¢46.03 million by 2013, increasing to about GH¢ 184.2 million by the close of the project in 2017. “Ghana has the potential to produce about 300 different farm products out of the 600 product lines of the company, hence the decision of EDIF to concentrate on the agriculture sector,” Antwi-Agyei emphasised. “Considering the long gestation period of mango farmers, in the early stages of the plantation will be supported to inter-crop their farms with groundnuts, soya-beans and sunflowers to improve their income. “The country has long depended on Cocoa and EDIF is ready to support diversification into mango production, Antwi-Agyei said.

EDIF was established in October 2000 to make financial resources available for the development and promotion of Ghana's export trade. It has to date provided GH¢ 157.27 million to support 227 projects across the country. Business and Financial Times


FOREIGN INVESTMENTS HIT USD 1.3BN

Investment inflows into Ghana for projects reached an all-time high after recording USD1.279 billion in value at the end of the year 2010. The amount, which was contributed by 385 registered projects, represents 107 per cent increase over the previous year’s figure of USD 619.99 million. The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) component of the projects registered amounted to USD 1.11 billion which also represented 86.59 per cent more than the 2009 figures. Building and construction, manufacturing, services, general trading and export trade, among others, topped the list of sectors that recorded the highest investments in that order. China continued to maintain its dominance for projects in the country with 19 projects at an estimated value of USD 69.35 million. The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Mr George Aboagye, announced this in Accra after which he inaugurated a refurbished library for the centre. “The total number of jobs expected to be generated by these registered projects in 2011 total 119,578,” he said. Daily Graphic


EU, GHANA SIGN EUR 26 MILLION AGREEMENT


The Government of Ghana and the European Union (EU) have signed various agreements totaling EUR 26 million to support four projects in the country. Out of the amount, EUR 9 million will be used to stimulate trade-led pro-poor growth programmes. This will specifically go to improve the trade related capacity and performance programme of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and its related agencies. The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, signed for Ghana, while the Head of the EU Delegation in Ghana, Mr Claude Maerten, signed on behalf of the EU. Part of the €9 million will also go to support the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) and the Ghana Standards Board (GSB) to train their staff and upgrade their laboratories. Eight million euros will be used to support civil society organisations to increase their influence in the governance of public goods and services delivery.

Again, EUR 7 million will be used to reinforce the democratic environment and create conditions conducive for peaceful, transparent and all-inclusive and credible elections in 2012. The three institutions targeted to benefit from the programme are the Electoral Commission, the National Commission for Civic Education and the National Media Commission. The remaining EUR 2 million will be used to support and facilitate the implementation of EU funded projects and programmes in the country. Daily Graphic


STX DEAL TAKES OFF

The government made a historic giant leap in its quest to provide decent and affordable housing for the people when President J. E. A. Mills cut the sod for work to begin on the 30,000 housing units for the security agencies under the STX housing deal. The USD 1.5 billion landmark deal between the government and STX Engineering and Construction Ghana Ltd expected to be completed in 2015, represents the initial phase under the Ghana National Housing Project, which is to provide a total of 200,000 affordable housing units for the citizenry.

After the first phase, 60,000 more units will be built for public sector workers in the second phase, while a total of 110,000 units will be built in the third and fourth phases. It is projected that the 200,000 unit housing project, which will inject sufficient liquidity into the economy, will create over 600,000 direct jobs and over 20,000 indirect employment opportunities countrywide. The colourful groundbreaking ceremony, which was heralded by cultural performances of drums, was attended by Ministers of State, Parliamentarians, executives of STX Group from Korea, heads of security agencies and members of the diplomatic corps. In his address, President Mills reassured Ghanaian workers that their well-being was at the heart of the governance agenda, saying “as a social democratic government, this project is aimed at giving comfort to the over 70 per cent of Ghanaians who cannot afford to buy or build their own houses. The unacceptable spectacle of men and women in uniform keeping their fridges and other property in their porches will soon be a thing of the past,” the President assured. The Ghanaian Times

INDUSTRY / BUSINESS NEWS

GHANA’S FIRST OIL PRODUCTION EXPENDITURE WITHIN ORIGINAL BUDGET

The first commercial oil produced from Ghana’s Jubilee Field was within budget, says Tullow Oil. According to Tullow Oil, the first successful oil production which was achieved on schedule within 40 months of discovery was also within estimated budget. Commenting, Tullow Oil’s CEO, Aiden Heavey, said “in 2010 we achieved exceptional exploration success and together with oil partners delivered ‘first oil’ on schedule by year-end, and was within its original budget.” According to the UK oil and gas explorer which owns majority shares in Ghana’s Jubilee Oil Field – the largest oil field to be discovered in West Africa in the last 10 to 15 years – the final cost of the first oil production is “expected to be within 10 per cent of the original USD 3.1 billion budget.” This was revealed in Tullow Oil’s trading statement and operational update published January 27, 2011 on its website. The Ghanaian Times


VENTURE CAPITAL CAPITAL REACHES USD 100 MILLION


The management of the Venture Capital Trust Fund (VCTF) says it is increasing its fund pool to over USD 100 million in 2011 to enable it to support small and medium scale enterprise (SME) investments. To achieve this, the management of the Trust Fund said it was expected to leverage its new capital injection with funds from foreign investors as well as local financial institutions. It will also intensify public awareness campaign as a way of educating SMEs on the benefits of equity investments as it seeks to attract more funds from local financial institutions. Addressing a press conference in Accra to launch the fund’s vision for 2011, the Chief Executive Officer of the VCTF, Mr Daniel Duku, said the fund had partnered with both local and foreign investors to create a pool of GH¢ 83 million for SME investments as of the end of 2010.  In doing so, the Trust Fund has established five venture capital funds and invested the Ghana cedi equivalent of USD 17 million,” adding that more than 1,000 direct jobs have been created by 39 portfolio companies. The VCTF was established in 2006 by the government tasked with the responsibility of providing capital to SMEs and also to promote venture capital investments, funds set aside to assist start-ups and SMEs to grow and expand. Daily Graphic


