Archive | January, 2012

Tullow Oil, Sunderland FC launch ‘Invest In Africa’ initiative

27 Jan

A new business initiative called “Invest in Africa” has been launched in Accra by Tullow Oil Ghana in collaboration with UK-based Sunderland FC.

The initiative is to attract and facilitate further investments in Africa.

It is intended to promote Africa’s investment opportunities to the international business community through football, and encourage long-term investment across the continent to help build and develop local capacity, boost domestic job markets, develop skills and stimulate economic growth.

Aidan Heavy, Chief Executive of Tullow however noted that the company is the initial founding partner in ‘Invest in Africa’ with investments in 17 African countries, adding that plans on securing further five founding partners for the international business community is focused on Africa.

He noted with grave concern that people he had earlier on spoken with concerning Africa in the international business community, see Africa as charity and aid dependent and not as an investment destination.

“Africa presents one of the best investment opportunities in the world today and this initiative is to promote Africa,” he stressed.

He noted that research indicates that more than four billion people watch the English Premiership every week and that meant if Africa’s business opportunities could be brought to the attention of that huge number, substantial international investment would come to Africa.

Mr. Heavy hinted that Tullow initially approached some of the popularly known English football clubs which have better presence in Africa than Sunderland, but were all interested in the profits they would make rather than how they can impact Africa with their investment.
He was enthused Sunderland FC was the only club that welcomed the idea and could envisage the vision and had the passion for Africa adding, so we believe we have a great partner in Sunderland FC to achieve this goal,” he said.

Naill Quinn, Director of International Development for Sunderland FC, said Sunderland was excited about the ground-breaking opportunity to bring Sunderland into new territories, and believes the global appeal for the Premier League can be harnessed to benefit Africa.

He further stressed that Sunderland was not in the Invest in Africa deal for profit, but to use its appeal to promote investment and development in Africa.

Sunderland would use its television presence, football pitch and other outdoor opportunities to promote the Invest in Africa message, and also plans to touch base with local people in Africa and help young people develop their talents in both soccer and other career choices in the future.

Tullow Ghana Executive Chairman Ike Duker, also said the initiative would rope in regulatory agencies and government institutions like the ministries, MMDAs and others with the view to creating the enabling environment for investment.

GHANA URBAN WATER PRESS RELEASE

26 Jan

The Management of the Ghana Urban Water Limited, the Subsidiary Company managing the operations of the Ghana Water Company Limited, wishes to inform the General Public that the dry Harmattan season is here again and Customers are advised to conserve and use water wisely to minimise the impact of the usual shortfall in supply during the period.

In 2011, the impact of the dry season was not seriously felt due to prudent Management and consequent improvement in the system, and Management expects  a better situation this year, but it depends on how well all stakeholders manage the Situation.

Management of Ghana Urban Water Limited will therefore appreciate it if customers will manage water effectively to enable all consumers have enough.

All Customers are therefore advised to observe the following Water Conservation

Measures;

. Cease indiscriminate watering of Lawns with treated water,

  •  Moderate the use of treated water for car washing through the use of bucket instead of hosing,
  •  Repair all leakages in the homes.
  • Use ball valves in reservoirs to prevent overflow
  • Practice water storage
  • Report all burst pipes and leakages immediately to the nearest Ghana Urban Water Limited / Ghana Water Company Limited district offices, customer service centres, fault offices and Call centre.
  • 7.  Report all persons involved in illegal connection, by–passes and any malpractices against Ghana Urban Water Limited and Ghana Water Company Limited.

Management will want to bring to the attention of Customers that, the Customer Call Centre is still in operation and Customers are encouraged to call the following numbers,

Management of GUWL and GWCL will appreciate feedback from Customers in the Various Communities as they experience Improvements in the system.  The Ghana Urban Water Limited is committed to the provision of potable water to the people of Ghana and we will work hard to realise that vision.

The Management of Ghana Urban Water Limited and Ghana Water Company Limited wishes all Ghanaians a prosperous new year and it’s envisaged that, the payment of Water Bills shall be a priority in the budget for every customer.

