The report that the international holders of Ghana’s Eu¬robonds have constituted bondholder creditor committee in response to Ghana’s announcement of suspending certain categories of external debts pending an or¬derly restructuring of the affected obligations dominates the headlines of Ghanaian press on Wednesday.The Ghanaian Times reports that the international holders of Ghana’s Eurobonds have constituted bondholder creditor committee in response to Ghana’s announcement of suspending certain categories of external debts pending an orderly restructuring of the affected obligations.
It includes Eurobonds, commercial loans and most bilateral debts.
The suspension is an interim emergency measure pending future agreements with all relevant creditors.
According to a statement issued by the Finance Ministry, the suspension would not include the payments of multilateral debts, and new debts, whether multilateral or otherwise contracted after December 19, 2022, or debts related to certain short-term trade facilities.
The statement explained that the government was evaluating certain specific debts related to projects with the highest socio-economic impact for Ghana which may have to be excluded.
Ghana’s Eurobonds Committee is representative of a diverse group of institutional investors, including mutual funds, asset managers, insurance firms, hedge funds, and family offices.
Steering Members of the committee include the following holders (acting either directly or for and on behalf of the funds or the accounts they manage): Abrdn, Amundi (UK) Limited, BlackRock, Greylock Capital Management, and Ninety One.
The committee has appointed Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP as legal advisors and Rothschild and Co as financial advisor.
The Committee is focused on the orderly and comprehensive resolution of Ghana’s debt challenges, recognising that such resolution would require fair burden-sharing and collaboration among the Ghanaian authorities, private creditors (both domestic and international) and official sector creditors.
According to the statement, the committee welcomed Ghana’s ongoing engagement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the recent announcement of the Staff Level Agreement.
The newspaper says that a high powered delegation from the British government has paid a working visit to Japan Motors’ ultra-modern Nissan Vehicle Assembly plant.
The delegation included Britain’s Minister of International Development, Andrew Mitchell, accompanied by UK’s Trade Envoy to Ghana, Baroness Kate Hoey, as well as the British High Commissioner in Accra, Harriet Thompson.
It also had a team from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the representative of Jobs for Economic Transformation Programme (JET) Ghana.
The visit last Friday was to afford the delegation the opportunity to see first-hand the critical role that Nissan was playing in domestic automotive assembly, and to find out more about the Ghana Automotive Development Policy.
Japan Motors’ brand new Nissan Assembly plant in Tema, Ghana, has become West Africa’s most visited automotive factory in the last nine months.
“It’s a great honour to have this strong delegation visit our plant,” Japan Motors assistant managing director, Mohammed R. Byrouthy, who was responsible for managing the plant construction project, said.
He said, “We have had visitors almost every single week since we opened, and I think it is a testimony of what Nissan and Japan Motors have achieved here”.
Nissan Africa managing director, Mike Whitfield, said, “One of the highlights of 2022 was the commissioning of this factory in Ghana, and it is wonderful to see the excitement and interest that the Plant has continued to generate”.
The Plant, he said, was proof of what could be achieved when both parties were absolutely focused on the end result and testament to the fantastic public private partnership between the government of Ghana, Japan Motors and Nissan Africa.
“The existence of this plant is tribute to the passion and commitment of Japan Motors investing US$ 9-million, which in itself would not have been possible without the security and certainty offered by the government of Ghana’s progressive automotive industry development policy which was signed into law in record time,” he said.
“When you buy a Nissan Navara from Japan Motors, you are buying more than a phenomenal vehicle, you’re buying peace of mind in every regard, and that’s priceless,” Harriet Esi Mensah, Marketing Manager, Japan Motors, said.
The Graphic reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged Ghanaians trained in oil and gas to transfer knowledge to the people to help cut down the cost involved in hiring expatriates to build capacity in that sector.
He also charged them to be role models of excellence and demonstrate to the world that their skills were as good as those of their counterparts elsewhere.
The President was speaking when he welcomed nine lecturers from the various technical training institutions in the country who had returned home after undergoing training in Canada to the Jubilee House in Accra last Monday.
They underwent an 11-month training at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton, Canada, as master instructors.
Apart from pipe-fitting, they also received advanced certificates in welding and mechanical engineering.
The beneficiaries, who comprised seven males and two females, began the training in January this year as part of the government’s accelerated oil and gas capacity (AOGC) programme.
They are Emmanuel Marcus Abaidoo and Daniel Kyei-Kankam, both from the Takoradi Technical Institute; Isaac Oppong, the Kikam Technical Institute, and Frank Nana Osei, the Takoradi Technical University (TaTU).
The rest are Abdul Hamid Mohammed, the Tamale Technical University; Wise Kwashie Klomegah, the Ho Technical University; Samuel Garriba, the Cape Coast Technical University; Gladys Perpetual Awudi, the Koforidua Technical University and Esi Quainoo, the Takoradi Technical Institute.
President Akufo-Addo said the government was making huge investments in the oil and gas sector, including the hiring of expatriates.
The newspaper says that the Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu, has said Parliament must accept some blame and responsibility for not keeping the Executive arm of government in check in the performance of its functions, including excessive borrowing.
He said it was the responsibility of Parliament to have checked the excessive borrowing by the government, asking: “How did we get here?”
“Parliament’s role as the defender of the people’s interest is lost,” he said.
He made the admission yesterday during a roundtable with the core leadership of Parliament on harnessing the dividends of democracy over the last 30 years organised by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.
Democratic dividends refer to the benefits that a democratic system can provide for a society.
Among these benefits are the provision of public goods and an institutionalised arrangement in carrying the people along in the discharge of the duties of the state.
The discussion was on the theme: “Parliament and the harnessing of democratic dividends: Assignment.”
It brought together experts, among them the Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, and a former Head of the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, Legon, Dr Maame Adwoa Gyeke-Jandoh.
The Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) has disbursed about GH¢10 million to 103 small businesses that applied for a portion of the Ghana Economic Transformation Project (GETP) grant.
The beneficiaries were selected after meeting the rigorous criteria designed by the GEA, the World Bank and other development partners of the government.
The beneficiaries are mainly owners of small businesses in agro-processing, food and beverage, healthcare and manufacturing and cut across the country.They are receiving between GH¢20,000 and GH¢300,000 grant to support their operational costs, including the purchase of raw materials and equipment.
At an orientation and signing agreement ceremony for the beneficiaries in Accra on December 19, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GEA, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, said the grant was designed purposefully to ensure that businesses were resilient and ready to help transform the economy.
She said the main objective of the grant was to strengthen the economy, build industries and rebuild the business ecosystem to deal with unforeseen shocks or challenges in the future.
She said the government negotiated with the World Bank and came up with the access to finance component dubbed; the Ghana Economic Transformation Project to support these businesses, especially those impacted heavily under the early COVID-19 era.
“Today, we are signing off the third batch of 89 beneficiaries of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) under the COVID-19 Response Grant Programme.
“This batch of beneficiaries is being supported with over GH¢37.8 million, and it is indeed a privilege for me to be here for the third time under the current phase of the programme,” she said.