The report that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his wife, Rebecca, yesterday joined dignitaries from across the world at Westminster Abbey, London, for the memorable state funeral of the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II is one of the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Tuesday.
The Graphic reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his wife, Rebecca, yesterday joined dignitaries from across the world at Westminster Abbey, London, for the memorable state funeral of the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.
The President arrived in the UK capital last Sunday and paid tribute to the late British monarch, 96, as he signed the book of condolence opened in her honour at Lancaster House in London.
He said the queen had overseen the "dramatic transformation" of the Commonwealth into a global "force for good" during her 70-year reign.
“We appreciate it very much her relationship with the Commonwealth. We saw a dramatic transformation from a nation of eight countries when she went on the throne to 56 at the time of her death,” President Akufo-Addo said in a brief message to the people after signing the book of condolence.
He added that the Commonwealth, during the Queen’s reign, had become a very important institution in global affairs, comprising one-third of the world’s population and a definite force in the global arena.
The Queen until 1960 was the country’s head of state. In the colonial era, the period before March 6, 1957, her constitutional roles were delegated to the Governor-General who represented the Queen in the country.
In 1952, when Dr Kwame Nkrumah became Prime Minister, Queen Elizabeth II was still the head of state with the prime minister being the head of government.
However, in 1957 she granted a full independence to Ghana, leading to a new Constitution in 1960, under which Dr Nkrumah was elected first President under the republican constitution.
The Queen visited Ghana in 1961 and also in 1999.
The newspaper says that the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has urged investors to consider the huge opportunities that exist in Ghana and direct their investment into the country for higher returns.
He said the stable political atmosphere, coupled with the prevailing peace, made Ghana a better investment destination of choice than its counterparts on the continent.
“As the host of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Ghana has been placed in pole position to lead Africa’s economic and financial renaissance.
“This means that when you come to do business in Ghana, you are only opening your own door to access the entire African continent. We look forward to seeing you soon,” Mr Nkrumah added.
The minister was addressing the Diaspora investor community at the end of the six-day Ghana-Canada Investment Summit (GCIS) organised by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) in Toronto, Canada.
Mr Nkrumah, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ofoase/Ayirebi, described Ghana as a fertile ground for investment where businesses thrived due to its stable economic atmosphere, and, therefore, urged prospective investors, especially those from Canada, to consider Ghana as the gateway to a wider African market.
He said Ghana had a variety of investment vehicles available for every investor class which offered higher returns than other African countries, and cited the high returns in investment on equity markets and the high yields of Government of Ghana bonds as examples.
He further called for the support of Ghanaians in the Diaspora, saying they had a crucial role to play towards the growth and development of the country.
The GCIS brought together delegates from the international investor community, especially from Canada, venture capitalists, private equity fund managers, among others.
The participants discussed and explored viable investment opportunities within various sectors of the Ghanaian economy.
The newspaper reports that Netherlands and the United Kingdom (UK) were the two biggest markets for the country’s non-traditional exports (NTEs) last year.
The two absorbed a total of $424 million worth NTEs, representing a rise of 10.67 per cent over the 2020 earnings.
Germany followed closely with goods worth $178.59 million in the period under review, representing an increase of 38.69 per cent over the 2020 performance, while France consumed US$155.54 million, an increase of 37.07 per cent from 2020 figures.
This is according to report launched by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) dubbed: ‘Analysis of Non-Traditional Export Statistics’.
It said the European Union (EU) and UK markets, which were the leading destination for Ghana’s NTEs, contributed 35.96 per cent of the total value of export earnings for the year 2021 which stood at $3.3 billion.
The two markets absorbed a total of $1.197 billion of the value of NTEs and represented a 22.49 per cent increase over the 2020 performance.
Total NTE earnings for the period under review amounted to US$3.3billion, reflecting an increase of about 17 per cent over 2020 earnings of $ 2.846 billion.
Over the last five years (2017 to 2021), Ghana’s NTEs grew at an annual average rate of 7.07 per cent and contributed 22.62 per cent to the total national merchandise exports of Ghana in 2021.
Comparatively, total national exports grew by 1.75 per cent in 2021 compared to 2020. The average annual growth of total national exports over a five-year period (2017-2021) was also 1.75 per cent.
Over the years, GEPA has provided exporters with exposure to international markets via tradeshows, exhibitions and fairs.
These events promote exporters’ businesses and connect them to business prospects and new markets.
In November 2021, GEPA joined other trade agencies to lead a team of small and medium enterprises to participate in the biennial intra-African trade fair held in Durban, South Africa to promote Ghanaian products at the largest African Fair on the continent.
According to the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) (2020-2029) that seeks to diversify and grow the NTE sector of the economy from US$2.8 billion (2020) to US$25.3 billion in 2029, markets which traditionally absorb substantial amount of Ghanaian products, EU and ECOWAS are likely to absorb more.
The Ghanaian Times says that Telecommunications giant MTN Ghana has reaffirmed its commitment to improve network connectivity in the country.
To this end, it said it would expand network connectivity to underserved areas and enhance existing infrastructure to boost both data and voice connectivity.
The Senior Manager, corporate communications, MTN, Mrs Georgina AsareFiagbenu, said this in an interaction with media practitioners and other stakeholders on Friday in Sunyani.
She hinted that the company would be rolling out 400 new sites whilst existing 746 sites would be upgraded to 4G to, among others, help enhance services to the more than 10 million worldwide subscribers of Ayoba, which had about 15 micro applications to provide good services to the customers.
In addition to MTN’s primary mandate, Mrs Fiagbenu stated that the company had launched a plastic and waste management programme to address the challenges faced in order to drive a sustainable environment.
She announced that the company had spent GH¢ 64million in sustainable community projects made up of 157 social projects; 53 health, 87 education and 13 economic empowerment projects among others.
The head of network in the Northern Sector, Mr Joseph Asare, in a presentation indicated that from January to June the company recorded 125 fibre cuts which was affecting the company’s operations.
MTN Ghana, in the first half of 2022, contributed about 29.6 per cent of its total revenue, amounting to approximately GH¢1.4 billion in direct and indirect taxes, and payments to governmental agencies according to Ghana’s half year financial results for 2022.