Category Archives: Business

Divorce of Barclays PLC, Barclays Africa won’t affect banking in Africa – expert

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A banking and finance expert, Dr. Laud Mensah has allayed fears the pulling out of Barclays PLC from Africa could trickle down to other banks.

Barclays Africa Group agreed to terms for operational separation with UK-based Barclays PLC, which is reducing its shareholding in Barclays Africa.

The agreement is however expected to unlock opportunities for Barclays Africa as an independent pan African bank.

Barclays PLC submitted an application to the South African Reserve Bank for approval to reduce its shareholding in Barclays Africa Group to below 50%.

This has raised mixed reactions in the banking sector, with fears that this might trigger more pullouts in the African market.

But speaking with 3FM business, Dr. Laud Mensah assured that there is no cause for alarm.

“The market is growing, Africa is expanding; Barclays had a mission and they have fulfilled it, so that is it. I don’t see this trickling down or a trend developing any moment from now, from the other foreign banks”, he cleared.

He added that the African market is still profitable and viable for more banking investments

“When you talk about profitability Africa is profitable and a frontier market. There is a lot activity on going and I don’t think it’s about profitability. The African market still growing and any bank can survive here”.

By Grace Asare |3FM|3news.com

Assembly members, others schooled on monitoring budgetary allocations

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A day’s workshop on how to monitor budgetary allocations  to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) has been held in Tamale for some assembly members and community-based organisations in the three northern regions.

The capacity building workshop was aimed at equipping the participants to be able to track how resources allocated to various assemblies are expended.

It was on the theme ‘Building Transparency, participation and feedback around local government plan and budget processes’.

Northern Regional Manager of CDD, Paul Osei-Kuffour, observed that in many African policies, budgets and plans have traditionally been esigned away from the public view.

He indicated that budget transparency in the country has predominantly focused on national government with minimal attention paid to sub-national structures such as Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs)

He said bureaucrats and teams of experts have provided little opportunity for inputs from ordinary community members, which he said, overlook the needs of various societal priorities, especially marginalized groups such as women and person with disabilities.

Mr Osei-Kuffour said although Ghana is among the few sub-Sahara African countries rated high on budget transparency, the country’s performance has declined from an average of 54% in 2010 to 51% in 2015 and challenged the citizenry to hold government accountable.

The Regional Director of National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Shani Abul-Razak said one of the major obstacle that derails the development of the country is the bureaucracy, which he said hinders development at the district level.

He therefore appealed to assembly members to be non-partisan to enable them hold Chief Executives, whose personal decisions are deemed final, accountable to the people.

The Director said information indicates that some assemblies write minutes of meetings that never took place.

By Zackaria Abdul Kadiri|3news.com|Ghana

PEF to support Akufo-Addo’s ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’

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The Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF) has declared its readiness to partner the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) in the implementation of the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs Programme’.

PEF says its interest in the programme will primarily be focused on adding value to the raw agricultural products to come out of the programme.

Executives of PEF made the pledge when they interacted with the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto and Minister of Business Development, Mr. Mohammed Awal, at a roundtable discussion last Wednesday.

The aim of the meeting was to seek more clarity about government’s flagship Agriculture Policy and to explore avenues of investment opportunities.

The Federation was particularly delighted at the efforts by government and the Ministry of Agriculture to increase production of local crops for both domestic and industrial consumption.

The discussion further touched on the strengthening of regional ties in terms of commodity exchange in order to enhance trading in the West African sub-region.

Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto reiterated the commitment of government to partner the private sector in the development of the economy.

He said the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ programme would be private sector-driven, assuring that the government will comprehensively engage corporate bodies whose activities have direct link to agriculture.

The Minister for Business Development, Mr. Mohammed Awal, also touched on the proposed 20 million-dollar package set aside by government in the budget to support the growth and development of the private sector.

By Edward Kwabi|3news.com|Ghana

Capital & More boss is Microfinance Personality of the Year

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Mrs Oppong-Tawiah [ third from right] in a group photo with some staff of Capital & More

Managing Director of Capital and More Microfinance Company Limited, Akosua Oppong-Tawiah, has been adjudged the best Microfinance Personality of the Year 2016 for her outstanding contribution and expertise to the financial sub-sector.

