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BUSINESS NEWS | GHANA AND BEYOND / THE GHANA CEDI APPRECIATED BY 0.4% TO THE DOLLAR

🚩Latest figures from the Bank of Ghana’s Summary of Economic and Financial Data show that Ghana’s debt stock rose by GH¢13 billion to hit GH¢304.6 billion as of March 2021, representing 70.2% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The additional GH¢13 billion debt came about between December 2020 and March 2021. The $3 billion Eurobond raised by the government in March substantially constituted to the GH¢13 billion rise in debt. Ghana’s total debt stock, as of December 2020 was GH¢291.6 billion. Of the total debt stock, the domestic debt is GH¢163.6 (37.3% of GDP) as of the end of March 2021. The external debt component was GH¢141 billion (37.7% of GDP).

🚩The Ghana cedi appreciated by 0.4% to the dollar in the first five months of this year, according to data from the Bank of Ghana. It also increased in value to the euro by 1.0%, but depreciated by -3.3% to the British pound. However, since the cedi is pegged to the dollar as the main currency for foreign exchange transcations, the appreciation of the cedi to the dollar comes as a good omen to the economy. The cedi’s strong performance has been attributed to the Bank of Ghana’s Forex Forward Auction which ensures there is adequate dollars in circulation, a diversified export commodities and reduce imports.

🚩China has provided a US$130-million facility to upgrade five technical universities and 10 technical institutions in the country. The facility, under the Ghana-China project, a joint initiative, between the government and China aimed at enhancing vocational training by growing talent for industries through the establishment of advanced training. Under the project, the beneficiary institutions would see an upgrade in the construction of State-of-the-Art training workshops for mechanical, automobile, civil and welding engineering, among others. Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister, who disclosed this, affirmed the government determination to prioritise Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) as the sure way to push national industrialization drive to achieve a “Ghana beyond aid”.

🚩Ghana’s Ministry of Finance has revealed Sustainable Development Goal 17 received the highest budgetary allocation from government for the 2020 fiscal year owing to priority areas. According to the 2020 SDGs report, government spent an amount of GH¢35 million for development and economic growth within the SDG Goal 17 which focuses on “Strengthening the means of implementation and revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development”. The report which was launched virtually by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta on May 27, 2021, showed that SDG Goal 5, which focuses on gender equality, received the least funding for expenditure. Ken Ofori Atta, giving his remarks assured of government’s resolve to deepen partnership with the private sector towards achieving a fruitful implementation of the sustainable development goals.

🚩Government, through the Minerals Commission, Friday out doored a mercury-free technology for processing gold ore in compliance with the Minamata Convention. The technology, known as ‘Mercury-free Alluvial Processing Technology’ can extract 90 percent pure gold from the gold ore without adding any mercury and comes in different versions such as movable and non-movable ones and could be operated by using electricity or diesel respectively. It was manufactured by Commodity Monitor, a Ghanaian-owned engineering firm and registered by the Minerals Commission for processing gold ore in Ghana without endangering the environment. It will cost between US$40,000 and US$45,000 to assemble the full components of the equipment, comprising a crasher, miller, processor, polytank and smelter.

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Prince Henry Danquah

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