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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Western Diamond Cement Limited (WDCL) has launched its product in Takoradi under the brand name ‘Diamond Cement’ to meet requirements of the construction industry.

The company, which has the first vertical plant in Ghana, will produce higher grade 42.5rapid and 32.5 rapid respectively as well as clinker storage of 6,500 metric tonnes.

Mr. Buddarajo Roju, Manager of Quality Control at Western Diamond Cement Limited, explained that the company is under the Diamond Cement Group Limited located at Bokro in the Ahanta West district of the Western Region -- and has branches at Aflao in the Volta Region and Buipe in the Northern Region.

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Ghana is to deepen its trade relations with countries in the Middle East to expand the frontiers of Ghana exports, especially the non-traditional exports, in the region.

Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, the Minister of Trade and Industry in an address at a Ghana Business Forum, at the ongoing Middle East Natural and Organic Products Expo (MENOPE 2015) in Dubai, said the Middle East is of paramount importance to the government as an attractive destination for Ghanaian exports.

The business forum, which was to showcase the investment opportunities in Ghana, was on the theme: "Promoting Quality Products to Maximise Market Opportunities."

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The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) is set to establish a Bank by end of next year.

The move is geared towards creating an institutional vehicle to accelerate growth in the savanna zone. A seed capital of about $100 million has been projected to kick start the bank.

The authority is setting the institution up as an independent financial body with little state influence.

It has therefore proposed a 20 percent government and 80 percent private equity. The major funding partners will be development financial bodies including the World Bank, African Development Bank, ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, the International Fund for Agriculture and Development among others.

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The Finance Ministry is confident that by end of year, it will submit to cabinet a draft of the Public Financial Management (PFM) Bill, which among other things is expected to punish fiscal indiscipline arising from public sector managers.

The passage of the FFM law, which is expected to check persistent fiscal indiscipline, is a key requirement under the country’s ongoing economic reforms programme under the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Experts say the law will zoom-in on chief directors, budget officers and other key officials in MMDAs who are instrumental in the preparation and execution of government.

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The commencement of passenger operations by Royal Fly GH airline is expected to drive down air-fares, as passengers complain about rising ticket prices.

With two domestic airlines-- Starbow and Africa World Airlines (AWA) -- operating flights from Accra to Takoradi, Kumasi, Sunyani and Tamale, a one-way ticket between Accra and Kumasi for instance costs about GH¢300. Air-fares between Accra and Tamale now cost about GH¢450.

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AFGRI Ghana and John Deere, leading dealers in farming machinery in Africa, have introduced new agricultural machines onto the Ghanaian market.

The equipment seek to improve mechanisation of agriculture, particularly in low income areas in the country. The items include slashers, harvesters, ploughs, planters, reapers and irrigation implements.

AFGRI Ghana is one of the largest South African based companies with 18 years experience in agriculture mechanisation and a huge investment in poultry and animal feed as well as collateral management.

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Microfin Rural Bank grew its deposits from GH¢900,710 in 2013 to GH¢2,259,798 in the 2014 operational year, representing an impressive 151 percent growth.

The bank also made significant strides in almost all major areas of operation -- specifically loans advancements, total assets and stated capital.

Total advances increased by 99 percent from the previous year’s figure of GH¢816,871 to GH¢1,625,557 in the year under review, while the bank’s total assets surged to GH¢2,937,288 from the 2013 figure of GH¢1,575,769, representing a growth of 86 percent.

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The central bank must strengthen the barrier to entry for new entrants into the financial market as the sector is currently “too crowded”, Ismael Kwesi Otchere, a microfinance expert and general manager of Microfin Rural Bank has advised.

He told the B&FT in an interview that access to the financial market has been loosened to new entrants in the quest to boost financial inclusion and facilitate a vibrant fiscal market, but that is not the way to go.

Mr. Otchere said: “There are too many banks in the country for a population that hovers around 27 million. As it stands, the financial market is crowded and there is a need for certain controls; and that includes tightening the entry barriers”.

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Deputy Petroleum Minister Benjamin Dagadu has described as unfortunate the practice whereby most Ghanaians wanting to work in the oil and gas sector shy away from technical aspects of the sector, opting to rather pursue various courses such as “oil and gas” management.

Mr. Dagadu, speaking at the West Africa Oil and Gas Talent Summit in Accra last week, said despite numerous job prospects in the sector, Ghanaians have opted to pursue educational courses which have relatively no value in the oil and gas sector.

“Everybody is doing oil and gas management nowadays. Who should do the work for you to come and manage?” the Deputy Minister quizzed.

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 Local Textile Manufacturing Company Printex is blaming the government for the collapse of the textile industry. 

According to the Manager in-charge of administration at Printex, Moses Tetteh Zizzer, the Ministry of Education, abrogated a contract it signed with the company for the supply of fabrics for the government’s free school uniform programme. 

He alleges that government is rather allowing various companies to import fabric from China against its initiative of encouraging Ghanaian textile manufacturing companies. 

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