Press focuses on projected 30% rise in Intra-African trade, others

APA– Accra The projected 30 percent rise in Intra-African trade among selected sectors under industry, energy, mining and agriculture during the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement is one of the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Tuesday. The Ghanaian Times reports that Intra-African trade among selected sectors…

APA – Accra (Ghana) The projected 30 percent rise in Intra-African trade among selected sectors under industry, energy, mining and agriculture during the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement is one of the trending stories in the Ghanaian press on Tuesday.

The Ghanaian Times reports that Intra-African trade among selected sectors under industry, energy, mining and agriculture are expected to increase by 30 percent during the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement.

The projected 30 percent increase in intra-African trade in the selected sectors according to a study by African Export and Import Bank (Afrieximbank), translates into over $1 billion increase in value of trade.

In the agriculture sector, sub-sectors to benefit most from the 30 percent intra-African trade increase are milk and dairy products, processed food, cereals and crops and sugar.

In industry, the sectors with the most potential are wood and paper products, chemical, rubber, plastic and pharmaceutical products, vehicles and transport equipment, metals, other manufactured products, and in energy and mining there is scope for refined oil exports.

“All of these sectors are forecast to experience an increase in intra-African trade in excess of 30 percent and not less than $1 billion,” the report by Afrieximbank noted.

The study added that, in terms of services trade, intra-African trade would increase by over 50 percent for financial, business and communication services, by around 50 percent for tourism and transport and by just over a third for health and education.

“Nonetheless, the opportunities for trade in both education and health services should not be ignored. Indeed, although more modest in relative terms as compared to the five priority sectors, gains would still be considerable in both education and health and in fact gains would even be remarkable in many countries,” it said.

The newspaper says that eight persons have been arrested in connection with revelations that child labour is prevalent in cocoa farms in the Western North Region.

The eight include seven persons from the Ashanti Region and one from the Western North Region.

This was made known by the Senior Public Affairs Manager at the Ghana Cocoa Board, Fiifi Boafo, at a press conference in Accra yesterday.

The revelation, Fiifi Boafo said, was unacceptable in the face of COCOBOD’s zero tolerance for child labour policy.

“COCOBOD and the Government have taken a strong stance against child labour of any kind and condemn any act which undermines the efforts aimed at ensuring sustainability in the cocoa industry,” Mr Boafo stated.

To him, in as much as the practice is not widespread in Ghana’s cocoa industry, it is important any form of child labour was nibbed in the bud and that efforts by government to weed out child labour in the sector were yielding results.

Governments over the years, he said, have introduced anti-child labour programmes to discourage child labour on farms and would continue to pursue those interventions to ensure the zero-tolerance child labour policy.

The Graphic reports that the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) have referred the Executive Director of the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), Mr Mensah Thompson, to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) for further investigations over an allegation that the presidential aircraft was used by relatives of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for a shopping trip to the United Kingdom between December 20 and 30, 2021.

Although the GAF, which operate the Falcon Ex presidential jet, denied the allegation in a statement issued on Sunday, January 9, they added: “In view of the seriousness we attach to such malicious publications, the issue has been referred to the Inspector General of Police for further investigations.”

The GAF statement was in reaction to a Facebook post by Mr Thompson on January 7, this year, on an alleged illegal use of the presidential jet.

Mr Thompson stated: “So between the 20th and 30th of December, 2021 during the Christmas, the children of a close relative of the President took Ghana’s Presidential Jet, the Falcon EX jet on a trip to the UK just for Christmas shopping.

They didn’t go alone, they went with their friends and partied in the sky all through the trip, taking snap videos and flaunting their lucky adventure.

Ghana has spent close to half a billion dollars in the last two years renting private jets for our President, while his family members continue to lavish in our rejected aircraft at the expense of the poor taxpayer.

“The Ministry of National Security, the Ghana Airforce and the Civil Aviation Authority would have to provide answers to the good people of Ghana why a national security asset like the Presidential jet was left at the mercy of spoilt youngsters who went partying around the world playing in Ghana’s Presidential jet, creating an international diplomatic spectacle, embarrassing the country Ghana.”

But the GAF, in a statement signed by their acting Director Public Relations, Commander Andy La-Anyane, said: “We wish to state without any equivocation that the said publication is untrue, frivolous and without any basis. We additionally wish to state that the said aircraft has not been to Europe for a very long time and this publication is, therefore, a figment of the author’s imagination. These allegations can easily be verified, since there is always a task order for the movement of all Ghana Air Force platforms.”

The statement said the publication was a calculated effort to undermine the image of the GAF in the eyes of the general public.

The newspaper says that Milovan Rajevac, coach of Black Stars, has called on his team to concentrate on winning their next two Group C Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) matches against Gabon and Comoros to secure qualification into the next stage of the tournament.

The Serbian trainer explained that the Black Stars must focus on creating and scoring more goals in the upcoming matches of the competition.

A sofiane Boufal late strike after 83 minutes gave the Atlas Lions a narrow 1-0 win over the Black Stars at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaoundé on Monday.

In a post-match conference, coach Milo praised the Moroccan team but said his side were unlucky not to have scored in the game.

He noted that the team must work their way back to victory in subsequent matches to ensure they make it to the knockout phase of the competition.

“We were unlucky not to have scored because we created a lot of chances but in the end, we lost and have to come back stronger against Gabon,” Coach Milo explained.

“The focus will be on creating more chances and scoring in our next two group games to enable us qualify to the next stage of the competition.”

Ghana are faced with two tough tests to save their AFCON campaign after losing to Morocco but the Stars are hopeful of qualification despite their opening day defeat.

The Stars are looking to end a 40-year AFCON trophy drought after failing to win the title on three occasions in 1992, 2010 and 2015 when they made the finals.



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