First corner of Ghana’s economy turned; there are more to turn – Economists

Some economists have asked the government to increase efforts at improving the relative economic stability gained in the first six months of 2023 to bring relief to Ghanaians. In their reflections on the mid-year budget review, the economists indicated that despite some signs of the Ghanaian economy stabilising in the first half of the year, the government could not conclude that it had ‘turned the corner’. ‘We’ve turned the first corner, but there are a few more to turn,’ Professor Peter Quartey, the Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) said. Speaking at an appraisal forum on the mid-year budget review in Accra, Prof Quartey said the current inflation, exchange rate and budget deficit figures did not call for an excitement that all was well with the economy and citizens. ‘We’ve seen inflation decline from 53.6 per cent in January to 42.5 per cent as of June 2023, exchange rate has also shown some stability, and some revenue handles have improved in the first half of the year. However, a good number of the revenue handles have missed their half year targets, and there are still threats of exchange rate depreciation as the government would have to pay its external loans,’ Prof Quartey noted. Dr Patrick Asuming, who is a Senior Lecturer with the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), also said: ‘Some of the progresses at the beginning of the year are reversing.’ ‘From the current developments in the economy, the government has not turned the corner, because when you say you’re turning the corner, you shouldn’t come with a downward revision of your growth targets,’ he said. He explained that following some disinflation in the first quarter of 2023, the country’s inflation rate remained flat, but had in recent times started to marginally inch up. ‘Even though the GDP growth for the first quarter was good, you realise that it was necessitated by activities of government and not private sector sustainable growth, so, we can’t say we’ve turned the corner,’ he said. Dr Asuming said the support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout programme would help in relatively stabilising the local currency against its major trading partners for the rest of the year, but there would be a slow growth in the economy. ‘We must not backslide on the short-term goals agreed with the IMF. The government must implement long-term strategies and revive the failing flagship programmes, including the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ),’ he urged. During the presentation of the 2023 mid-year budget to Parliament last Monday, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister said despite the headwinds hitting the Ghanaian economy, ‘we have turned the corner.’ ‘We have avoided the unimaginable, including empty shop shelves for medicines and other essentials, long queues for fuel and gas, as well as disruptions to power supply as occurred elsewhere,’ Mr Ofori-Atta said. He said: ‘This turnaround is underpinned by the investments we have collectively made during this difficult period since March 2020,’ including the support from the IMF to implement the government’s Post-COVID-19 Programme for Economic Growth (PC-PEG). He said it was important that going forward, all Ghanaians spoke in the same language of productivity, growth and work closely together to secure a collective success and pledged the government’s resolve to sustain a favourable macroeconomic environment for the benefit of all.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Fecafoot gate: CAF begins investigating Samuel Eto’oo

The Confederation of African Football, CAF, has said the body is investigating allegations against the President of the Cameroon Football Federation, former player, Samuel Eto’o Fils.

The Fecafoot president has recently been criticized by some football stakeholders for an alleged role in match-fixing involving a second-division club that gained promotion to the first division( Elite One)

“CAF has received written statements from several Cameroonian football stakeholders to look into and investigate certain alleged improper conduct by Mr. Samuel Eto’o who is President of the Fédération Camerounaise de Football (“FECAFOOT”).” a press statement read.

While reminding stakeholders that Samuel Eto’o Fils is not guilty until proven so, the African football federation, noted that it will not comment on the matter until findings have been concluded.

Want to know more on the background? Also read: Fecafoot gate: Eto’o disavows Nkwain Valentine – Cameroon News Agency

and FECAFOOT Gate takes a new twist as Victoria United asks for authenticity of voice message .

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Ngaoundere: Police discover human bones on accident site

One of the victims of an accident involving a bus belonging to an inter-regional transport agency, Touristique Voyage, and a heavy-duty truck, was carrying human bones, police have said.

At least 9 are said to have died and several others were injured on Wednesday afternoon in the accident that occurred 40 km away from the Adamawa central town.

An investigation has been opened to identify and arrest the victim who was transporting the bones.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Obama vs Ayah Foundation: Appeal court warns Obama, sends case back to First Instance

The Yaounde Court of Appeal has issued an arrest warrant against Ernest Dieudonné Obama, spokesperson of Fecafoot President, Samuel Eto’o Fils. The warrant will be executed if Obama fails to pay the sum of 35, 000 FCFA as charges for the case he brought before the court.

The verdict passed on July 28 2023 by Judge Gilbert Schilick grants victory to the Ayah Foundation which had filed a case against Obama, Vision 4, and Groupe Anecdote for defamation, propagation of false information, and blackmail in January 2020.

The respondent reportedly accused the Ayah Foundation of supplying arms to separatists in the crisis-hit English-speaking regions of Cameroon on television.

Despite efforts to halt proceedings by introducing a block at the Centre Court of Appeal, the judge sent the case back toot the Yaounde Court of First Instance, where Obama has avoided.

The verdict is expected anytime soon.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Adamawa: Accident leaves many feared dead

Close to a dozen people are feared dead in a road accident Wednesday 9, August 2023, involving a 70-seater bus of the Touristique voyage. Several passengers who sustained injuries have been rushed to a hospital in Ngaoundere, Cameroon’s Adamawa region.

Sources hint the accident happened at a place called Falaise de Mbe, about 40 km from the centre of town.

The bus was heading towards Garoua.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Douala: Road maintenance leaves commuters in huge traffic

Plagued by diverse problems, denizens in Cameroon’s economic capital Douala are also wrestling with traffic, caused by cratered roads, maintenance works, rainfall on a daily basis, and others.

Almost at every strategic place in the heart of the city of Douala like Ndokotti, Bonamoussadi, Rond Point Deido, Bessengue, Akwa, Mboppi, Carrefour Ajip, to mention but a few, the traffic is unbearable, especially during rush hours.

“My brother, it is not easy. Now with the rains, it is practically impossible to go to work. You have to wait for it to cease. Even when it ceases, you are not able to get a taxi or a bike. People are piled up along the road. If you succeed to get any, you have to spend over 40 minutes in traffic before you reach your job site and that depends. It’s crazy.” A commuter told CNA.

Speaking to another city dweller, she said the situation during the evening hours is super annoying.

“I live in Ndogbong and run a shop in New Bell. I close at 5:00 pm. I must say at times I feel like sleeping in the shop though it is impossible to do so when I think of the traffic here, Mboppi, and Ndokotti even toward Ndogbong. There are days I am obliged to close my shop at 4:00 pm to cheat traffic.” The merchant said.

This a complicated situation for people who live far from their job sites, as they spend almost all of their salary on transport. A stranded commuter at Mobile Bonakouangmouang-Akwa told a CNA reporter during a conversation that he spends 1000frs to return home in Bonaberi precisely at Rail.

“I have been standing here for about an hour and not able to propose to four bikes. It is rush hour, everybody wants to get home. All bikes are loaded. Most don’t even go to my destination. At times I am forced to take two or three drops. If I see a bike, whatever the rider proposes I just pay because others will jump on the bike and pay the amount once you try arguing. Every day I spend close to 2,000frs to and from work. How much does one even earn?”.

Some of these city dwellers believe mobility is more difficult this rainy season worsened by the deplorable state of roads in the city of Douala and the ongoing ” fake or non-durable” maintenance works being carried out by the City council. Thus, they prefer the dry season over the rainy season.

So because there will be no rain to block them home in the morning to later scramble over taxis and motorbikes.

Source: Cameroon News Agency