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29

Aug

Ghana To Attract $4bn From America

Recently, Ghana signed a Power Compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), making it the current largest American Government‐funded transaction of President Obama’s Power Africa initiative.The Ghana Power Compact facilitates the investment of up to $498.2 million for the transformation of Ghana’s power sector while also stimulating private investments.

Eventually, the deal is expected to raise more than $4 billion from American and global energy firms. Key among the objectives of this compact is the reformation of laws and regulations required for the revolution of the sector, the provision of a robust framework for private investments and the establishment of a more competitive process for the acquisition of power from independent producers.

“MCC’s Ghana Power Compact takes a system‐wide approach to transforming Ghana’s energy sector,” Dana Hyde, MCC’s CEO said regarding the deal. “The compact invests in projects focused on distribution to make the country’s power utility financially viable and capable of attracting private investment while it also funds initiatives supporting greater energy efficiency and cleaner renewable energy.”

The MCC will provide initial funding of about $308.2 million in order to set the country’s main distribution company on the trajectory to sustainability and then provide an additional $190 million in funding if the country is able to meet a set of reform‐oriented targets listed as part of the compact. Ghana is expected to invest up to $37.4 million of its own funds in the initiative which will also address challenges in the generation, transmission and distribution of energy within the country.

President John Mahama believes the new deal will enable the realization of the “Energy for All” initiative. “This new compact with the MCC demonstrates the growing cooperation between Ghana and the USA. It will benefit millions of our people and contribute immensely to the achievement of my ‘Energy for All’ objective.

The Power Africa Initiative was launched by President Barack Obama last year with the aim of doubling access to electric power on the African continent.

21

Aug

Roads Ministry to Focus on International Corridor Development

The Ministry of Roads and Highways will focus on priority areas to develop the international road corridors to enhance trade opportunities for the country. The road sector minister, Hon. InusahFuseini disclosed this when he took his turn at the ‘meet the press’ series at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Communications.

Hon. Inusah said apart from the Western and Northern corridors which had not yet seen much development as there were on-going works on the Central, Eastern, and Coastal corridors. In the ensuing years the sector would focus on efficiently managing projects on those corridors to ensure that deliverables were realised early to support trade and economic activities, he added.

The Roads Minster also disclosed that the sector had been collaborating with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on the development of the ECOWAS and the Trans-African Highways which included Ghana’s coastal and central corridors.

Hon. InusahFuseini reaffirmed Government’s commitment to improve the road infrastructure deficit in the country since road transportation would remain one of the strategic sectors of Ghana’s economy. He said it formed an important part of the social safety net, facilitating the distribution of wealth through trade and employment opportunities in both urban and rural communities. It was for that reason investment in road infrastructure and services was very critical.

He added that Ghana’s ability to achieve her target for growth and poverty reduction largely depends on an efficient, reliable and safe road infrastructure system which was adequate and affordable.

21

Aug

Process for the establishment of a national airline begins

Accra, Aug 21, GNA – Ghana would soon boost of its own airline as the Ministry of Transport has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with PWC Ghana and the World Bank for the commencement of the Technical Advisory Services.

The Technical Advisory Services would involve the undertaking of various business studies, development of plans, financial and economic models, provision of advice and the management of a procurement process including the preparation of bidding documents, evaluation and negotiations for the engagement of a Private Sector Partner.

The Technical Advisory Services which had been sponsored by the World Bank would also involve the preparation of bidding documents, evaluation and negotiations for the engagement of a Private Sector Partner with proven expertise in the airline business to partner Government to establish and run the national airline would be undertaken by PWC Ghana.

Speaking at the signing of the MOU on Wednesday, Mrs DzifaAttivor, Minister of Transport, said the establishment of a new airline for Ghana would bring back Ghana’s pride in the aviation sector and also establish a reliable home-based national airline to provide regional, sub-regional and inter-continental air transport services.

“It is also in line with the Ministry’s policy of making the Kotoka International Airport an aviation hub within the West African sub-region and also compete with other carriers operating in the country and could force fares down to the benefit of the travelling Ghanaian public,” she said. She said the Transaction Advisors were expected to work closely with the Ministry of Transport as well as the Ministry of Finance to ensure that the project is brought to a financial closure in an efficient and timely manner to achieve the desired objectives.

Mrs Attivor said the project was in tune with Government’s decision to embrace the Public Private Partnership (PPP) option as an alternative financing arrangement that would ensure adequate investment in the provision and maintenance of various infrastructure and services in the country.

She intimated that in the transport sector, there were enormous pressures from the citizenry, civil society organisations and the entire population for an improved delivery of infrastructure and services in all modes of transportations including the establishment of an airline.

“Following the development of a PPP policy framework by Government therefore, the Ministry of Transport has for the past few months been working closely with the Public Investment Division (PID) of the Ministry of Finance on a number of projects in the transport sector which have been proposed to be financed through PPPs.

“Two key projects among these are the Boankra Inland Port and the Eastern Railway Line Project and the Establishment of a National Airline,” she added.

Mr DjibrillaIssa, Lead Specialist for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, World Bank, noted that although Ghana had been able to reduce its poverty level, it still had issue to address as far as its infrastructure was concerned adding that PPP would be one of the best options to address it. He pledged the World Bank’s readiness to help Ghana develop projects which would be beneficial to the socio-economic development of the country.

Mr Felix Addo, Country Senior Partner, PWC Ghana, said an MOU has been signed with the Ministry of Transport for the Boankra Inland Port and the Eastern Railway Line.

He said pwc (Ghana) would ensure that lessons learnt in the past concerning the concerning the collapse the previous airline would be brought to bear in the establishment of the new one.

20

Aug

Weston Oil And Gas Fund Launched

The Weston Oil and Gas Fund (WOGFund) has been launched to assist companies and other agencies involved in the oil and gas business.

