Press focuses on Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week initiative in UAE, others

The report that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo left the country on Saturday as the head of the country's delegation…

The report that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo left the country on Saturday as the head of the country’s delegation to the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emir­ates (UAE) is one of the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Monday.The Ghanaian Times reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo left the country on Saturday as the head of the country’s delegation to the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emir­ates (UAE)

The Abu Dhabi Sustainabil­ity Week (ADSW) is a global initiative championed by the UAE and its clean energy pow­erhouse, Masdar, to accelerate sustainable development and advance economic, social and environmental progress.

Established in 2008, ADSW brings together heads of state, policy makers, industry leaders, investors, entrepreneurs and youth to discuss and engage on bold climate action and inno­vations that will ensure a more sustainable world for future generations.

President Akufo-Addo will depart Abu Dhabi on Thursday, January 19, 2023 to London for a six-day private visit.

He was accompanied by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway; Min­ister for Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh; Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor; Minis­ter for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Kwaku Afriyie, officials from the Presidency and Foreign Ministry.

The newspaper says that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has assured his Indian counterpart, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of Ghana’s full support on India’s well-deserved assumption of the G20 Presidency.

“Like others in this organisa­tion, we, in Ghana are hopeful that India’s presidency will consciously help to provide solutions to the development imperatives of the Global South and the rest of the world,” Nana Akufo Addo stated over the weekend.

He was speaking at the virtual session of the Voice of The South Summit, a two-day event meant to discuss the future of partnership in view of the spiraling economic challenges which dispropor­tionately affect countries of the Global South.

Held on the theme: “Way For­ward For The Global South, Unity of Voice, Unity of Purposes” It had more than 120 heads of state and government participating in the event which was the initiative of the Prime Minister Modi and the Government of India.

President Akufo-Addo noted there has never been a time where malevolent forces have com­bined in such a manner to bring hardships to the world, “We are indeed, operating in the most challenging and difficult of times. The interlocking challenges and the convergence of crises we face pose existential threats that require our immediate solidarity and col­lective action.”

One of such challenges we must address collectively, he said was the issue of climate change that undoubtedly has become the defining issue of our time, which threatens the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, as it brings in its wake significant consequences if no action was taken.

He continued: Every part of our world, today, is experienc­ing the drastic effects of climate change, such as severe precip­itation and floods; prolonged droughts and heat waves are happening all over the world, both in the developed and developing worlds.

These manifestations of the change in weather patterns have serious security implications, which cannot be ignored stressing that “We have a sacred obligation to respond now and act decisive­ly.”

President Nana Akufo-Ad­do said as part of a national strategy to deal with the men­ace of climate change, Ghana has developed 19 policy actions in 10 priority areas to realise “our nationally deter­mined contribu­tion goals in the next decade, to help curb climate related issues, as well as creating a pathway to development that is sustainable and resilient to climate change.”

Although, the world experi­enced remark­able progress in healthcare delivery in the last half of the 20th century, global health in­equalities persist for instance, in some developing countries, several of which are in Africa, life expec­tancy is between 37 to 40 years, much lower than in most devel­oped countries.

The Graphic reports that the first consignment of the Gold for Oil Policy by the government to stem the increasing depreciation of the cedi against the major currencies has arrived at the Tema Port and discharged into the receptacles of Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST), Graphic Online has gathered.

The 41,000 metric tonnes of the petroleum products delivered by SCF YENISEI would be sold by BOST to bulk distributing companies (BDCs) around Ghana, a source has told Graphic Online.

Valued at $40 million, it was brokered by the Economic Management Team led by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

In November 2022, the government announced plans to buy oil products with gold rather than US dollars.

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, said that the move was meant to tackle dwindling foreign currency reserves coupled with demand for dollars by oil importers, which was weakening the local cedi and increasing living costs.

“It will fundamentally change our balance of payments and significantly reduce the persistent depreciation of our currency,” Dr Bawumia said.

He added that using gold would prevent the exchange rate from directly impacting fuel or utility prices as domestic sellers would no longer need foreign exchange to import oil products.

According to a Graphic Online source associated with the process, the first consignment cost $40 million worth of gold.

The source said BOST would sell the product to the BDCs, proceeds paid to an escrow account at the Bank of Ghana for the procurement of gold for the process.

The newspaper says that the deadline for individual bondholders to assent to the governments invitation to the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme(DDEP) ends today.

Reports, however, reaching the Daily Graphic indicate that the response has been extremely poor with millions of bondholders refusing to sign on, a development confirmed by some banks.

It is not clear what the government’s response to the development will be but it is likely to force another postponement of the deadline for further consultations.

Some bondholders, since the announcement of the DDEP, have maintained their call on the government to stick to its initial intention to exempt them from the programme.

Last Thursday, some commercial banks in the country issued messages to their individual bond holders to subscribe to the government’s DDEP .

One of such messages the Daily Graphic has accessed read; “In pursuant to the Minister of Finance’s directive on the Domestic Debt Exchange Programme, we wish to inform you of the addition of individual holders as eligible.

“Please note that this exercise is purely voluntary and if you would like to participate, kindly use your CSD ID … via this link … This link expires on Thursday, January 12, 2023.”

The message also provided telephone numbers for further clarification.

As the deadline approached, groups formed by the bondholders emerged to intensify pressure on the government to rescind its decision.

One of such groups, the Pensioner Bondholder Forum, whose membership is in excess of 400 pensioners, implored the government to desist from adding its members to the programme.

The forum, which also serves as the mouthpiece of all pensioners across the country with investments in government bonds, held a press conference last Wednesday to voice their frustrations.

The convener, a former Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Dr Adu Anane Antwi, stated at the press conference that the petition was delivered to the Minister of Finance and the President.

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