Help Ghana Urban Water Limited and Ghana Water Company Limited, to serve you better.For further details, please contact;

Stanley Martey – 0244 336 180.

 

RCN Ghana, MWRWH Brainstorm on Sense- Maker Approach to Water Services Delivery

26 Jan

The Resource Centre Network Ghana (RCNG), in collaboration with Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, (MWRWH), has held a Learning and Sharing Meeting on another approach to effective water services delivery in Ghana, in Accra.

The objective of the meeting was to share the diversity of perspectives of various stakeholders on water service delivery using the Sense Maker approach and getting stakeholder feedback on the results of Sense Maker analysis of stories of change.

The meeting which engaged stakeholders in water service delivery was with the Theme: Beyond the statistics about water service delivery to people’s live experiences-Sense Maker Approach.

RCN Ghana, is a network of institutional partners seeking to promote Knowledge Management in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sector in Ghana. The vision is a dynamic knowledge-driven WASH sector providing improved and sustainable pro-poor services.  

Prosper Dzansi, (Planning Monitoring Evaluation and Learning Expert on the Triple-S Project) (CWSA) and Esinu Abbey (IT Coordinator, CWSA) led the discussion at the meeting where there was a joint multi-stakeholder sector professional.

The Triple-S Ghana project is under the leadership of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA).

The meeting saw elaborate discussions on the way forward as to the appropriate implementation of the new Sense-Maker approach to complement existing approach to effective water services delivery in the country.

IMANI: Trade Ministry’s Statement on Sekondi Free Zone Misleading (…..as Chinese partner fudges website)

16 Jan

14th January 2012
We have noted with alarm a statement issued by the Ministry of Trade
through the Ghana News Agency and signed by one Nana Akrasi Sarpong, who
styles himself: “Acting Director of Communication and Public Affairs”
(Please see:

This statement from the Ministry purports to respond to IMANIasking the government
to urgently amend the CDB project briefing documents issued to Parliament
regarding the Sekondi Industrial Estate project (in particular: the
“Project summaries for CDB Comprehensive Project Financing Facility, dated
the 23rd of August 2011).
We made this call in view of the discovery that the company mentioned in
that document as having been engaged “to mobilize a public-private
partnership to establish a cluster of industrial minerals processing
ventures at the ‘Sekondi Free Zone’“– China Hasan International – does
not in fact possess the demonstrable capacity and track record to secure
the $2 billion or $4 billion (reports differ) supposedly required to
develop the estate, despite representations to the contrary.
We had even gone to the extent of showing that the Hong Kong address
mentioned by the company on its website (en.hasan.cc) and in various
documents casts, upon scrutiny, further doubt on the company’s
credibility. In fact, China Hasan has changed several entries on its
website in the last few hours, just before the Ministry’s statement was
issued. Luckily, screenshots were saved by several patriotic Ghanaians in
anticipation of this exact type of conduct.
In the circumstances, Ghana is seeking to borrow $100 million from the
China Development Bank (CDB) to erect infrastructure for a project that is
deeply flawed in its financial arrangements.
Insofar as this project is integrated with a number of other major
projects in the A1 tranche of the CDB loan, there is every reason for the
general public to be worried that the Trade Ministry and the Ghana Free
Zones Board appear unable to confidently assure Ghanaians that they
conducted due diligence on China Hasan International Holding prior to
awarding the company its license to develop the free zone enclave and
prior to making the project for which the license was issued the core
proof of financing eligibility of the Sekondi Industrial Estate component
of the CDB facility.
Instead of addressing the very clear and vital issues raised in the
comment by IMANI, the Trade Ministry resorted to attacks on IMANI’s
integrity, shockingly asserting that “We would like to assure the general
public that there is no truth in the [IMANI] publication”.
We will urge Parliament to critically examine these matters since the CDB
briefing documents are still in Parliament’s possession in connection with
its ongoing evaluation of the CDB facility, and it is obviously important
to ensure their accuracy and reliability.
The Ministry asserts that China Hasan International “has not been awarded
any contract for the construction of the proposed development in Ghana”.
Yet, in the very next line, they announce bizarrely that: “The company’s
subsidiary in Ghana namely Hasan Investment Ghana Limited, has been
granted a developer’s license to develop the Sekondi Industrial Estate
under the provisions of the Free Zones Act (Act 504).”
This is clearly and dangerously disingenuous.
Unless the Ministry is not aware that said subsidiary of China Hasan
International in Ghana cannot by any stretch of the imagination be
considered more credit-worthy than its parent company; or that for all the
purposes under discussion here a “license” is very much a “contract”. We
will return to this point shortly.
Indeed it is contrary to the spirit of Act 504 (1995), which the Trade
Ministry cites, with no sense of irony, for government to be making
efforts to secure funding to erect infrastructure for the benefit of a
private free zone developer. Section 9(II)B of Act 504 specifically states
that:
“[A free zone developer shall] develop all other infrastructure necessary
for the enhancement of the efficient and effective activities of the zone,
in accordance with any regulations made under this Act…”