WOGFund is the first mutual fund of Weston Capital, a limited liability company incorporated in Ghana. Speaking at the launch in Accra, today, the CEO of Weston Capital, Mr Rex Kontor, said WOGFund was a publicly-incorporated Ghanaian company that would invest primarily in a diversified portfolio of debt instruments and equities of companies operating in the Oil and Gas sector.

Mr Kontor said the Fund was initially offering 500,000 shares and had Weston Capital as its manager with Zenith bank as its custodian.He said the fund was opened to the general public and institutional investors with a minimum subscription of 200 shares, adding that individuals with a minimum of 50 Cedis could make an initial investment in the Fund and consequently in the Oil and Gas sector.

On the objectives, Mr Kontor said, the fund would support the drive for local participation in the Oil and Gas industry by helping build the financial capacity of local companies operating in the sector.In addition, he said, the Fund would encourage and assist Bulk Distribution Companies (BDCs), Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and other businesses to issue corporate bonds.On support for the upstream industry, Mr Kontor said, that Blackstone Group and Warburg Pincus had initially invested US $300 million in Kosmos in 2014 to help it explore for Oil in Ghana.

In his remarks, the Director-General of the Security and Exchange Commission, Mr AduAnaneAntwi, disclosed that 35 investing schemes had been licensed and were currently operating in Ghana.He said WOGFund would offer investors an additional fund for management and would focus on investing into majority companies involved in Oil and Gas. “Ghana is now an Oil and Gas producing country and it should reflect on the stock exchange market,” Mr AnaneAntwi noted.He said the challenge to investor education was funding and that the introduction of WOGFund onto the market marked the birth of specialty fund.

06

Aug

Ghana’s Mineral Sector Holds Potentials For Investors

The Chief Executive of the Minerals Commission, Dr. Tony Aubynnhasreiterated that the country’s mineral sector still holds potential for investors who want to venture into mining.

He said the sector is abound with lesser known minerals which have not been fully explored and exploited such as kaolin, solar salt, clay, marble, mica, limestone, iron ore, zinc among others. He further hinted that, recent air borne geophysical findings in Ghana have indicated the occurrence of some additional minerals including; copper, barite, phosphate, uranium, lead, chromites and columbite.

Dr. Aubynn (second right) with Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barak (third right)

Dr. Aubynn said this when the former Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barak visited the Minerals Commission on an investment mission to Ghana. Dr. Aubynn assured his guest that Ghana is safe haven for investment and that, the mining sector has clear guidelines and laws that regulates the industry to ensure sustainable exploitation of the country’s minerals in line with international best practices. Mr. Barak said he is interested in investing in Ghana’s minerals sector due to the opportunities and potentials available as well as the country’s democratic credentials.

He thanked the Minerals Commission for giving him an insight into the minerals sector and was hopeful that at the end his tour, a business decision would be made for him to invest in Ghana. The former Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Ehud Barak is visiting the country for the first time and is already excited about the country’s investment prospects.

01

Aug

Tema Harbour to undergo massive rehabilitation

The Tema Port is to undergo the biggest-ever expansion at an estimated cost of $1 billion, President John DramaniMahama has announced. The project, to be undertaken by the government with private sector participation, will, among other things, tremendously increase the capacity of access routes and cargo handling spaces.

Inaugurating new handling equipment for the Meridian Port Services (MPS) at the Tema Port yesterday, the President said the expansion would position the Tema Port to compete for the best port in Africa. He consequently challenged MPS, which is West Africa’s biggest cargo handling company, to partner the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) to bring the project into fruition in the shortest possible time.

Equipment

Equipment inaugurated at the ceremony included nine cranes and a four-megawatt electricity-generating plant. They are expected to enhance the operations of the company by improving efficiency in terminal handling and easing congestion at the port. President Mahama said when the Tema Port was established 52 years ago, the volume of cargo it could handle was less than 100,000 TEUs, but currently it could handle about 1 million TEUs. TEU is the standard unit for describing a ship’s cargo-carrying capacity. “That is a phenomenal increase but that increase has occurred in a situation in which the port has not expanded proportionately to accommodate the cargo,” he added. That was the reason why the government intended to go for a major expansion to make Tema the best in Africa, the President stated.

Details of port expansion

Giving details, President Mahama said the government intended to link the port with an efficient rail and road transport network. “In this regard, government is planning to build a new interchange at the Tema Roundabout to reduce the traffic to and from the port,” he said. The Accra-Tema Motorway is also to be expanded from four lanes to six lanes. With regard to rail transport, President Mahama said rehabilitation of the Western rail line from Takoradi to Kumasi would start in the very near future to help move some of the containers to Takoradi to serve the middle and northern belts of the country. “We also have a transaction advisor handling procurement of the Eastern railway line to link the Boankra inland port which has been standing as a white elephant for many years,” President Mahama said.

He further indicated that an 80-km rail line was being designed to link Tema to Akosombo, which on completion would direct cargo from Tema to the Buipe Inland port to serve the three regions of the north, as well as Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali.

Competition

President Mahama said the country’s ports were competing with others in West Africa, and shippers would naturally prefer the port that had the quickest turnaround time and best efficiency in handling cargo.

The Chairman of the Board of MPS, AlhajiAsuma Banda, said Ghanaians and other nationals doing business in Ghana recognised the importance of the Tema Port and that was why everything had to be done to enhance activities at the port. He said MPS would continue to be a leader in port handling in West Africa and even beyond.

The Chief Executive Officer of MPS, Mr Mohammed Samara, said inadequate and underdeveloped infrastructure at the ports could hamper business development in the country. He said it was for that reason that MPS had systematically invested heavily in infrastructure to meet the needs of its clients..


Source: Daily Graphic

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