Wednesday, June 24, 2015


AFB GhanaAfb Ghana seeks to expand, and list on Ghana stock market
 By.E.K.Bensah Jr

 In an attempt to expand its footprint throughout Ghana, financial services company, afb, has received approval to list bonds up to GHS 100 million on the Ghana Stock Exchange. This comes on the heels of afb receiving a BBB credit rating, making it an “investment grade” bond.nb Managing Director of afb Ghana, Arnold Parker, said on the impending listing, “By doing this, we broaden the universe of investors who can support the growth of afb in Ghana. A listed funding platform allows afb to continue to fund the development of the company from the local stock exchange.”

Chief Financial Officer of the afb Group, Bruce Sneddon, stated that, “afb will predominantly use the first tranche of the bond proceeds to pay off USD debt owed to offshore counterparties. This debt is very expensive, especially given the weakening of the GHS vs the USD over the past two years and the balance will be used to continue expanding the loan portfolio.”

Parker further added, “afb Ghana has been growing steadily in the market and today we have 23 branches catering to over 60,000 customers.” This raising of funds will set the company up for the next phase of advancement. It will help streamline activities to enhance service delivery, fund working capital and also expand into new loan products which will provide wider choices to all Ghanaians to make their lives better.” Commenting on the ‘BBB’ rating accorded by GCR (Global Credit Rating) Company to afb’s GHS 30 million bond issue, Sneddon said, “We are the first company in Ghana to have a rated listing and this also shows confidence in afb’s vision and strategy for the Ghanaian market.”

afb is a financial services company providing innovative consumer and SME credit products in sub-Saharan Africa. Committed to responsible lending, afb is the first to offer mass-market, voluntary repayment products in the markets in which it operates. These products are delivered through technology-based solutions in partnership with mobile network operators, retail stores and other enterprises. afb has over 600,000 customers in Kenya, Ghana, Zambia and Tanzania, and over 450 retail partners.

 source: AFB Ghana


Monday, June 22, 2015

COMING UP!>>Ep.46: West Africa Drug Policy Network (WADPN): Countdown to 26 June – International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

Episode #46:
Time with West Africa Drug Policy Network (WADPN): Countdown to 26 June – International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

Since 1987, the UN has used 26 June to reflect on a society free of drug abuse. West Africa has the peculiar distinction of being home to what the UN Office on Drugs & Crime considers one of the six evils of crime, which includes drug trafficking.

In this second show showcasing the advocacy of the West Africa Drug Policy Network, we will be speaking to three members of the Network who will help us count down to 26 June, and remind us of the importance of the “Support, don’t punish campaign”, which seeks to put a human face on those who take drugs.
Call us on the following numbers when we open the phone lines at 14h30 GMT
+233(0)289.000.931 // +233(0)289.931.000
Join us if you can at 1pm on 23 June, 2015.
Guiding questions
·         What has been the state of play of WADPN’s advocacy since last show in February?
·         What is the “Support, don’t punish campaign”, and why is it important for WADPN’s advocacy?
·         What are some of the Network’s upcoming activities?
·         Is the Ghanaian public ready to accept a society free of drug abuse?
·         How instrumental has the West Africa Commission on Drugs been to WADPN’s advocacy?

Guests in the studio:
Ø  Marie-Ane Goretti, International Drug Policy Consortium(IDPC)
Ø  Christian Lokko, REMAR Ghana
Ø  Helen Meredith, WABHARM

Ø  Juana Akuamoah-Boateng, Assistant Producer, “Africa in Focus” Show

Guests on the line:
Ø  Macmillan Prentice, Ghana Standards Authority who will, @ 13h30, offer us an update of ECOSTAND (West African Quality Standard)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

OPPORTUNITY!!》Essay Competition on the Tripartite Free Trade Area and the Continental Free Trade Area | Saana Consulting

The competition is aimed at university students who are citizens of any African Union country, between the ages of 18-25 and currently enrolled in undergraduate studies in economics, law, political science or other relevant discipline. Entries are welcomed from AU citizens between 18-25 years enrolled in higher education institutions inside and outside of the borders of AU countries.

Choose one of the topics below and write an evidence-based essay of between 1,500 to 2,500 words. The topics are based on the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement (TFTA) and the Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA).

Where can the TFTA and CFTA  make the biggest contribution to boosting inter-African trade and responding to Africa's economic development challenges and opportunities? How can they be designed to  realise these gains?
Africa already has a plethora of regional economic communities and related institutions and initiatives. Are these building blocs or stumbling blocs for the TFTA and CFTA?
Does the evidence suggest that regional free trade agreements such as the TFTA and CFTA will cater to the needs of smaller, less industrialised nations in Africa, as well as the larger economies? How can we ensure the TFTA and CFTA benefit Africa's poor?
What governance arrangements would work best for the TFTA and the CFTA to ensure a business-led and people-centred integration process? Is there sufficient political will to conclude the TFTA and CFTA negotiations and implement provisions in a timely manner?
Assess the economic benefits of regional integration in Africa such as the Tripartite Agreement or the proposed continental FTA over the successful conclusion of the WTO Doha round at the 10th Ministerial Conference in Nairobi in December 2015. Where should African policy makers focus their attention?
The deadline for essay submission is Monday 3rd August 2015 at 23:59 hours British Summer Time (BST). Winners will be announced in September 2015.

We are delighted to have a judging panel made up of eminent experts in the field of African regional trade and economic integration.

