Ghana: Press focuses on establishment of African headquarters of Twitter in Ghana, others

The report that President Akufo-Addo's has welcomed the decision of Twitter to establish its African headquarters in Ghana and the…

The report that President Akufo-Addo’s has welcomed the decision of Twitter to establish its African headquarters in Ghana and the final report of the European Union Election Observation Mission to Ghana 2020 Polls are some of the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Wednesday.The Graphic reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has welcomed the decision of Twitter, the American microblogging and social networking service, to establish its African headquarters in Ghana.

Reacting to the announcement, which was made by Twitter’s co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Jack Dorsey, on Twitter last Monday, the President said the development was the start of a partnership that would help develop Ghana’s technological sector.

President Akufo-Addo also revealed that he held a virtual meeting with Mr. Dorsey on April 7, 2021 before the deal was finalised.

In separate tweets, the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, and the Minister of Communications, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, also welcomed the development.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful tweeted: “Twitter chooses Ghana as its regional hub of Africa!! Thumbs up for Digital Ghana! Great news for our local, vibrant tech community. We can’t wait to welcome others.”

Mr Oppong Nkrumah tweeted: “#TwitterGhana is a big win for Ghana. This means more jobs and opportunities for our youth in the Tech space.”

Twitter, a ‘microblogging’ system that allows people to send and receive short posts called tweets, last Monday announced that it would establish its continental head office in Ghana.

“Today, in line with our growth strategy, we’re excited to announce that we are now actively building a team in Ghana,” Twitter said in a statement.

The newspaper says that a new report by the Standard Bank, parent company of Stanbic Bank Ghana, has cautioned the government on its rising debt levels.

In its March 2021 Flash Note of the African Markets Revealed (AMR) report, it noted that the pace of growth of external commercial debt over the past few years had been alarming, hence the need for the government to do something about it if the country was to return to the fiscal consolidation path.

The report highlighted that although the country’s debt might seem sustainable, albeit with high risk of debt distress, the fast pace of growth of external commercial debt over the past few years called for caution.

Debt-to-GDP levels rose to 76 percent in 2020 and could well hover around those levels in 2021 should GDP growth improve as expected.

“The split between domestic and external debt is almost even, at a 51:49 ratio. Moreover, commercial creditors, including Eurobond creditors, now account for nearly 50 per cent of the external debt composition, underscoring debt investors’ sustainability concerns,” the report indicated.

The report further indicated that the country might have to wait till 2024 to return to its deficit threshold of five percent.

The Graphic also reports that the European Union Election Observation Mission to Ghana 2020 (EU EOM) has described the 2020 election as “efficiently organised, competitive, that voters participated freely in large numbers, and that the process successfully met a range of international standards.”

It said the overall conduct of the voting was assessed positively in 95 per cent of polling stations the union observed.

“However, shortcomings, already identified by previous EU election observation missions, remain such as the misuse of state resources, the abuse of incumbency, vote-buying and unregulated campaign finances. These resulted in an uneven playing field,” it stated.

This was contained in the final report of the EU EOM on the December 7, 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections released in Accra yesterday at a press conference addressed by the Chief Observer, Mr. Javier Nart.

The European Union deployed an EU EOM to Ghana between October 31 and December 30, 2020. In total, the mission comprised 80 observers from EU member states as well as Norway, Switzerland and Canada.

The mission’s mandate was to assess the electoral process against international obligations and commitments for democratic elections as well as the laws of Ghana.

Mr. Nart, who is also a Member of the European Parliament from Spain, explained that the mission had returned to Ghana to present the report to the country’s authorities, and to discuss with stakeholders the proposed reforms contained in the report.

The Times says that the government intends to plant five million trees in a day across the country as an initial programme under its Green Ghana Project.

The trees are scheduled to be planted on June 11 this year and Ghanaians would be mobilised to plant trees on the day and nurture them to maturity as a way of contributing to the preservation of the environment.

The exercise would commence with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Vice President Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, and the Chief Justice, Kwasi Anin Yeboah, planting trees.

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, disclosed this in Accra yesterday when he inaugurated a 60-member national planning committee to oversee the implementation of the Green Ghana Project.

He said various groups, including traditional leaders, security agencies, Green World activists, and private sector players, would also be galvanised to contribute their resources, energies and support for the project to increase significantly the country’s forest cover.

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