A section of Vodafone Ghana’s Enterprise customers were treated to an unforgettable night of drama by Roverman Productions last Friday. It was part of a move by Vodafone to deliver unmatched experience for its customers and to also usher them gracefully into the Christmas festivities.

The play, titled “Nicholas”, set the National Theatre alight with its touch of humour, suspense and professionalism. Customers of Vodafone were also treated to good interactions over food and drinks to cap off a great evening.

Sharing a brief message with the customers, Yolanda Cuba, Chief Executive of Vodafone Ghana said:

“Our commitment to our customers represents the very core of what we stand for as a company. Over the years, our association with Roverman has yielded great results and we hope today’s event is a continuation of that success. The future of technology is truly exciting and Vodafone will continue to give customers optimism and confidence.”

Vodafone Ghana’s partnership with Roverman has brought dividend to the telecom company in the areas of brand visibility and customer experience. Vodafone sees its relationship with the theatre house as one that will continue to bring entertainment and transformation to the Ghanaian society.

GCB Bank Ltd has nominated 216 officers to work with the various districts of the country to help ensure entrepreneurs selected under the One District One Factory (1D1F) Initiative benefit from easy credit facilities from the Bank.

The GCB representatives will work closely with the District Implementation Committees to extend credit businesses and entrepreneurs selected to establish factories in the districts.

The GCB 1D1F Team is responsible for the generation of credit reports from qualified applications for onward for onward review and approval through the credit approval chain.

Besides, the bank has established a special purpose Unit to provide financial support to promoters, businesses and entrepreneurs under the One District One Factory (1D1F) policy of the state.

The establishment of the Unit under the Bank’s Business & SME Banking Department follows GCB’s nomination by the Government as a key supporting Bank of the 1D1F

The Ministry of Trade and Industry and 1D1F Secretariat formed the District Implementation Committees (DICs) to be chaired by the M/DCE of the respective districts to facilitate the smooth implementation of the programme.

GCB’s commitment and involvement in the 1D1F Initiative affirms its position as the leading supporter of indigenous and SME businesses in the country.

GCB Bank in the middle of this year announced its commitment towards the 1D1F initiative and earmarked GHS1billion for direct funding, the organization of workshops and has introduce an array of price concessions for 1D1F clients.

Credit – GCB.

Leading mobile telecom network, MTN has rewarded over 120 Mobile Money agents who over the years have worked assiduously in promoting the mobile money business.
The event, the first of its kind in the telecom industry in Ghana, was aimed at recognizing agents who have also contributed to the success of the MTN mobile money brand.
Addressing the media at the maiden edition of the event, General Manager for Mobile Financial Services, Mr. Eli Hini, noted the award was instituted by MTN to appreciate agents who have complied with the laid-down rules of operating Mobile Money.
He stated that the rules of engagement for the service are comprehensively guided by a framework set by MTN Ghana, Bank of Ghana and the security administration.
“Knowing how diligently our agents have worked to ensure our customers have a good experience with Mobile Money services, we are celebrating them for showing leadership and integrity in the business,” he said.
Mr Hini emphasised that Mobile Money remains convenient, relevant and safe for all patrons.
“To check the background of our agents and to ensure transparency and safety for our customers MTN will work closely with the police to thoroughly screen the personnel who apply to become agents of Mobile Money.” he disclosed.

In all, Mr. Kwame Kwadon, of Notable E – Solutions emerged as the overall best Mobile Money Agent. He received a motorbike, certificate of honour and other valuable items.

Other prizes won by some agents include: Generator, mobile phones, solar lamps and other items.

By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe

Alliance Motors Ghana, the distributor of Jaguar and Land Rover in Ghana officially launched the Range Rover Velar, the fourth member of the Range Rover family on Sunday, December 10 2017 on the final day of the UMB Accra Open Golf Tournament at the Achimota Golf Club.
Over 150 golfers, members from Achimota Golf Club, guests and staff from Universal Merchant Bank, and media were in attendance to witness the unveiling of the Range Rover Velar, a mid-size luxury SUV that brings a new dimension of presence, modernity and minimalist design to the Range Rover family.

