Press highlights arrival of 350,000 doses of Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines, others

The planned arrival of 350,000 doses of Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines on Friday and injection of new capital by the shareholders…

The planned arrival of 350,000 doses of Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines on Friday and injection of new capital by the shareholders of Ghana Life Insurance Company Limited to improve its financial position are the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Thursday.The Graphic reports that after weeks of apprehension over the fate of Ghana’s COVID-19 vaccination programme, the exercise looks set to resume soon.

According to the Ghana Health Service (GHS), 350,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines would arrive in Ghana Friday, May 7, 2021 aboard a Turkish Airline fight to kick-start the second phase of the nationwide vaccination.

“We were supposed to receive the AstraZeneca doses on Tuesday, Unfortunately, there was a connection flight cancellation and so we are expecting them on Friday,” the Programme Manager, Expanded Programme on Immunisation of the GHS, Dr. Kwame Amponsa-Achiano, told the Daily Graphic Wednesday.

Fears that the programme could be held back heightened when the second batch of doses from the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX) facility, expected from India, were not forthcoming.

This sent tongues wagging and kept citizens who received the first jab more than two months ago in a quandary.

The Serum Institute of India produces the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

India has placed a temporary hold on all exports of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to concentrate on domestic demand in view of the recent astronomical surge in infections and fatalities among its 1.4 billion people.

The newspaper says that the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Alan Kyerematen, has stated that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement is potentially a game changer for the country’s post COVID-19 economic recovery and transformation,

“Without doubt, AfCFTA could be considered as the game changer for the post COVID-19 economic recovery and transformation of Ghana, if we as a country can harness the numerous benefits of the agreement,” the minister said.

To harness the benefits of AfCFTA, he said the government complemented the ongoing industrial transformation agenda by launching the National Export Development Strategy in 2020 to increase non-traditional export revenue to $25.3 billion by 2027.

Mr. Kyerematen was speaking at the inauguration of 36 council members of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), in a speech read on his behalf by the Technical Advisor to the Minister, Mr Anthony Nyame-Baafi, on Wednesday, April 28 in Accra.

The council members are expected to provide the needed support and guidance through their technical expertise and wealth of social capital to promote activities of the chamber.

The minister called on the private sector to spearhead the economic transformation of the country by taking full advantage of the African single continental market.

He said the initiative would boost Ghanaian exports, stimulate investments and innovation, foster structural transformation, improve food security, enhance economic growth, and export diversification, and provide fresh impetus and dynamism to the economic integration of Ghana into the African market.

The Times reports that shareholders of Ghana Life Insurance Company Limited have injected new capital into the company to improve its financial position.

The injection of $2.25 million into the company brings the minimum capital of the company to GHC27.9 million, well above the current regulatory requirement of GHC15 million.

Dr. Cyril Ajagu, Core Investor of African Alliance PLC (the parent company of Ghana Life Insurance) disclosed this to journalists in Accra last week.

Dr. Ajagu, who is also the Board Chairman of Ghana Life Insurance, said “The fresh capital injected into Ghana Life will help it to settle all outstanding claims.”

He said the objective of the Core Investors was to transform the company to become a leading life insurance company in the country.

“Our priority is to help resource Ghana Life Insurance Company Limited and position it to be among the top three life insurance companies in the country,” Dr. Ajagu said.

The Board Chairman of Ghana Life Insurance Company, indicated that the shareholders were working assiduously to enable the company to meet the new minimum requirement of GHC50 million before the end of the year.

The National Insurance Commission (NIC), the regulator of the insurance industry in Ghana, has given all insurance companies up to December 31,  2021 to meet the new minimum capital requirement of GHC50 million,

The newspaper says that the Ghana Gas Company has assured the public that there is enough gas for the generation and distribution of power in the country.

The company said it was committed to producing gas to promote efficient, effective and reliable power generation.

The Communication Manager of Ghana Gas Company, Ernest Owusu-Bempah, gave the assurance at a news conference on recent power outages in Takoradi, on Monday.

He appealed to the public not to listen to the ‘untruth’ about the power outage, saying “this is not dumsor. Ghana Gas has nothing to do with what is happening. Gas is flowing to VRA for power production.”

“We are doing more than enough and we are working to ensure that the power system is stable. Indeed, all our compressors are working and we will produce gas for power generation.”

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