Prime News Ghana

Today's Ghana Business, Banking and Economic news

As Wampah’s first deputy takes interim charge, expert say tough times ahead

Ghana’s central bank chief stepped down Friday amid criticism about the country's lackluster economic performance.

Henry Kofi Wampah was named governor of Ghana’s central bank in 2012 to address the country’s fiscal deficit, rising inflation, continuous currency devaluation and ballooning debt stock.


Wampah leaves his post four months before the end of his four-year mandate amid criticism over his performance though some concede he was dealt a difficult hand.

Ghanian economist Felix Asante says the new central bank governor must be bold on checking government spending.

“Certainly, that person should be able to say to the sitting government that no there is no money so I cannot answer the cheque,” he said.

Challenges ahead

Wampah assumed his post amid high deficits in 2012. The country had spent a lot on elections that year, including rolling out a new biometric voter system. Ghana is headed to polls again in November, and more high spending is expected.

Asante says that is just one of the factors outside the central bank’s control.

“In Ghana, the main concerns are the exchange rate and inflation," he said. "You cannot fix the exchange rate if you are not in control of what is produced in the country [and] encourage private sector to export. The economy should bounce back into its form where we can produce enough to export and earn foreign exchange. If we do not do that and we keep on importing, every governor will come and will have such a problem.”

Inflation has climbed since 2012, though in February, it dropped slightly to 18.5 percent from 19 percent in January.

Ghana is one of the world's top producers of gold and cocoa.

The country discovered oil in 2007 and in 2011 was named the fastest growing economy in the world. Ghana was a darling of the “Africa Rising” narrative. But commodities-based growth has done little for Ghanaians' standard of living, and Ghana’s economy began to stall in 2013.


In Accra, people say their paychecks buy less and less at the market. And even as economists advise the country to export more, exporters like Kweku, a local handicrafts businessman, say inflation is a problem.

“When my remittances are coming in, I cannot withdraw and go back and exchange at the same forex rate that I bought to use for the production, he said. "I have to go and exchange the money at the controlled rates… For every dollar I earn, I lose some cedis on it. With time, I will be eating up my capital.”

Ghana’s president will appoint a new Central Bank governor. Wampah’s first deputy Millison Narh has taken the helm in the interim.

Amber Rose emojis (MuvaMojis) rake in $2 million on first day

Amber Rose has made $4 million from her new emojis after signing a deal with the app's developer, and her MuvaMojis range raked in $2 million on its first day.


The 32-year-old star debuted her MuvaMojis, a set of 900 symbols available from Apple and Android app stores, yesterday (31.03.16), and the model is said to be set to receive a cut of the profits after the successful start.

Sources close to the fashion designer also told gossip website TMZ that Amber has already made $4 million out of the app after signing a deal with developer Appmoji.

Amber's app features many designs, including one glittery emoji stating 'Free Kesha', in support of the 'Tik Tok' hitmaker who is currently involved in a very public legal battle with her record label to be released from her contract over allegations of sexual abuse she has made against producer Dr. Luke.

Announcing MuvaMoji, Amber said: ''Hey, you guys. It's Amber Rose, and I've got a new app - MuvaMoji. Download it on iTunes and Android. Have fun, Rosebuds! I love you guys! (sic)''

Some supporters have likened her app to Kim Kardashian West's Kimojis app, but the star is said to be adamant she didn't imitate the 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians' beauty.

A source told the gossip website Amber is confident her emojis represent her personality.

Proposed one month rent payment hurtful to landlords - Real Estate Broker

Mr Narteh Tetteh, a real estate broker, has advised against the adoption of a proposed rent law that would force landlords to charge not more than one month rent.

A statement signed by Mr Fidel Amoah, the Content Manager, Lamudi Ghana and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said Mr Tetteh, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Realty Connections, believes the proposed Rent Act amendment will do more harm than good.


He admitted that such an amendment would suit tenants favourably as it would enable them meet their rent obligations but it will at the same time be a disincentive for real estate developers.

In a poll conducted by real estate expert, Lamudi Ghana, revealed that 12 per cent of respondents said they were looking to change accommodation because of rent-related issues.

Mr Narteh said that any amendment to Ghana’s Rent Act has to suit real estate investors as much as tenants, else, it risks worsening the housing deficit in the country.

“The proposed amendment would make housing more affordable for tenants and people in search of accommodation,” he said.

“There is the need for change with the existing situation because some landlords are charging rent advance of more than two years. It makes it difficult for many house hunters to afford such agreements.

“However, we need to look at the situation holistically because this proposed amendment would affect real estate investment negatively,” he said.

