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National Development Bank set take off in July – Finance Minister

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Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

The National Development Bank (NDB) will begin its operations by end of July this year, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has said.

The Bank, according to him, would provide long term wholesale financing to the private sector through Commercial banks.

The Minister said this at a press briefing on Sunday to address issues that have been raised through the “Fix the country” campaign, saying, “By the end of July, we will have a National Development Bank capitalised with over $500 million that will provide long-term wholesale financing to the private sector through the commercial banks.”

The government in 2017 hinted of the establishment of a National Development Bank to provide innovative and long term financing instruments for specific sectors of the economy, particularly, the agriculture and industrial sectors.

The move, the government noted would empower and grow many businesses in those sectors, making them vibrant and turning them into giant ones.

“The establishment of a National Development Bank under the Ghana Cares Programme is expected to provide support to businesses. As you might have heard, we have already raised US$500 million dollars for this,” he emphasised.

Meanwhile, the World Bank Board of Executive Directors have approved $250 million from the International Development Association (IDA) to support the establishment of the bank.

The $250 million support was expected to increase access to long term finance and boost job creation for about 10,000 enterprises in key sectors including agribusinesses, manufacturing and high value services.

“By offering long-term wholesale financing, credit guarantees, and other services, the Ghana Development Finance project will help increase overall lending to priority sectors and market segments,” the World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia, Pierre Laporte said.

“The project is aligned with government priorities outlined in the Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies and is an integral part of the World Bank Group’s efforts to promote sustainable growth in Ghana,” he added.

On the health of the economy, the minister said the government was putting additional measures in place to ensure that the current challenges confronting it were resolved.

He said the COVID-19 had negatively impacted government’s economic targets but assured that all was being done to provide more relief for Ghanaians.

Source: Ghanaian Times

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Here is how the cedi is performing against major foreign currencies as of June 21

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The cedi traded against the dollar at a mid-rate of 5.7512

• The cedi traded against the dollar at a mid-rate of 5.7512

• It’s trade value against the Pounds Sterling stands at 7.9450 mid-rate

• The Euro, however, went up at a mid-rate of 6.8242

On the interbank board today, June 21, 2021, the Ghana Cedi is trading against the dollar at a buying price of 5.7483 and a selling price of 5.7541 as compared to last Friday’s trading of a buying price of 5.7483 and a selling price of 5.7541 to open the 25th trade week of the 2021 fiscal year.

Against the Pound Sterling, the cedi is trading at a buying price of 7.9407 and a selling price of 7.9493 as compared to last Friday’s trading of a buying price of 8.0040 and a selling price of 8.0126.

The Euro is trading at a buying price of 6.8208 and a selling price of 6.8275 as compared to last Friday’s trading of a buying price of 6.8468 and a selling price of 6.8536.

The South African Rand is trading at a buying price of 0.4023 and a selling price of 0.4027 as compared to last Friday’s trading of a buying price of 0.4071 and a selling price of 0.4075.

The Nigerian Naira is trading at a buying price of 71.2390 and a selling price of 71.3642 as compared to last Friday’s trading of a buying price of 71.3069 and a selling price of 71.3312.

For the CFA, it is trading at a buying price of 96.0757 and a selling price of 96.1701 as compared to last Friday’s trading of a buying price of 95.7098 and a selling price of 95.8049.

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15 years without research vessel worries fishers

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Fishing vessel

Fisher associations in Ghana are worried about the unavailability of a research vessel to conduct examinations on the behaviour of the country’s fish species, particularly in closed seasons.

The associations – comprising the National Fisheries Association of Ghana, the Ghana National Canoe Fishermen Council, Ghana Industrial Trawlers Association and the Ghana Inshore Fishers Association – are intensifying their request for the vessel, as the 2021 fishing closed-season is set to begin from July 1 to August 31.

Globally, fisheries research vessels are used to survey and monitor fish populations in the world’s oceans. The results of their investigations help scientists understand the status and development of fish stocks, and also define measures for their protection.

“The implication is that as fish stocks are expected to multiply and replenish in the closed-season, the biggest threat in the season is migration of these fish into other territories, particularly Togo and Ivory Coast. A research vessel will monitor all these activities in the ocean including water temperatures and conditions of phytoplankton, which serves as food for the fish,” president of the Ghana Inshore Fishers Association, Joseph Quaye, told the B&FT.

Unfortunately, the associations indicated that Ghana has been without a fisheries research vessel for the past 15 years. The situation, according to industry stakeholders, is contributing significantly to Ghana’s depleting fish stocks and worsening the illegal fishing burden confronting the country.

In 2017, government hinted at plans to acquire a research vessel to probe Ghana’s territorial waters domain in order to discover the amount of fish species in it.

Named the Dr. Fridtjof Nansen Research Vessel, it was expected to dock in the country on September 13, 2017 and inaugurated on September 14 the same year. However, till date, Ghana does not have any such advanced research vessel.

Meanwhile, the Director of the Regional Maritime Centre, Professor George Wiafe, has also confirmed that the current research vessel at the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture became unworthy for sea since 1995.

However, the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mavis Hawa Koomson, told B&FT that government is at advanced stage of procuring a modern, sophisticated fisheries research vessel for the sector.

The minister, who was speaking at the announcement ceremony of the 2021 fishing closed-season in Accra, also revealed that apart from the vessel, government, by close of year will procure four patrol boats to enhance monitoring, control and surveillance activities in Ghana’s marine waters. “These are major strides we are embarking on to fight against all forms of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities in our waters, and to protect our stocks,” she said.

Source: thebftonline.com

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Heads of State agree to push new ECOWAS single currency to 2027

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Dr Jean-Claude Kassi Brou is the President of the ECOWAS Commission

• A new roadmap towards the ECOWAS single currency has been adopted

• The single currency is expected to take off by 2027

• The agreement was arrived at during the 59th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS in Accra

After many years of planning, a new roadmap to launch the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) single currency in 2027, has been adopted.

This agreement, according to Dr. Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, President of the ECOWAS Commission, was arrived at by all Heads of State of ECOWAS at the 59th Ordinary Summit in Accra, yesterday, reports the GNA.

“Due to the shock of the pandemic, the heads of state had decided to suspend the implementation of the convergence pact in 2020-2021,” Dr. Brou said.

“We have a new road map and a new convergence pact that will cover the period between 2022 and 2026, and 2027 being the launch of the Eco,” he said.

He also added that the Heads of State had requested of the ministerial committee to take a look at the new roadmap and the convergence pact, considering the lessons the coronavirus pandemic has brought on the sub-region.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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