GHANA’S DECEMBER INFLATION LOWEST IN 19 YEARS


The rate at which prices of goods and services change in the country, otherwise known as inflation, has reduced to 8.58 per cent for the month of December last year, the lowest in 19 years. The last time inflation hit such a low rate was in June 1992, when inflation recorded 8.37 per cent. The Finance and Economic Planning Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, has welcome the drop in inflation rate, the lowest ever under any government in the nation’s recent economic history, saying “now that the economy has stabilised, fiscal year 2011 and the medium term will see a strong stimulation of growth and job creation.” The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), which released the figure in Accra, explained that the downward pressure on the general prices in the country came from both food items and non-food items. “The food and non-alcoholic beverages group recorded single digit inflation rate throughout the year, while non-food inflation rate though declining, has been recording double digit inflation rates,” the GSS stated. “The steady decline in the inflation rate is attributed principally to the continued monetary restraint, prudent fiscal management by the government, good agricultural policies (causing good food harvest) and stable commodity prices,”

Dr Duffuor told the Daily Graphic in an interview shortly after the release of the inflation figures. He said claims from some quarters that the drop in the inflation rate was attributable to the lack of government spending was misguided, adding that “the Mills administration has met all its financial obligations and has even moved to clear a substantial part of the huge arrears to contractors left behind by the previous government.”  Daily Graphic



HIPS CHARITY ORGANIZATION
www.hips-charity.com

The HIPS charity organization was established as an NGO in 1998. This NGO tasked itself with the mandate to provide quality kindergarten and primary school education to children of underprivileged families free of charge. As a result when in 1999 the pioneering class of 35 children was enrolled to the HIPS school which was founded as result of a land donation from the Chief of Weija and financial sponsorships from German and Swiss citizens. One of the only conditions for the acceptance of the children into the programme was that their families or guardians could not pay for their education.

The children at HIPS are provided with free school uniforms, school materials, a daily breakfast and one hot meal every day. HIPS has continued to rely on the benevolence of companies like Ballast Nedam (NL) which sponsored the first four classrooms. To cover the operational cost of the school which now has a population of about 100 children, a group of socially engaged persons in Germany and Switzerland are registered as sponsors who contribute regularly for the upkeep of the institution.

Over the past years, the worldwide economic recession has had a negative repercussion on the ability of HIPS to attract the necessary sponsorship to finance the operations of the school. HIPS is therefore inviting corporate sponsorship from members of the GGEA. The children of Weija need us and they will be grateful for your financial contribution.

HIPS CHARITY ORGANISATION, Weija/ Accra
Brigitte Honsel,     Member of the Board
Email: Honselb@aol.com


MUNICH TO MARITIUS

AFDB TO MAINTAIN ROBUST COMMITMENT TO AFRICA

When the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Donald Kaberuka, welcomed the Board of Directors in January 2010, he sounded a strong note that “the year will be extremely challenging as the bank needed to mobilise additional capital for both the AfDB and the African Development Fund (ADF) at a moment of scarce resources.”The year was effectively challenging, especially with the issue of resource mobilisation and renewed emphasis on selectivity in interventions. President Kaberuka, however, expressed his confidence before the Board “that the challenges will be met if staff, management and executive directors sharpened their ability to work as ‘One Bank’ on broad strategic issues that will promote the interest of the institution and earn the trust of shareholders and partners.” Between 2005 and 2009, the Group’s commitments in African countries had recorded a remarkable increase of USD 36 million in just four years, bringing cumulative commitments from USD 55.2 billion to USD 91.2 billion or 65 per cent increase over the preceding four decades’ figures. These commitments are also coupled with high levels of disbursements over the four-year period, showing an increase from USD 33.3 billion in 2005 to USD 52 billion in 2009 or 57 per cent of the cumulative disbursements over the preceding four decades. In 2010, initial estimates of total annual lending already indicates nearly USD 6.5 billion of which nearly two-thirds of the commitments were core operational areas relating to infrastructure. Even if the final annual figures fall short of the performance in 2009, 2010 was a year of operational consolidation, with additional resource mobilisation for both the AfDB and the ADF being the keynotes for the year. Graphic Business

COCOA PRICES SOAR ON IVORIAN EXPORT BAN


Cocoa prices surged to near its highest price in 30 years on Jan 24 as Cote d’Ivoire’s Alassane Ouattara declared a month-long export ban to stop revenues from reaching his rival for the country’s presidency. In a signal, the market was taking Ouattara’s call seriously, as US agribusiness giant, Cargill, which typically buys about 15 per cent of Cote d’Ivoire’s cocoa crop, temporarily suspended cocoa bean purchases from the country. The price of the product on the international commodity market for March 11 delivery stood at USD 3,312 up by USD 128. Dealers said the market was confused over the potential impact of the call by Ouattara – internationally recognised as the victor of the November 28 election – given the incumbent Laurent Gbagbo controls cocoa flows out of the country. Daily Graphic