Ghanaian press zooms in on calls for reform of int'l finance, others

APA – Accra (Ghana)

President Nana Akufo-Addo’s call for the reform of the international financial structure to meet the needs of developing and emerging economies at the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York is one of the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Thursday.

The Graphic reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reiterated the urgent need for the international financial structure to be reformed to meet the needs of developing and emerging economies.

“The necessity for reform of the system is compelling,” he argued, saying the current structure was skewed significantly against developing and emerging economies such as Ghana.

He added that the avenues opened to powerful nations to enable them to take measures that would ease pressures on their economies were closed to small nations.

He further said the structure, from its prejudiced tags, denied Africa access to cheaper borrowing and pushed the continent deeper into debt.

The President made the urgent call when he addressed the second day of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday (September 21, 2022).

Earlier in the day, the UN Secretary General, António Guterres; the President of the United States, Joe Biden; the Presidents of Iran, Ebrahim Rais; Hungary, Katalin Novák; Cote d'Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, and Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio, had taken turns to make statements in the General Debate at the assembly.

According to President Akufo-Addo, the financial markets had been set up to operate on rules designed for the benefit of the rich and powerful nations, saying that during times of crisis, the facade of international cooperation under which they purported to operate disappeared.

He described the situation as savage lessons that African nations had to take in, as the world emerged from the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic to energy and food price hikes and a worldwide rise in the cost of living, noting: “The necessity for the reform of the system is compelling.”

The newspaper says that the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has advised the government and local assemblies to recognise waste management as an essential service which is critical to efforts at improving sanitation and cleanliness in the country.

It has, therefore, asked for the welfare of waste management workers, including those in the informal sector, to be improved by providing them with the necessary protective clothing and equipment, as well as for them to be paid above the national minimum wage of GH¢365 to boost their morale.

Speaking at the C40’s Inclusive Climate Action Conference on social dialogue in Accra last Tuesday, the Director of Research and Policy at the TUC, Dr Kwabena Nyarko, said: “Many places in the country are filthy, but if you think deeply about it, you will find that the filth is linked to many of the health issues we have in this country.”

“Endemic diseases, such as malaria, cholera and typhoid, are linked to filth, for which reason we must recognise and make waste management an essential service and ensure that workers are properly remunerated,” he added.

Participants at the conference included informal waste sector workers who were usually under-represented. They deliberated on ways in which they could participate in decision-making processes that affected their welfare.

The conference was organised by C40 Cities, in collaboration with the Green Africa Youth Organisation (GAYO), both non-profit entities, with the support of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).

The C40’s Cities Inclusive Climate Action programme aims at promoting collaboration between the AMA and informal sector waste workers for optimisation and climate resilience.

The Ghanaian Times reports that seventy six (76) alleged illegal forex operators known as ‘black market’ operators were on Tuesday apprehended in Accra and across the country.

The exercise dubbed ‘Special Operation on Foreign Exchange Parallel (Black Market Operators’ was carried out by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) in conjunction with the police.

The exercise in Accra took place around Rawlings Park, Tudu, Cowlane, Circle, Kimbu Market and Lava.

According to a statement issued by the BoG, the purpose of the operation was to clamp down on individuals and entities engaging in the business of buying and selling foreign exchange without a license from Bank of Ghana in violation of Ghana’s foreign exchange laws and regulations.

The Head of the Foreign Exchange Bureau Examinations Office, at the Bank of Ghana, AdjoaKonaduTorto, indicated that the exercise would continue in other parts of the country in the coming days.

She maintained that members of the public who patronised the activities of ‘Black Market” operators were equally guilty before the law.

“The over 76 perpetrators were apprehended by the police for prosecution. The special operation will continue nationwide,” she said.

Mrs Torto cautioned the general public to desist from engaging in illegal foreign exchange business without a licence.

“The general public must always trade with the Bank of Ghana licensed foreign exchange (forex) bureaux. Accordingly, the Anti-Money Laundering ACT, 2020 (Act 1044) as amended instructs all bureau customers to insist on their electronic receipts by providing the acceptable valid ID, the Ghana Card, to cover the buying and selling of all foreign currencies,” she added.

The newspaper says that Finland and Ghana have signed a framework agreement on projects to be funded under Finland’s Public Sector Investment Facility (PIF) Scheme.

The agreement was signed on Monday on the margins of a trade and investment mission to Finland and two other Scandinavian countries namely Denmark and Sweden by a business delegation from Ghana.

Finland’s Public Sector Investment Facility (PIF) Scheme, is a Finnish financing instrument designed to support public sector investments in developing countries in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, utilising Finnish technology and expertise.

The purpose of the PIF Scheme, is to provide additional financing for projects acceptable to Finland in accordance with the OECD Arrangement on Guidelines for Officially Supported Export Credits.

The mission was organised by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and Ghana Investment Promotion Centre in collaboration with the Embassies of Ghana in Oslo and Denmark, to showcase Ghana’s vast business potential and pursue bilateral trade and investment opportunities in the areas of ICT, education, energy and circular economy – waste management, bio economy and clean technology.

Ghana is also seeking to explore potential investment opportunities and help create a network of buyers, agents, suppliers and key government contacts.

The sixty-six-member business delegation comprising the public and private sectors, is led by the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Kwaku AmpratwumSarpong.

 Other high level government officials include the Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Herbert Krapa; the Deputy Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, AmaPomaaBoateng; the CEO of EXIM Bank of Ghana, Mr Lawrence Agyinsam; the CEO of Ghana Export Promotion Authority and Dr AfuaAsabeaAsare; the CEO of Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication.

The rest are Mr Prince Sefah; the Deputy CEO of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Mr Yaw AmoatengAfriyie; the Ag. Director-General of Cyber Security Authority, Dr Albert Antwi-Boasiako, and the Ambassador of Ghana to Finland, JenniferLartey.

While in Finland, the high level government officials have held government-to-government bilateral meetings with ministers, CEOs and officials of selected Finnish institutions including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Business Finland, SITRA and FINNERVA, whose focus areas include investment, trade, digitalisation, green energy transformation, smart inclusive cities, sustainable mining, and circular economy among others.

The meetings have afforded the officials the opportunity to learn from their Finnish counterparts including the possibility of attracting Finnish companies operating in these sectors to invest in Ghana.

The engagements have also served as a springboard to further deepen the already existing cordial bilateral relations between Ghana and Finland.


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