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Press highlights collaboration between Ghana, Singapore on SMEs promotion, others

The report of the collaboration between the Bank of Ghana and the Monetary Authority of Singapore to develop a programme…

The report of the collaboration between the Bank of Ghana and the Monetary Authority of Singapore to develop a programme to promote the growth of Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises in the country is one of the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Friday.The Times reports that the Second Deputy Governor, Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari, has said that the Bank of Ghana (BoG) is collaborating with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to develop a programme to promote the growth of Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana.

The project dubbed ‘Business Sans Borders’ is meant to assist SMEs in Ghana leverage digital technology to improve on their businesses as well as give them access to global market opportunities.

Speaking at the 5th Chief Executive Officers Summit, Dr. Opoku-Afari, said the increasing adoption of digital payment and technology present opportunity for businesses to reach and gain more customers.

“Obviously the more than 17 million active mobile money accounts provide ample evidence of the increasing adoption of digital payments and provide a fertile ground for businesses to explore digital channels to interact with customers. I must emphasise that the financial sector digitisation programme is part of the bigger project of the Government in a bid to formalise the economy through digital technology,” he said.

It was on the theme “Digital Transformation: Powering Business and Government Reset for a Post-Pandemic Economic Resilience.  A Public-Private Sector Dialogue.”

He said in spite of the tremendous achievements towards building a financial inclusive society through digitisation, the COVID-19 containment measures put in place at the height of the pandemic by the government highlighted the digitisation gap and brought to fore the extent to which this gap could be exploited by businesses for economic efficiency and growth.

The inability of businesses to incorporate and embrace digitalisation in their business models, the Second Deputy Governor said would undoubtedly create a void with dire consequences for the survivability of businesses during a post-pandemic pandemic.

The newspaper says that the Chief of the Naval Staff’s conference opened yesterday at the Burma Camp in Accra.

The two- day event on the theme: “Adopting resourceful and innovative measures to transform the Ghana Navy into a modern robust naval force”, sought to afford the participants the opportunity to brainstorm on past years’ activities towards charting a new way forward.

It also sought to interrogate critical sets of questions aimed at maintaining a robust naval force capable of defending the country against sea borne threat as well as ensuring the safety and security of the maritime domain while maintaining the time tested traditions of the Ghana Navy.

The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Rear Admiral Issah Yakubu speaking at the ceremony said the agenda 2024 strategy of the Ghana Navy is to achieve a total surveillance coverage of the country’s maritime boundaries through the deployment of new equipped ships, increase sea presence, develop naval intelligence capabilities through improved resourcing for local seafarers.

He indicated that the agenda 2024 strategy of the Ghana Navy was to also prioritise and identify specific challenges in maritime patrols towards adopting a collaborative effort to nib it in the bud.

Rear Admiral Yakubu called for increased maritime monitoring operations, air patrols, deployment of new ships equipped with state-of-the-art surveillance equipment, develop naval intelligence and the use of local seafarers for intelligence gathering.

The CNS, stated that the threats posed by the non-traditions security agencies including pandemics, piracy and armed robbery at sea, IUU fishing, fuel and drug smuggling and the possible use by terrorist of the country’s waters should prompt a thorough re-examination of the strategies, tactics and tools needed to keep the waters safe.

The Graphic reports that the Director-General of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), Dr. Eric Oduro Osae, has said that the work of internal auditors in public institutions across Ghana has saved GH¢522.9 million of public funds.

He said the amount was realised from audit observation infractions in 9,068 audit reports, out of which 6,699 recommendations, with a monetary value of the amount, were made.

“These are public funds that could have gone down the drain had it not been for the vigilance of internal auditors,” he said.

At the launch of the IAA new website in Accra yesterday, Dr. Osae said: “The internal audit function is a pre-corruption preventing function. So if Ghana wants to fight corruption to the core, we have to lay more emphasis on internal audit because we should not waste resources on fighting corruption or chasing funds that have been stolen.

“It is better we prevent people from stealing, and if we want to do that and do it well, we have to resource internal auditors.”

The IAA website is aimed at facilitating the submission of reports and interactions with various stakeholders to enhance the fight against corruption.

The newspaper says that following the recent National Consultative Dialogue on Small Scale Mining, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources has directed all persons and companies engaged in reconnaissance and/or prospecting in Forest Reserves, with or without legal authorization, to suspend such activities until further notice.

In addition to that the Minerals Commission, with immediate effect, is not to accept, process and/or recommend the grant, including renewal and/or extension of reconnaissance and prospecting licences in Forest Reserves.

Persons and/or companies engaged in reconnaissance and/or prospecting in Forest Reserves, have been given seven days to cease their operations and evacuate their equipment accordingly.

In a statement issued on Thursday, April 22, 2021 the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. Samuel Abu Jinapor, said the various regional security councils have been notified about the directive and are to strictly enforce it.

“The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources hereby directs persons and/or companies engaged in reconnaissance and/or prospecting in Forest Reserves, with or without legal authorization, to suspend such activities until further notice…

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources has further directed the Minerals Commission, with immediate effect, not to accept, process and/or recommend the grant, including the renewal and/or extension, of reconnaissance and prospecting licences in Forest Reserves,” the statement indicated.

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