Press spotlights call on African leaders to deepen intra-African trade, others

The call by Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia on Afri¬ca's political and business leaders to develop signature solutions needed to deepen…

The call by Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia on Afri¬ca’s political and business leaders to develop signature solutions needed to deepen intra-African trade, spur impactful investments and bring prosperity to the continent is one of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Friday.The Ghanaian Times reports that the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has charged Africa’s political and business leaders to develop signature solutions needed to deepen intra-African trade, spur impactful investments and bring prosperity to the continent.

Opening the maiden edition of the Africa Prosperity Dialogues (APD), at Adukrom, in the Eastern Region yesterday, he pointed out three main areas that needed attention to bring Africa’s desired transformation.

They are smart investments in critical infrastructure, unleashing of productive capacities across the continent, and mobilisation of finance and investments to bridge the infrastructure gap and generate sustainable growth.

“As key stakeholders, we must consolidate the successes so far and, with a sense of urgency, develop the signature solutions needed to deepen intra-African trade and spur impactful investments needed to bring prosperity to the continent and its people. And we must do this with fearless determination,” Dr Bawumia said.

Dubbed the Kwahu Summit, the first of the annual dialogues, is a three-day event has brought together Africa’s political and business leaders to discuss intra-Africa trade, with a focus on the Africa Conti­nental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

It is under the theme “AfCFTA: From Ambition to Action, Delivering Prosperity through Continental Trade”.

“The time has come for Africa and Africans to define our own narrative. Africa can no longer allow poverty and underdevelopment to be the destiny of her peoples, being a continent so blessed with every natural resource imaginable oil, gas, minerals, and sunshine,” Dr Bawumia said.

The newspaper says that the Ghanaian Times and the Ghana National Gas Company Limited (GNGCL) are to collaborate and educate the public on the nat¬ural gas and gas-based resources of the country.

They would roll out a series of publications to keep Ghanaians abreast of the work being done by the mid-stream gas business company and the contribution of the sector in power generation.

This came to light yesterday when GNGCL’s Communication Officers; Harry Aboagye, Tinkaro Asare Osei, and Romeo Oduro paid a courtesy call on the Ghana¬ian Times Editor, David Agbenu, and his deputy Salifu Abdul-Ra¬haman.

Mr Aboagye explained that the visit was to deepen the compa¬ny’s corporate relations with the Ghanaian Times which had been an important media partner over the years.

He said the company valued its relationship with its key partners and would therefore seize any opportunity to draw closer to them, and join forces to showcase the activities of Ghana Gas.

In view of this, he proposed monthly publications on the company’s mandate of operating infrastructure required for the gathering, processing, transporting, and marketing of natural gas resources in Ghana and abroad.

Aside from this collaboration, Mr Aboagye expressed the hope that the two-state institutions would explore other areas of cooperation and execute projects for mutual benefit.

Welcoming the delegation, Mr Agbenu said such visits were good as they helped connect the company to the media whose core mandate is to disseminate information.

He welcomed Mr Aboagye’s proposal for monthly publications and stated the Ghanaian Times’ readiness to churn out accurate information to educate its readers.

“Ghana Gas is a major player in the power sector so the compa¬ny’s input is important. Some will prefer to close their doors but our doors are always open for collaboration,” he said.

Incorporated in July 2011, the GNGC started official production in November 2014. It is responsible for producing and prospecting lean gas, condensate, and liquefied petroleum gas. It also helps to accelerate the nation’s industrial sector.

The Ghanaian Times also reports that Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Herbert Krapa, has called for institution­al collaboration among the Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) in Africa to help promote intra-African trade and attract more investments.

Mr Krapa made the call in Accra on Wednesday at the maiden Annual Assembly of the IPAs organised by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and the African Investment Promotion Agencies.

On the theme “The Role of the IPAS in facilitating intra-African Trade”, it was attended by invest­ment promotion agencies from Angola, Ethiopia, Namibia, South Africa, Liberia, Zimbabwe, DR Congo and South Africa.

The rest are Nigeria, Gambia, United Arab Emirates, Gabon, Botswana, Somalia and Mauritius.

Other international organisations taking part in the programme are African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat, African Develop­ment Bank, International Organisation for Migration and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation.

Opening the programme, Mr Krapa stressed the need for IPAs to work with government institutions in Africa to harmonise trade rules and regulations.

“We have to pay attention to how to standardise regulations and rules to attract trade and investments to the region,” he said.

The Deputy Minister of Trade also emphasised the need for mem­ber countries to focus on infra­structure development to facilitate trade in the African region in order to harness the potentials of the AfCFTA.

The Chief Executive Officer of GIPC, Mr Yofi Grant, in his remarks, said the programme was to discuss measures to promote trade and investment in Africa.

“Without investment, we cannot develop, build together, add value to numerous resources in Africa and trade among ourselves,” he said.

Mr Grant said though Africa was rich with resources and having about 50 per cent of the global gold reserves, it citizens were poor.

That, he said, was because Africa continued to export its natural resources in their raw form without turning them into finished products.

“African countries must posi­tion themselves to take advantage of AfCFTA with a market of 1.4 billion people and a combined Gross Domestic Product of $3.4 trillion,” Mr Grant said.

The Graphic says that the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest Addison, has said that Ghanaians aversion towards the use of coins has an impact on the pricing of goods in the country.

He said in a bid to avoid the use of coins, vendors round off prices and this negatively impacts the Central Bank’s inflation objective.

Emphasising the importance of coins, he said coins were more durable and less costly to produce than currency notes.

The Governor said this when a five member delegation from the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) paid a courtesy call on him.

The delegation was led by the Chairperson, Kathleen Addy.

Dr Addison also appealed to the NCCE to help the BoG in its public education on the proper handling of currency notes.

He lamented that some Ghanaians handle currency notes poorly and urged the NCCE to play a key role in the Bank’s “Clean Notes Campaign” initiative, including helping to educate citizens on the proper handling of the Ghana currency notes.

On her part, Ms Addy mentioned that the purpose of the visit was to introduce herself as the newly appointed Chairperson of the NCCE and to also discuss areas of mutual collaboration.

She stated that the NCCE was an independent, non-partisan governance institution established under the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana with a mandate to educate citizens on their rights and responsibilities, as well as work towards entrenching democracy in Ghana.

Ms. Addy remarked that the NCCE played a key role in the education and sensitisation of the Ghanaian public during the Bank’s Cedi redenomination exercise in 2007.

Ms. Addy expressed gratitude to the Governor for the warm reception at the Bank and welcomed the proposal to intensify public education on the proper handling of the Ghana currency notes.

The Chairperson was accompanied by a Commission Member, Lawyer Victor Brobbey, the Acting Commission Secretary, Mrs. Lucille Hewlett Annan, the Director of Programmes, Dr. Imurana Mohammed and the Director of Finance, Ms. Monica Mamattah.

In the Governor’s team were the First and Second Deputy Governors, Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari and Mrs. Elsie Addo Awadzi, the Director of Research, Dr. Philip Abradu-Otoo, the Bank’s Secretary, Ms. Sandra Thompson and other officials of the Bank.

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