Mr Tom Pengelly

Co-Founder and Managing Director of Saana Consulting and Team Leader of the DFID Trade Advocacy Fund. Prior, he was Team Leader for Trade Development in DFID's International Trade department. Tom has worked with DFID, EC, DANIDA, USAID, WTO, ILEAP, ICTSD, ITC, UNCTAD, ODI, SECO, WIPO, and the World Bank in over 30 countries. From his over 20 years in development co-operation, he has extensive experience and knowledge in Aid for Trade, trade policy, regional integration and trade facilitation, particularly in Africa.

Professor Jim Rollo

Professor Emeritus of European Economic Integration at Sussex University and an Associate Research Fellow at the Centre for the Analysis of Regional Integration (CARIS) at Sussex. He is also Co-Founder and Finance Director of InterAnalysis Ltd, the producers of TradeSift trade data analysis software. Earlier in his career, Jim was Chief Economic Advisor to the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Ms Trudi Hartzenberg

Executive Director of tralac. Her work focuses particularly on trade related capacity building in east and southern Africa. Trudi is an economist with research experience in trade policy, regional integration, investment as well as industrial and competition policy.

Mr Stephen Karingi

Director for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa's (UNECA) division of Regional Integration and Trade. Prior to joining UNECA, he was Senior Analyst and Head of the Macroeconomics Division for the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA). Stephen is an expert in agricultural economics, macroeconomic policy, regional integration, trade policy, public policy, capacity building and policy analysis.

Mr Dominique Njinkeu

Lead Trade Facilitation Specialist and Program Coordinator of the Trade Facilitation Facility at the World Bank. Before joining the World Bank, he was Executive Director for International Lawyers and Economists Against Poverty (ILEAP) and Deputy Director of Research for the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC). He has  20 years experience of managing research and providing advice to African governments and regional economic communities on trade and regional integration, trade facilitation, poverty reduction and international negotiations.

The first prize will be USD 1,000 and the winner will be invited to present their paper during tralac's Conference on the Continental Free Trade Area during the last quarter of 2015. The first runner up will receive USD 750. Further prizes of hardback book sets published by tralac will be awarded to highly commended entries. The winning essays will also be published by tralac.

Due to the expected large number of entries, we regret that no feedback can be provided for individual essays.

Essay Competition on the Tripartite Free Trade Area and the Continental Free Trade Area | Saana Consulting
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Monday, June 15, 2015

Coming up!>>Ep.45: SPECIAL: Talking Points around #ECOWAS@40(5): Time with WANEP

Episode #45:
SPECIAL: Talking Points around #ECOWAS@40(5): Time with the West African Network for Peacebuilding(WANEP)

As ECOWAS celebrates forty years of its existence, no column inch has been spared to discuss how peace and security has dominated the major part of ECOWAS’ operational existence.

In this special edition of the show, we will be speaking to Alimou Diallo of WANEP who will be offering us insights into peace & security as it pertains to the West African sub-region; as well as some of its institutional developments in this respect.

Call us on the following numbers when we open the phone lines at 14h30 GMT
+233(0)289.000.931 // +233(0)289.931.000

Join us if you can at 1pm on 16 June, 2015.

Guiding questions
·        Will ECOWAS be focusing on more peace & security over the next couple of years?
·        What are some of the institutional developments around WANEP’s early-warning system?
·        What are some of the take-away messages from the WANEP Media Roundtable on ECOWAS@40?

Guests in the studio:
Ø  Alimou Diallo, Programme Manager, West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP)

Ø  Juana Akuamoah-Boateng, Assistant Producer, “Africa in Focus” Show

Monday, June 1, 2015

#PODCAST!>>Episode 42: Impact of Ghana’s Power Crisis(2)…on Women, & Renewable Energy Alternatives

Research & Co-ordination: E.K.Bensah Jr
Executive Producer: E.K.Bensah Jr
Technical  Producer: D.J. Stagger

"Dear friends,

In this edition of AIF Show, we had a conversation with some strong women about the impact of Ghana's ongoing power crisis on our mothers, wives, daughters, and sisters.

As the critical element in the nuclear family, we wanted to explore what alternatives exist to help mitigate the impact effects on women. To that end, we spoke, in our second conversation with SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, to two reps from that organisation, who explained to us about their affordable solar lanterns, and other options that exist for women.

Furthermore, we spoke to Mrs.Catherine Appiah-Pinkrah of Ministry of Defence who gave us insights into the implications of power crisis as a "peace and security" issue at the micro-level in the way it impacts the nuclear family. Mrs.Appiah-Pinkrah pretty much conceded that it *is* a veritable peace and security issue as when the lights go off, and miscreants have a field day because of that, it is the women who get raped.

With Mother's Day coming on the heels of the show, it was an opportunity not just to celebrate our mothers, daughters, and sisters reflect on the immense multiple roles they are compelled to assume as they seek to bring harmony to the home in the light of the more-than-usual darkness that has visited the homes of Ghanaians for 3 years.

Kindly find a link to download the podcast below, and enjoy "Africa in Focus" Show's episode#42:

Just in case you missed it: "Africa in Focus Show" is the ONLY weekly magazine on Ghanaian radio explaining; unpacking; demystifying ECOWAS; AU; and South-South cooperation policies around Africa's integration. We are airborne every Tuesday from 13h00 to 15h00 GMT. All podcasts are available for download on  Follow the conversation using #AfricainFocus

Kind regards,


STORIFY FEATURE: What you missed from the 12 May, 2015 Edition of the AIF Show--#RenewableEnergy2

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