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Ghana press on country’s debt profile, others

The report that Ghana's debt will hit approximately 75 percent of Gross Domestic Product (total value of goods and services…

The report that Ghana’s debt will hit approximately 75 percent of Gross Domestic Product (total value of goods and services produced in the economy within a period) from 2024 and the victory of Ghana’s Black Satellites in the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) championship are some of the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Tuesday.The Times reports that Ghana’s debt will hit approximately 75 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (total value of goods and services produced in an economy within a period) from 2024, international ratings agency, Fitch, has said in its latest paper on “Energy Sector Debt a Risk to Ghana’s Post-Pandemic Debt Trajectory”.

Accordingly, the debt will continue to rise in 2021 and 2022 due to high COVID-19 pandemic-related spending and the realisation of energy sector liabilities.

Fitch affirmed Ghana’s sovereign rating (B/Stable) in October 2020, on an expectation of a gradual recovery, both in economic performance and fiscal revenue following the pandemic shock, the availability of external and domestic financing sources, and the eventual stabilisation of debt/GDP.

The report said “However, Ghana’s public finances are complicated by a history of domestic arrears and by contingent liabilities that will continue to add to its public debt stock”.

It also said the country’s energy sector faces both a stock of debt outstanding and ongoing losses that is due to inefficient operational environment and wasteful tariff structure.

This some energy experts are raising fears of a probable collapse of the power sector that could have significant effect on the economy.

The newspaper says that on the day that their country was celebrating the 64th Independence Day, Ghana’s Black Satellites delivered the ultimate gift, wrapped up in the form of the Total Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title after a 2-0 win over debutants Uganda in the final in Nouakchott on Saturday.

Skipper Daniel Afriyie led from the front, and had a military salute dance to celebrate on each occasion, as Ghana clinched the fourth Under-20 continental title, and a first since their last conquest in 2009.

The Satellites replicated the same score-line the two countries posted when they last met in a continental final, this being in the 1978 senior Cup of Nations. By design or coincidence, it was also another Afriyie, this time Opoku, who scored twice for the senior Ghanaians.

Ghana went to the break a goal to the good, and deservedly so after coming off an early scare to score through Afriyie. Uganda were faster off the blocks and should have scored after three minutes when a long ball caught the run of Derrick Kakooza, but his lob over the keeper went over.

Almost immediately, Uganda had another chance with Isma Muguusi’s grass cutter going wide.

But after dodging the bullet twice, the Ghanaians woke from their slumber.

They had the bar denying them twice in succession off an Abdul Fatawu Issahaku corner. First, Percious Boah’s connection came off the bar and from the rebound; Emmanuel Essiam also sent a shot across the bar.

The Graphic reports that going forward, people going for the COVID-19 vaccination in Ghana, would have to use the vaccination APP to book an appointment or pre-register before going to the vaccination centre.

The Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, who made this known said the GHS was going to adapt a locally developed APP for that purpose.

“We are currently going to adapt a locally developed APP, which will allow us to be able to do scheduling, we can do a pre-registration before you go and vaccinate, we can do appointment system for you to go and vaccinate to know where to go and vaccinate, it will generate your COVID passport for you, so we know all those who have vaccinated, and the database will be in Ghana and whatever the world decides, we will have enough database locally to be able to respond appropriately and learn from how, including checking those who have had positive, whether they have had vaccination or not,” Dr. Kuma-Aboagye

Dr. Kuma-Aboagye, who made this known at a press briefing at Peduase Lodge in the Eastern Region on Monday, said the database will be in Ghana and it will enable the GHS to be able to respond and learn accordingly.

He said they are currently doing a test run of the APP.

Giving an update on the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana, Dr. Kuma-Aboagye said the next steps in the fight is that Ghana will continue to pursue additional vaccines for health workers in other districts and regions for them to be vaccinated.

The newspaper says that more than 200,000 people in Ghana have been vaccinated against the deadly Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the last six days.

As of Sunday, March 7, 2021 at 8pm, a total of 202,252 people have had their first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination.

As of Sunday night, over 200,000 people had received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the exercise which started on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.

At the moment a total 650,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been received in Ghana, 600,000 from COVAX facility and 50,000 as a donation from the Indian government.

The Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye made this known Monday afternoon at a press briefing at the Peduase Lodge where the Cabinet is on a 3-day retreat.

Dr. Kuma-Aboagye indicated that the figure was likely to go up since there are some data entry challenges and that about a third of the number is still being entered.

He projected that the figure was likely to hit 300,000 when all the data is entered.

He said there has been enthusiasm with the vaccination so at some point, the personnel had to resort to collecting data on papers and get the people vaccinated and as the data is being entered electronically and synched, the figure was likely to shoot up.

The COVID-19 vaccination started in Ghana on March 2, 2021 using the AstraZeneca vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India.

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