“Having Alliance Motors as an Accra Open partner brought a new level of excitement to the tournament this year especially with the Range Rover Velar as the Grand Prize in the Hole in One Challenge.
Although there was no Hole in One winner, all of our guests were thrilled to see, explore and experience the Velar and its levels of luxury and refinement displayed on the greens during the tournament,” said Mark Coffie, Captain of Achimota Golf Club.

“The Range Rover Velar represents the next chapter of the Range Rover success story as Britain’s biggest luxury export.
After inspired global launch events in London, Paris and Milan, Alliance Motors Ghana was excited to launch the Velar in Ghana before an audience of golf, luxury and automotive enthusiasts in attendance at the Accra Open,” adds Kwadwo Adjabeng, Sales Manager at Alliance Motors Ghana.

The Range Rover Velar’s design philosophy is revolutionary. Created from a clean sheet using Jaguar Land Rover’s Lightweight Aluminium Architecture, the vehicle’s striking proportions, flush door handles and an integrated rear spoiler all improve aerodynamics while features including the foil stamped grille give the vehicle's front profile an undeniable presence.
The all new Land Rover vehicles come with the Land Rover Five-Year Care Plan: a five-year/100, 000km service plan, a five-year/100, 000km maintenance plan and a five-year/100, 000km warranty, as standard.

The consumer price inflation (CPI) for November recorded a marginal increase of 0.1 percent to 11.7 percent from 11.6 percent in October.
The consumer price index measures the change over time in the general price level of goods and services that households acquire for the purpose of consumption.
The Acting Government Statistician, Baah Wadieh attributed the marginal increase of inflation to the rise in the rates of non-food items.
The non-food group recorded a rate of 13.6 percent in November, compared to 13.2 percent recorded for October.
Five subgroups recorded rates higher than the group’s average rate.
Transport recorded the highest rate of 18.6 percent, followed by clothing and footwear with 18.3 percent, recreation and culture with 17.1 percent, furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance with 15.2 percent and miscellaneous goods and services with 14.0 percent.
The lowest subgroup, health, recorded 5.5 percent.
The non-food inflation rate is more than one and half times that of the food inflation rates.
The food and non-alcoholic beverages sub-group recorded a rate of 7.9 percent. This is 0.3 percentage point lower than the recorded in October 2017.
Two subgroups of the food and non-alcoholic beverages group recorded a rate higher than the group’s average rate.
These were vegetables with 9.0 percent and, fish and sea food with 8.8 percent.
They were the price drivers for the food inflation rate.
The inflation rate for imported items was 13.1 percent, representing about 1.9 percentage points higher than that of the locally produced items at 11.2 percent.
Greater Accra, Upper West, Brong Ahafo and Ashanti Regions recorded rates higher than the national average of 11.7 percent.
Greater Accra Region recorded the highest rates of 12.7 percent, followed by Upper West Region with 12.4 percent, while the Upper East Region recorded the lowest inflation rates of 10.0 percent in November.

By Joshua W. Amlanu

The Private Enterprise Federation (PEF) says government must incentivize the private sector to invest heavily in agriculture.
PEF indicated that, government’s strategy to supply farm machinery and equipment including the establishment of farm service centres, as specified in the 2018 budget, must be private sector driven.
Next year, the Agriculture Ministry, according to government, will distribute 200 tractors and matching implements, 1,000 power tillers and walking tractors and 30 tractor-mounted reapers.
However, PEF’s CEO, Nana Osei Bonsu, addressing participants on ‘The Impact of the 2018 Budget on the Private Sector’ at a symposium in Accra, argued that the supply of such light farm equipment should be given to private sector fabrication companies.
“That is PEF’s request, that government massively involves private sector companies in the fabrication and supply of such items for the implementation of that project, it only means we have to be incentivized to do that,” he said.
Nana Bonsu also questioned the role of the GRATIS Foundation in the execution of the initiative and the procedure for the distribution and use of the items by beneficiary farmers when the distribution begins next year.
The programme by the Ministry of Agriculture will also include the distribution of 10 tractor drawn rear blade, 10 tractor mounted slashers, 60 boom and orchard sprayers, 4000 motorized sprayers, 60 mechanical and pneumatic planters, 50 cereal harvesters, 200 multi-crop threshers, 400 irrigation kits and 100 green house technology for horticulture production.
In addition, government will establish 50 Farmer Service Centres (FSC) to provide mechanization services to farmers.
But Nana Osei Bonsu insisted that the accomplishment of the programme could only be sustainable if government allows it to become a private sector driven agenda.
“So that a change in government would not affect its execution as has been the case of most good and laudable policies in this country,” he said.
The Director of Debt Management Division at the Finance Ministry, Mr. Samuel Arkhurst explained that the establishment of GHS400 million fund by government to support and de-risk the agriculture sector is a good sign of commitments in developing the sector.
He said initiatives including the ‘One District, One Factory’ and the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs Policy’ and the intended establishment of the Agricultural Commodities Exchange, will tremendously improve the country’s agricultural credentials.

