Press highlights launch of Sustainable Development Goals, others

The launching of country's financing road map for the realisation of the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals at the Jubilee…

The launching of country’s financing road map for the realisation of the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals at the Jubilee House in Accra and the plan to borrow about GH¢2 billion in fresh funds between June and August 2021 are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Wednesday.The Graphic reports that the country’s financing road map for the realisation of the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been launched at the Jubilee House in Accra.

The launch of the road map, which is the first of its kind in Africa, attracted business giants from across the globe via zoom, as well as captains of industry in the country.

The event was moderated by the President of the World Economic Forum, Mr Borge Brende, via Zoom from Switzerland.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who launched the programme, urged the global private sector community to take advantage of SDG-related business opportunities in the country.

He said although Ghana’s financing gap of the SDGs within the next decade was estimated about $450 billion, it represented a business and investment opportunity for the private sector in areas such as infrastructural development, agriculture, industry, energy, health, communication, education, water and sanitation.

“Far from being a financing gap, I personally see this as a $450-billion business and investment opportunity for the private sector,” he said.

The newspaper says that the Chief Executive of the Volta River Authority (VRA), Mr. Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa, says the company fully supports the Green Ghana Project (GGP) as the tree planting exercise is not just an important national event, but a fundamental anchor of the company’s strategy.

He said a healthy environment had a direct impact on VRA’s operations, hence the company had vested interest in ensuring that the environment was protected and replenished.

Leading the VRA team to join other companies and organisations in the Western Region to partake in the nationwide tree planting exercise last Friday, Mr. Antwi- Darkwa, explained that the initiative affirmed VRA’s afforestation programme “Volta Gorge Reforestation (VGR) Programme”, which started in 1994 to serve a similar purpose the GGP intiative sought to achieve.

In an address read on his behalf by the Director, Thermal Generation at the Aboadze plant of the VRA, Mr. Edward Obeng-Kenzo, the Chief Executive said the VGR programme which had been sustained to date, aimed at forest cover restoration through the protection of the existing vegetation and restocking of all degraded lands either by enrichment planting or by full plantation development.

The project, initiated by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Forestry Commission (FC), rallied Ghanaians to plant more trees to preserve and protect the country’s forest cover and the environment.

It was also to commemorate World Forest Day and it received an overwhelming response from corporate bodies, chiefs, educational, religious institutions, and individuals, in the Western Region.

The Times says that the Government of Ghana is to borrow a little above GH¢2 billion in fresh funds between June and August 2021, the latest Issuance Calendar released by the Finance Ministry has revealed.

In all, the government plans to issue about GH¢21.96 billion, out of which GH¢19.86 billion will be used to pay maturing debt or rollover maturities.

Chunk of the funds to be mobilised will come from the 91-day Treasury bills, a clear intention of government’s quest to reduce foreign borrowing, but could crowd out the private sector from access to funds on the domestic market.

The new funds are expected to finance government projects outlined in the 2021 Budget.

In terms of the period, the government will borrow as much as GH¢8.13 billion in the month of July 2021, the highest among the three months.

According to the calendar, the government will issue ¢11.2 billion via the 91-day Treasury bills, whilst ¢1.71 billion will be mobilised through the issuance of the 182-day T-bills, GH¢1.8 billion each is, however, expected to be raised from the 3-year, 6-year and 7-year bonds respectively.

Also, GH¢1 billion is expected to be raised through the issuance of  a 10-year bond in the month of August 2021.

Whilst GH¢1.45 billion is expected to be raised via a one year bill, GH¢1.2 billion will be mobilised through the issue of the two-year bond.

The newspaper reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says the government is committed to bringing energy and strength into developing its new trade relations with the United Kingdom (UK).

He said the agreement, which was forged between the two nations following the exit of the UK from the European Union (EU), had strengthened the bilateral and trade relations between Ghana and the UK.

President Akufo-Addo said this when the outgoing UK High Commissioner, Iain Walker, called on him at the Jubilee House in Accra yesterday to bid him farewell.

Ghana entered into a new trade deal with the UK this year to form the basis for trade between the two nations since the economic partnership agreement between Ghana and the EU was not binding on the UK.

According to President Akufo-Addo, the new arrangement with the UK had created a good condition for Ghana to trade effectively with the European nation.

The President congratulated the outgoing High Commissioner for a successful tour of duty in the country and urged him to be an ambassador for the country in his new endeavour.

“We appreciate very much the work you have done here,” he said, noting that very important officials from the UK visited Ghana during the tenure of Mr. Walker.

Notable among them, he said, were His Royal Highness, Prince Charles and his wife and, most recently, the UK Home Secretary, Priti Partel.

“The energy and your concern you brought to bare in your work here made it clear to us that you have the best interest of our country at heart,” he said and indicated that the outgoing High Commissioner had set a difficult pattern for his successor to follow.

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