She has over the years helped in designing specially crafted products and services to meet specific needs of the unbanked in Ghana, particularly women and traders, something that continue to make significant contributions to the end user and society.

Mrs Oppong-Tawiah received a plague and a citation for the award, which was given her at this year’s National Women in Finance Awards; Ghana’s prestigious and first-ever award that seeks to recognize deserving female professionals in the financial industry.Organised by the National Women in Finance Magazine, the award scheme since also seeks to inspire, motivate and coach the current and next generation of women finance professionals to aspire to greater heights of individual and corporate excellence.

The MD dedicated her award to women and the Ghana Microfinance Companies (GAMC), which she is an executive member.

“As a female managing director, I made it my business to stand out… It hasn’t been easy but I thank god for the support that I have from my family, from the awesome staff of Capital and More,” Mrs Oppong-Tawiah said in her acceptance speech.

She said it was humbling and an honour to have been adjudged the Microfinance Personality of the Year 2016, noting that the award would spur her on to do more to enhance access and reach to her business.“Winning this award has made me more aware of the importance of microfinance to Women empowerment and poverty alleviation.

“As the microfinance personality of the year, I’m challenged to do my best in terms of  staying compliant with regulations and improve  Capital and More’s capacity to serve people who are financially excluded and the under-banked,” she told 3News in an interview.

She said she would strive to improve the working knowledge of the staff members of Capital and More in order to focus on wealth creation for the company’s valued customers.

Credential

Mrs Oppong-Tawiah has been the managing director of Capital and More since June 2015, and been responsible for the management and implementation of the company’s strategic vision to ensure shareholder value.

MD of Capital & More, Mrs Oppong-Tawiah

Prior to that, she was the Business Development and Corporate Sales manager for  ESICH Life Assurance Company Limited for over three years, having served as served as an Assistant Manager at Ecobank Ghana Limited for over three years.

She holds an MBA in International Finance, Mergers and Acquisition from the De Montfort University in the United Kingdom, and Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Ghana.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana

COCOBOD to sack about 300 staff employed from 2013?

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Snippets of information gathered by 3news.com have revealed plans by the government to dismiss most of the staff employed at Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) under the previous government from 2013.

Sources suggest that the agency has already carried out a directive by the Agric Minister to the human resource department of COCOBOD to compile and supply him with list of persons employed from 2013.

About 300 staff working at the Cocoa Marketing Company (CMC), Quality Control Company (QCC), Seed Production Division (SPD), Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) and Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) will all be affected by the move.

An insider at COCOBOD who confirmed the impending dismissal noted that days after the sector minister assumed office, he requested the Director of Finance and Administration, William Mensah to provide him with letters proving that those employed from 2013 duly applied for employment.

After the application letters were submitted, another directive came in asking for document suggesting those who submitted letters went through the right process. After clearing these hurdles, the HR department, 3news.com gathered received verbal communication from William Mensah to submit to the minister the marks those employed from 2013 scored during the interview.

When everything was satisfied that due process was followed in employing them, our sources said the powers that be further demanded that the employees’ positions match with the requisite qualifications irrespective of experiences acquired over the years and going through several appraisers among others.

This, the sources say, has created some discomfort for the yet-to-be confirmed chief executive of COCOBOD Joseph Aidoo and Hackman Owusu Agyeman who has been named as board chairman of COCOBOD. The Board is expected to be inaugurated next week.


A staff at COCOBOD who was employed before 2013 and would not be affected by the mass dismissal told 3news.com most of her colleagues are feeling uneasy.

“If these people are sacked, it will undermine job security for middle class workers, because NDC may consider it as a pure political decision and are likely to take revenge when they win power again, creating unprecedented vindictive cycle of job instability at COCOBOD,” the lady who does not want to be named lamented.

She suggested that since these employees went through all the processes it would be awful to dismiss them because there is a mismatch between their qualification and department they were placed by the employer. For instance irrespective of the fact that the person is performing well, if he holds degree in economics, he would be sacked because he currently finds himself at the communications department, she explained.

