Press zooms in on appeal to African nations to stop annual illicit outflows of $88bn, others

The call by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on African nations to collaborate and institute stringent measures to stem the…

The call by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on African nations to collaborate and institute stringent measures to stem the disturbing annual illicit outflows of $88 billion from the continent is one of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Monday.The Graphic reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on African nations to collaborate and institute stringent measures to stem the disturbing annual illicit outflows of $88 billion from the continent.

He said stern attention was required to arrest the situation immediately because the phenomenon was depriving Africa of significant resources that could be used to support its development agenda.

President Akufo-Addo made the call when he addressed the closing ceremony of the three-day African Prosperity Dialogues (APD) at the Peduase Presidential Lodge in the Eastern Region last Saturday.

We need to pay serious attention to and arrest illicit financial outflows out of the continent, which are estimated at about $88 billion dollars annually, depriving Africa of significant resources that could be used to support our development agenda.”

“We need concrete measures to stop the systemic impoverishment of our continent and theft of its resources,” President Akufo-Addo stressed.

President Akufo-Addo, who has been touting the AfCFTA as one major policy when implemented fully would help in developing the continent, noted that already the continent had achieved some 90 per cent convergence of the rules of origin with the exception of a few commodities and $9 billion worth of investments had been secured by the AfCFTA secretariat.

He, however, indicated that there was a great deal of work to be done to realise the full benefits of intra-African trade and also suggested four fundamental elements to its progress, including stopping the illegal inflows.

Additionally, President Akufo-Addo suggested the need to invest in productive capacity, critical infrastructure and continue to embark on policies that would deepen industrialisation, digital transformation, skills upgrading and infrastructure development.

The newspaper says that Independent oil and gas, exploration and production group, Tullow, has projected to invest $300 million in its operations in Ghana.

The money will be spent mainly on its Jubilee operations and will include over $100 million in infrastructure.

The company’s planned investment in Ghana is part of a $400 million amount the company intends to spend this year on its operations in Africa.

An amount of $40 million will be spent in Gabon; $20 million in Côte d’Ivoire; $10 million in Kenya and $30 million on exploration and appraisal activities.

The company’s annual expenditure is an increase of $50 million compared to 2022 as a consequence of deferrals from that year, increased equity in Ghana for the full year, and ongoing infrastructure investment in Jubilee South East, which will account for 40 per cent of Ghana capital spend in 2023.

The company said its decommissioning expenditure is expected to be $90 million in the United Kingdom (UK) and Mauritania, including deferrals from 2022, with less than $30 million of decommissioning liabilities in the UK and Mauritania remaining at the end of 2023.

“Additionally, starting in 2023, $30 million is expected to be paid annually into escrow for future decommissioning of currently producing assets in Ghana and parts of the non-operated portfolio,” it said.

It said, cash taxes are expected to be in excess of $300 million in in the year under review (at $80/bbl) as historical capital allowances in Ghana will have been fully utilised in the first quarter of 2023.

The Graphic also reports that Ghana cedi has depreciated by a substantial 19.1 per cent to the US dollar this January [2023].

According to the Summary of Economic and Financial Data from the Bank of Ghana seen by Graphic Business, the cedi sold at ¢10.60 to one US dollar in January 2023 on the interbank market, compared with ¢8.57 in December, 2022.

The central bank, however, pegged the cedi depreciation to the American greenback in 2022 to 30 per cent.

For the pound and the euro, the local currency lost 21.4 per cent and 20.7 per cent in value respectively in January 2023.

The local currency came under severe pressure to the American currency in January 2023 after recording some sustained stability in the greater part of December 2022.

This was after Ghana reached a Staff-Level Agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

By this depreciation the cedi follows its trend to become the second weakest currency among 15 top currencies in Sub-Saharan Africa in January 2023. It is still currently in that position.

It sold at ¢13.10 to one US dollar on the forex or retail market, but has since improved very slightly in value to ¢12.90.

The cedi recorded a sustained stability to the dollar and the major foreign currencies this week.

According to experts the marginal gain by the cedi to the barter of gold-for-oil programme which has eased pressure on forex to import oil into the country.

The Ghanaian Times says that Ghana’s record in the delivery of social and economic rights and advancements in civil and political rights are strong indicators of the nation’s good human rights record, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame has stated.

He was speaking at the Fourth Cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on January 24.

Mr Dame who led a high powered Ghanaian delegation from different state institutions told member states that Ghana had a stellar record in providing access to good quality education to persons with disability, good health care and protection of the rights of (LGBTQ).

Touching on Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill currently before Parliament, Mr Dame said the office of Attorney-General had submitted its opinion to Parliament to ensure the Bill was in compliance with the provisions of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, particularly, Chapter “5” which relates to fundamental human rights and freedoms.”

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, under whose stewardship a Community Sentencing Bill had been enacted and undergoing consultation, said when passed into law, it would help decongest the prisons.

He said Ghana uses technology to register new births, migrants at refugee camps and those seeking asylum.

While acknowledging that no nation could boast of achieving universal rights for citizens, Mr Dame said Ghana had a formidable reputation in protecting the rights and freedoms of Ghanaians.

“I am confident that you will all agree with me that attaining a perfect human rights record is an exercise in progress, and that no Member State can claim perfection. However, we go back home confident about the credentials of Ghana as a strong democratic nation with a formidable reputation in the protection of human rights and freedoms of all persons and with an independent and fearless Judiciary ready to provide a remedy for abuses”.

He recalled that Ghana in 2017, Ghana accepted and implemented 212 out of 241 recommendations made during the 3rd cycle review.

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