Press focuses on BoG maintaining key policy rate at 13.5 percent, others

The report that the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has maintained its key policy rate at 13.5 percent as a cautious…

The report that the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has maintained its key policy rate at 13.5 percent as a cautious measure against rising inflationary pressures is one of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Tuesday.The Graphic reports that the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has maintained its key policy rate at 13.5 percent as a cautious measure against rising inflationary pressures.

The bank announced the decision Monday after a three-day meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) ended Friday.

The Governor of BoG and Chairman of the committee, Dr Ernest Addison, said at a press conference that the bank was also ready to respond appropriately should risks to inflation materialise.

It is now the third time in a row that the central bank has left the benchmark rate unchanged. It was last reduced in May by 50 basis points.

“Inflation has risen sharply over the last two readings, driven mainly by sustained food price increases. Although food inflation has pushed overall inflation close to the upper limit of the band, core inflation remains relatively subdued.”

“In the view of the committee, the increase in inflation is mainly due to food inflation, which is expected to abate with the onset of the harvest season. This notwithstanding, the latest forecast indicates that inflation will remain within the medium-term target band, but closer to the upper limit in the near-term, in the absence of further unexpected shocks.”

“A close monitoring of the inflation situation is however warranted to respond swiftly to prevent potential second round effects on headline inflation from the rising food inflation. The committee stands ready to respond appropriately as needed if this particular risk materialises,” Dr Addison said.

He also mentioned the lag in Fiscal consolidation, a burgeoning debt and sluggish recovery as some of the issues that were of concern to the committee.

The newspaper says that Ghanaians have been encouraged to patronise local tourism to boost tourism and help relieve the country from the negative economic impact the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has had on the sector.

According to the Ghana Tourist Authority (GTA), the pandemic had impacted negatively on tourism growth, job creation and the livelihood of communities that depended on tourism because in 2020 countries were forced to close their borders and ban international travels as part of measures to contain the ravaging pandemic.

Addressing a gathering to commemorate this year’s World Tourism Day at Wli in the Hohoe municipality in the Volta Region yesterday, the Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Technical Services of the GTA, Mr. Ekow Sampson, said the travel and tourism industry could not return to pre-COVID-19 arrival levels until 2023, as predicted by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), for which reason it was only domestic tourism that could sustain the tourism growth.

“It is said that charity begins at home, so it is important that we patronise what we have well enough to make it attractive and appealing to foreign tourists,” he said.

September 27 each year has been set aside as World Tourism Day by the UNWTO to create awareness of tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value and the contribution that the sector can make towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Graphic also reports that the Bank of Ghana (BoG) has said that it is working to phase out the one Ghana cedi and the two Ghana cedi notes from circulation.

The Governor of BoG, Dr Ernest Addison, said on Monday (September 27) that the notes will ultimately be replaced by their coin versions, which were currently co-circulating.

He said the decision was needed to improve the bank’s cost of currency management.

Dr Addison told journalists on Monday that the central bank had realised that it was not cost effective to keep the two sets of notes in circulation, as they mostly returned dirty and worn out, requiring frequent replacements.

He was responding to a question on why the two cedi note was in short supply in some parts of the country during the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee press conference.

“In the long run, the plan is that the one and two cedi notes should be phased out. They are not cost-effective.”

“They mostly return torn, soiled and dirty. We’ve bails and bails of those two and so the view is to get them out and use the coins,” he said.

The BOG, which is the bank to the government, regulates the printing and circulation of currency in the country.

The current two cedi note was introduced in April 2010 as a commemorative note to mark the centenary celebration of the birth of Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the country’s first President.

The Ghanaian Times says that the Ministry of Trade and Industry has unveiled Ghana’s programme of action as it prepares to participate in the upcoming international business exposition in the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dubai.

 Dubbed: Expo 2020 Dubai, the event which was initially slated for last year had to be rescheduled to this year due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

It is on the theme: “Connecting minds, creating the future” and about 192 countries are expected to participate in the event, attracting between 25 to 30 million participants across the globe.

Ghana’s participation in the six months exposition would offer it the opportunity to showcase its business and investment opportunities to the global business community as part of its drive to attract Foreign Direct Investment into the country.

Addressing the media in Accra yesterday, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Herbert Krapa said Ghana had chosen “Ghana: Limitless opportunities” as its theme for the event which would enable ministers of state and government officials to promote the various business and investment opportunities to the global audience.

He said to elaborate more on the theme for the event, sustainability, mobility and opportunity had been selected as sub-themes and Ghana had modeled its participation of the sub-theme opportunity.

“The choice of the theme is based on today’s highly interconnected world, a renewed vision of progress and development based on shared purpose and commitment,” he said.

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