In this clear sense, government’s proposal to borrow money from the CDB to
fund the infrastructure requirements of the free zone is not in fact
supported by the very Act the Ministry claimed to be citing in its
defence.
The same Act 504 also permits “sub-contracting” by the private developer
(section 10), which is a right that can only logically accrue to the
licensed developer if the Act also construes the awarded “license” as a
“contract”.
Indeed, in this specific instance, unlike the case in certain intellectual
property licensing arrangements, there is no discernible ambiguity in the
opinions of specialists on the matter, which we have been diligent in
surveying, about whether the “license” is a “contract”, considering the
reciprocal obligations on both parties – China Hasan and the Ghana Free
Zones Board. At any rate, many legal authorities consider even unilateral
agreements, where all the obligations are on one party, as valid
contracts.
There is little to gain, except to brave the overwhelming tide of
specialist opinion, to argue that a license issued under a statutory
provision is not a contract. This is not only hair-splitting of a rather
worrying type, but also manifestly wrong.
We also note that the Ministry does not mention the Memorandum of
Understanding it entered into on behalf of the government of Ghana in
Beijing in September 2010, evidence of which were splashed all over Hasan
International’s website before they were mysteriously removed in the last
few hours (cached copies are available on request). Though this MOU may
not constitute a BINDING contract, it can nevertheless be CONSTRUABLE as a
contract, depending on the precise language used, regarding “specific
understandings” of the parties at the moment of execution.

It would appear from the statement issued by the Ministry of Trade that
the authorities are not interested in a critical examination of the issues
involved. We will repeat them again here for emphasis, and then leave
other competent public interest bodies, such as Parliament, to exercise
their mandate.
1.      Did the Ghana Free Zones Board (GFZB) conduct any due diligence on
China Hasan International and its local subsidiary before awarding it the
private developer’s license?
2.      Were they satisfied that Hasan’s track record and
credit-worthiness placed them in a position to raise the billions of
dollars apparently required to develop the minerals processing estate in
the free zones enclave?
3.      Bearing in mind that the Sekondi Industrial Estate is, by the
government’s own admission, a “flagship initiative under the Better Ghana
Agenda”, does it intend to conduct such due diligence, and based on the
results decide whether to place its hopes in China Hasan or not?
4.      Will the government and the GFZB promptly amend the document
before parliament and any transaction documents pertinent to the CDB
facility in which China Hasan is mentioned as proof of financing
eligibility in order not to cast doubts on the competence and viability of
the government’s preparations for accessing the CDB Tranche A1 facility?
5.      Will the government immediately launch a search for a more
credible project financier for the estate project in order to salvage the
process to transform the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis and the country’s
metallurgical industry, which would both be threatened if China Hasan
fails to deliver?
Executive Director’s Office
IMANI Center for Policy & Education
(www.imanighana.org & http://www.africanliberty.org)
IMANI Center for Policy & education
First Floor, No. 231 Bari House
Flat Top Junction, Off Achimota-Lapaz Rd.
P.O. Box AT 411
Accra, Ghana
Email : info@imanighana.com
Web : www.imanighana.com