Another worker who is likely to be affected noted that it has always been the practice at COCOBOD to send persons reassigned to a different unit to go to Bunso Cocoa College in the Eastern region where COCOBOD staff get their technical training from.

“Better still we should be allowed to acquire additional qualification perhaps a diploma in addition to our degree to fit into the department we have been placed as the minister wishes,” the staff said.

Attempts to get Mr. William Mensah who has been very instrumental in the massive dismissal process as well as the office of the Public Relations Unit of COCOBOD for confirmation have not been successful. 3news.com is however following the fluid situation there.

The latest development comes on the back of an earlier house cleaning exercise at COCOBOD where 11 top managers were asked to proceed on leave last month.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by COCOBOD today stated in part, “The management of Ghana Cocoa Board wishes to bring to the attention of its stakeholders, staff and in fact all Ghanaians that COCOBOD has not dismissed any staff over the past two months upon the assumption of the new management and does not intend to dismiss any staff on frivolous reasons.”

The statement urged “all staff to remain calm as their employment and well-being are of paramount concern to management”.

Source: 3news.com | Ghana

Agriculture must move from donor-dependency to profitable trade-driven

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Agricultural growth needs to move from donor-dependency to profitable trade-driven agriculture. That’s coming from the President Ghana Agricultural Chamber of Commerce.

Some analysts have attributed the decrease in agricultural investment, as well as a decline in the performance of the agricultural sector to low public investments.

Majority of Africa’s population live in the rural areas and agriculture is the main source of such dwellers’ livelihood.  Meanwhile, access to agricultural credit is a challenge in developing countries.

The agric sector investments usually come from donor agencies rather than government committing its own resources to the sector.

But President Ghana Agricultural Chamber of Commerce, Philip Abayori believes agriculture in the country must not be hinged on donor funds.

Agriculture plays a vital role in the national economy but it is predominantly dependent on natural rainfall. Irrigated agriculture on a fairly limited scale is a recent phenomenon and it is necessitated largely by the seasonality and unreliability of natural rainfall, he added.

Philip Abayori also says the development and management of irrigation, over the period has been characterized by difficulties notably weak database, excessive cost, environmental problems.

He is also calling on government to invest in agric irrigations rather than the sector being climate driven.

“Irrigation capacity utilisation on existing schemes is very low hence the need for a broad policy objectives to promote irrigation development and management”.

Desmond Frimpong/3FM 92.7/3news.com/

Shareholders of $1.5b Tema Port Expansion project meet Akufo-Addo

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Shareholders of the 1.5 billion-dollar Tema Port Expansion project on Thursday called on Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to congratulate him on his election and assumption of office as the President of Ghana.

The shareholders,  Bolloré Transport & Logistics, APM Terminals and Meridian Port Services Ltd, were led by Cyrille Bolloré, Chairman of Bolloré Transport & Logistics who they have been buoyed up by the vision and determination of President Akufo-Addo to ensure that the private sector regains its right of place in Ghana’s economic setup.

He applauded President Akufo-Addo “for taking Ghana into a new era of business development.”

He told the President that Bolloré Ports, a subsidiary of Bolloré Transport & Logistics, is the number one port infrastructure operator in Africa and is also the leading container terminal management company on the continent.

Together with APM Terminals and Meridian Port Services Ltd, he indicated that the financing required to execute the Tema Port Expansion Project had been secured, and the project is currently ongoing.

Mr Bolloré sad the expansion of the Tema port would improve Ghana’s trade competiveness, facilitate trade growth and improve revenue mobilisation. The project, he added, will allow Tema Port to accommodate some of the world’s largest container ships, and improve cargo handling services and capacity.

Upon its completion, Cyrille Bolloré added the project will enhance the position of the Tema Port as the leading maritime hub in the region.

Mohammed Samara, CEO of Meridian Port Services, the executing contractors of the project, told the President that the project falls within the GPHA Master Plan for the development of Tema Port, under the Concession Agreement that was granted in 2004.

Under the project, Samara indicated that a project to upgrade the Accra-Tema Motorway into a six-lane, modern highway along with improved, connecting arterial roads, would be undertaken.