By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe


Government’s resolve to improve the business environment in Ghana by enhancing the business regulatory environment is laudable and commendable. We have heard the several policy initiatives in the agriculture Sector, Registration of Business, infrastructure finance initiatives, and national industrial revitalisation programme.

But where is the construction sector in the equation?

We have heard the Minister of Roads and Highways give us hope about a "market cleansing agenda" which includes ensuring availability of funds before projects are undertaken and the blacklisting of contractors who do shoddy work. This is good and we encourage him to pursue it. I will take this opportunity to raise a few more issues about how to maximize the output of the construction sector.

The construction industry lacks the appropriate attention, leading to its stagnation and under performance.

The problems of the construction industry require comprehensive solutions, which include the current efforts by the Minister. There is therefore a need to have a strategic agenda for the industry.

First and foremost, the need for appropriate regulation in the construction industry cannot be compromised. The persistent self-regulation of the market has failed to deliver the expected goods and services.

Very often, these goods and services are shoddy and leave much to be desired. This can partly be attributed to poor human resource development and management. For an industry that contributes more than 10 percent to gross domestic product, it is important we sustain it to create the needed jobs and revenues that the citizens and nation require to progress.

The construction industry needs a radical strategic reform to support government’s agenda of "trade beyond aid". Currently the industry is faced with a lot of challenges including;
1. Delayed payment leading to cashflow challenges that threaten the sustainability of construction firms and banks;
2. Lack of capacity of local contractors to deliver big projects and quality;
3. Unfavourable competition from foreign players; and
4. Unwillingness of banks to advance credits due to high levels of unserviced debt.

Other countries use construction as a critical lever to regulate the socio-economic dynamics of their countries due to its strategic nature of being able to generate employment at all fronts and its strategic linkages to other industries and many endeavours of life and society.

The AGI Construction Sector proposes the following strategic interventions to improve the construction industry in Ghana:
1. There is the need for a construction industry development authority as a regulatory body backed by law as an apex body to champion the growth and development of the construction industry in Ghana;
2. There is the need for legislation on delayed payment and availability of funds before projects are awarded;
3. There is the need for governments to enact a policy that recognizes and accepts certified payments to offset delayed payment for government projects;
4. Government must accept Bid Declaration as a replacement for Bid Securities and Guarantees.

It's worth commending BUSAC Fund and its development partners DANIDA, EU and USAID for their tremendous support they have provided to enhancing the business environment in Ghana particularly the AGI Construction Sector. It is our hope to strengthen the partnership towards creating the progress our society desires.


By Rockson Dogbegah

African airlines carry less than a paltry three percent of global air traffic and have been advised to develop progressive policies and regulatory reforms that will stimulate growth on the continent’s aviation industry.
This is according to Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer of Nepad Agency, who was speaking at the official opening of the third edition of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) currently underway in Swakopmund.
PIDA was adopted in 2012 by African presidents as the continental strategic infrastructure framework for the African Union’s stakeholders and partners to address the infrastructure deficit, boost intra-regional and international trade, increase growth and create jobs on the continent.
Addressing the delegates during the opening ceremony, Mayaki said 80 percent of air traffic in Africa on African airlines currently only carries a fraction – less than 3 percent of the global air traffic carried by non-African airlines, despite the fact that the continent constitutes over 17 percent of the world’s population.
“This is indeed a clear indication that we in Africa need to prioritize and pay more attention to aviation and air transportation in Africa during the next phase of the PIDA priority Action plan,” he said.
He added that Africa needs to increase participation in the global market by designing national and regional aviation master plans, to address existing disparities within the aviation sector.
According to Mayaki, most African countries have developed sectorial master plans in key areas such as agriculture, transport, education and water, but paid less attention to the aviation sector.
“The time has come for us to ease the free air movement of people and stimulate affordable air transportation prices. We need to take the necessary regional and continental regulatory and policy reforms toward the single African air transport market.
“However, the realisation of the single African air transport market will be dependent on progressive policy and regulatory reforms that will stimulate growth in Africa’s aviation industry.” Mayaki explained.
He said a single African air transport market would enhance intra-regional air connectivity and address the current constraints of regional air transport access, while creating more air transport markets that will increase flight routes and create more opportunities for cross-border investment in the production and service industries, including tourism and intra-Africa trade.
“Therefore, the PIDA Week is an opportunity for us to reflect on these issues and together strategise on how best we can maximize the opportunities before us,” he said.