Mr Tetteh underscored the importance of real estate investment, stating that the country was grappling with a huge housing deficit.

He said the proposed amendment of one month rent advance would be a disincentive for real estate investors, culminating in a worsening housing gap.

He suggested that the Rent Control Department should be resourced adequately to ensure that the constitutionally approved six months rent advance was adhered to.

“The best solution for Ghana’s rental problem is to enforce the six months rent advance to the letter. Reducing it to one month could lead to further problems,” he said.

“For instance, a landlord could claim that an individual has offered to pay one year’s rent advance so would only give out his accommodation to another house hunter willing to beat the offer.”


Parliament passes law to counter fraudulent SIM box operators

The country is still faced with the menace of SIM box operators with reports suggesting as much as $900,000 was lost to the state in 5 months.


Collaborating with foreign counterparts, telecom experts contend the state could counter the gains of the gangs should there be functional regulatory measures.

To help address the challenge of SIM box fraud which has costs the nation several millions of Ghana cedis and other peculiar challenges facing the telecommunications sector, Parliament has passed into law the Electronic Communications (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

The new law is expected to streamline and rationalize activities of the various players in the telecommunications industry and provide a fairer atmosphere for industry players whiles prohibiting the possession of unregistered SIM cards in the country.

White settlers in Zim land told to sell or give up 51 percent of shares to black Zims by April 1

Companies owned by foreigners face closure unless they sell or give up 51 percent of their shares to black Zimbabweans by April 1, announced Indigenization Minister Patrick Zhuwao.

“Comply by that date or close shop, comply by that date or face the full wrath of the law,” Bloomberg quotes Zhuwao, who is also President Robert Mugabe’s nephew.

This month, the IMF asked the Mugabe administration to clarify the country’s policy on black empowerment. Zimbabwe has agreed to major reforms including compensation for evicted white farmers.

Harare says it expects an IMF loan in the third quarter of this year, the first since 1999, after repaying foreign lenders $1.8 billion by the end of June.

President Mugabe is known for evicting white farmers. In 2010, the Guardian reported that Mugabe used land reform to reward his allies rather than ordinary black Zimbabweans. The newspaper’s sources reported Mugabe and his supporters owned about 40 percent of the land seized from white farmers.

The white farmers received no compensations after being evicted.

“If white settlers just took the land from us without paying for it, we can, in a similar way, just take it from them without paying for it,” said Mugabe.

However, Mugabe’s allies have hinted that at least some of the evicted farmers can return.

Zimbabwe is known for its mineral resources. It has the world’s second-biggest deposit of chrome and platinum after South Africa.

Ghana’s Bright Simons makes Fortune’s 50 greatest leaders list

Young Ghanaian entrepreneur Bright Simons has been named one of the World's 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune®. The 34-year old Simons made the list, published in Fortune® Magazine, 24th March 2016, alongside eminent persons including Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon; Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor; Pope Francis, and Christine Largarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.


The World's 50 Greatest Leaders are men and women selected from business, government, philanthropy and the arts and all over the globe who are transforming the world and inspiring others to do the same. The 2016 edition is the third publication of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders list.

Bright Simons, President and Founder of mPedigree is named on the coveted list of The Worlds 50 Greatest Leaders, for his innovation to fight medications counterfeiting in Africa and elsewhere in the world.

Consumers could check the authenticity of medications simply by sending a text message with 12 digit code marked on their medicine packets to mPedigree and get confirmation almost instantly.

It is proving to be an efficient solution to fighting counterfeit medicines in Africa where one estimate pegs the chances of purchasing and, in fact, consuming one at 30%. Over 120,000 African Children are reported to have died because of fake anti-malarial medications in 2013 alone.

AstraZeneca and Sanofi are some of the manufactures who have signed on to mPedigre now have its Goldkey labels on over 500 million packets.

Beyond the pharmaceutical industry, TextStyles, the African print cloth manufacture in Ghana has signed on, in a bid to fight counterfeiting of its prestigious GTP Cloth products.

Ghana’s debt now $25.6 billion – BoG

Ghana's debt stock rose to US$25.6 billion or GH¢97.2 billion in December last year, equivalent to 72.9 per cent of the year's total economic output, measured by gross domestic product (GDP), it has been reported.

3% royalties paid to the state/chiefs since 1897 remains till date (2016)

During the turn of 19th century Gold was the only mineral mined and exported from Gold Coast (Ghana). Thomas Hughes, a wealthy Fante entrepreneur, advisor to the Cape Coast and the British Colonial authorities at Gold Coast, was the first man to order modern heavy machinery to start mining at Wassa areas. In no time, Hughes struck a rich vein of gold in 1861.