Ghana: Press highlights government’s position on Highly Indebted Poor Country, others

The Minister of Information's denial that Ghana has been listed as a Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) due to its…

The Minister of Information’s denial that Ghana has been listed as a Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) due to its declining economic situation dominates the headlines of the Ghanaian press on Wednesday.The Graphic reports that the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has refuted media reports suggesting that Ghana has been listed as a Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) due to its declining economic situation.

According to him, the government did not apply to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank to be listed onto HIPC programme and urged the public to disregard such false reports.

Mr. Oppong Nkrumah responded to the allegations at the fifth edition of the Nation Building Updates in Accra.

The Minister said such viral fake news reports were part of a broad and deliberate strategy by some persons to deceive the public ahead of the December 7 polls.

He noted that currently, there was no ongoing HIPC programme under implementation by the IMF or World Bank.

“We (government) categorically say that it is not true that Ghana has been declared HIPC or have been added to a list of HIPC countries. The highly indebted poor countries initiative or the HIPC Initiative was a particular programme that was rolled out by international organisations like the World Bank, the IMF and the Donor partners in 2001.

The newspaper says that discussions for the transfer of AirtelTigo shares to the government of Ghana along with all customers, assets and agreed liabilities are in its advanced stages.

The transaction will be concluded by the execution of definitive agreements shortly.

The government of Ghana through this transaction, will temporarily operate the national asset in the best interest of the nation, and ensure the protection of the interests of all employees, customers and stakeholders, and a continuation of the digital transformation in Ghana, a statement issued on the move has said.

Given the multiplier impact the telecommunications sector has on the economy and various related industries, the Government of Ghana has entered into this agreement to ensure that thousands of Ghanaian jobs are safe guarded, the statement added.

It is of critical importance that the telecommunications sector remains healthy, dynamic, vibrant, and most importantly, competitive, the statement added.

The Graphic also reports that the Deputy Rector of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), Professor Eric Opoku Mensah, says the university will continue to step up its efforts in promoting media and information literacy in Ghana.

According to him, the university over the years has been at the forefront of media and information literacy activism in the country.

“We have organised various activities, including stakeholder seminars that have brought together media practitioners, academics and civil society organisations to share ideas on how to promote media and information literacy in Ghana,” he explained.

Prof. Mensah was speaking at the 2020 Media and Information Literacy (MIL) workshop held at the university on Tuesday, October 27, 2020.

The workshop, which will run for two days, is being organised in partnership with Penplusbyte, DW Akademie, UNESCO and the Ghana National Commission for UNESCO.

The theme for this year’s MIL is “Resisting disinfodemic: MIL for everyone and by everyone.”

The Times says that the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, will today present to Parliament estimates of the revenue and expenditure of the government for January to March 2021.

The Minister will also present in advance expenditure of appropriation for the same period next year.

This will help the next government which will be sworn in January next year to carry out programmes and activities for the first quarter of the year before the main 2021 budget is released.

The three-month revenue and expenditure estimates will be the last budget of the current government.

If the government wins the upcoming elections, then it will get the opportunity to release the main budget for the 2021 fiscal year.

The last time a similar budget was prepared was 2016, when the former Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper, presented revenue and expenditure of government from January to March 2017 to the Legislature.