Arik Air on Wednesday announced that it was resuming flight operations on the Abuja-Calabar and Abuja-Uyo routes from December 15.

Its Communications Manager, Mr Ola Adebanji, disclosed this in Lagos in a statement.

Adebanji said the airline was increasing its capacity ahead of Christmas and New Year celebrations to enable customers celebrate the season with their families and friends.
He said: “The capacity increase which will boost our key domestic routes, especially in the South East and South-South zones, takes effect from December 15 to run through January 14, 2018.
“The main highlights of the new schedule are the resumption of Abuja to Calabar and Abuja to Uyo routes which were suspended earlier in the year. “Arik Air will be flying daily from Abuja to Uyo and five times a week from Abuja to Calabar.
“Similarly, the airline has increased its frequencies between Lagos to Calabar, Lagos to Uyo, Lagos to Enugu, Lagos to Owerri, Abuja to Enugu to daily flights.
“It will operate the Lagos to Asaba route five times weekly during the period.”
According to him, customers that want to fly Arik Air on the Lagos-Port Harcourt route now have an early morning (7 a.m.) departure from Port Harcourt and late evening (5 p.m.) flight from Lagos. Arik Air’s Chief Executive Officer, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu, said the airline came up with the new schedules because of its love for its intending passengers.
He noted that Arik Air was aware that many Nigerians would like to seize the opportunity it offered to celebrate the Yuletide with their loved ones across the country. “As a caring airline, we have put measures in place to fly customers to their respective destinations during this festive season,” he added.

Kosmos Energy announced on Tuesday that it has completed drilling the Lamantin-1 exploration well located in Block C-12 offshore Mauritania in approximately 2,200 meters of water.
Lamantin-1 was drilled to a total depth of 5,150 meters and was designed to evaluate a previously untested Lower Campanian base of slope fan supplied from the Nouakchott River system, trapped in a combination structural-stratigraphic feature, and charged from underlying, oil-prone Cenomanian/Turonian and Albian source rocks.
As interpreted from logs and samples collected during drilling and wireline operations, our evaluation suggests the Campanian reservoir objective was water bearing with some residual hydrocarbons.
We believe the prospect failed due to a lack of trap, related to a combination of up-dip sand pinch-out and top / base seal effectiveness.
The well will now be plugged and abandoned and the well results integrated into the ongoing evaluation of the significant remaining prospectivity in Kosmos’ large acreage position.
Andrew G. Inglis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are still in the early stages of exploring this newly emerging basin and our forward drilling program remains unchanged given the independent nature of the prospects.
The drillship will now proceed as planned to test the independent Requin Tigre prospect offshore Senegal, which will be followed by two high-impact oil tests offshore Suriname in mid-2018.”
The Requin Tigre prospect is a Cenomanian/Albian base of slope fan supplied from the proven Senegal River system, and is located approximately 150 kilometers offshore, 60 kilometers west of the Tortue discovery, and 80 kilometers north of the Yakaar discovery in approximately 3,100 meters of water. It is estimated that drilling will take approximately sixty days.
Kosmos holds rights in the C-6, C-8, C-12, C-13, and C-18 contract areas under production sharing contracts with the Government of Mauritania’s Société Mauritanienne Des Hydrocarbures et de Patrimoine Minier (SMHPM).
The blocks range in water depth between 100 and 3,000 meters, and have combined acreage of over 40,000 square kilometers gross. Kosmos is the exploration operator of Block C-12 with 28 percent equity and is joined by its partners BP (LSE: BP) (62 percent) and SMHPM (10 percent).

Credit – Kosmos Energy.