This project, he added, will be financed solely with funds from the shareholders.

On his part, President Akufo-Addo thanked the group for the courtesy of their visit and stated that the major preoccupation of his government is the creation of a good business climate for businesses to thrive.

He was, thus, pleased that companies like Bolloré Transport & Logistics, APM Terminals and Meridian Port Services Ltd. have thought of Ghana as the place to do business and invest.

With the port expansion project having commenced in the last few months of the tenure of the previous government, President Akufo-Addo assured that his government, having convinced itself of its viability and immense benefits of the project for the economy, will not abrogate the contract.

“If we can convince more and more companies like yours to invest in our country, then we can thrive as a nation. Be assured that the presence of a new government does not mean the abrogation of genuine contracts entered into by the previous government. You have my support to proceed,” he added.

By 3news|presidency|Ghana

Ghana’s economy faces further downgrade as debt hit GHC122billion

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An economist, Courage Kinsley Martey, is warning Ghana’s economy is likely to be downgraded further by international rating agencies.

His prediction is premised on the country’s rising debt.

Ghana’s total debt stock had risen from GHc9.5 billion in 2009 to GH¢122 billion by the end of 2016, representing 74 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), per figures from the Finance Ministry.

Ghana is currently rated B3 with a negative outlook by Moodys, B negative with a stable outlook by S&P and B with a negative outlook by Fitch. But there is fear the economy’s rating will still go down.

Speaking with 3FM business, economist Courage Kinsley Martey “Currently,  our credit rating is not the best and our current rating is about 6 notches below investment grade.

“If we do not show some commitment to fiscal discipline and our debt continues up, then we will be downgraded further,” he added.

He argued a further downgrade of the economy can cause a dip in investor confidence in the country.
“This means that there is a great warning to investors that, an investment in Ghana is great risk”, he added

By Grace Asare|3news.com|Ghana

Use Ghana@60 logo for free – Committee tells Ghanaians, businesses

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Small scale printing businesses, individuals and organisations wishing to use the Ghana@60 logo will not be charged or made to pay royalties for the patent, the 60th anniversary committee has announced.

However, the Akosombo Textile Limited is the only textile company with the legal right to print the anniversary cloth for the celebration, which was unveiled in Accra Thursday.

The 30-member committee has explained the decision followed a directive by the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Chairman of the planning committee, Lord Commey, has said that the committee has no business whatsoever in the selling of the anniversary cloth, noting that aspect has been given to the producers.

“Apart from the cloth, the planning committee has decided base on the recommendations of the president,  that our logo and theme should be owned by all Ghanaians especially small and medium enterprises to serve as a source of income,” he said.

The decision is expected to be a boost for the printing industry, which is set to capitalise on the anniversary to rack in some money through the printing of various paraphernalia for sale to the public.In 2007 when Ghana celebrated its Golden Jubilee, companies and persons were charged at least GHC10,000 before being given the right to use the Ghana@50 logo.

Speaking at the inauguration of the 30-member committee, to Mr Ken Amankwa who chairs the committee, said President Akufo-Addo’s decision is geared at creating job opportunities for Ghanaians as the country celebrates its 60th birthday on March 6.

By Maxwell Otoo|Onua FM|3news.com

I support review of all power agreements – Deputy Minority Leader

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The Deputy Minority Leader, James Klutse Avedzi has indicated his support for a review by the NPP government of all power agreements signed by the erstwhile NDC administration.

The Member of Parliament for Ketu North was among a stakeholder panel to review President Akufo-Addo’s State of the Nation Address on 3FM’s Morning show –Sunrise.

Speaking to Sunrise host Winston Amoah, Mr. Avedzi said, “I support [it], the President should review it. I believe strongly that he is doing it in the interest of Ghana. So if he thinks that there is any of those agreements that needs to be renegotiated that will ensure that we have a very low tariff for the people of this country, why not, I will support it fully.”

President Akufo-Addo, in his maiden State of the Nation address to Parliament on Tuesday, described the energy sector as being “heavily indebted” and as such, he will review all power agreements as part of moves aimed at easing government expenditure in the sector.

By Ibs Sackey-Rockson/3FM92.7/3news.com