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UK gives Ghana £20m grant

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Ghana and the United Kingdom have signed an agreement under which the UK will give Ghana a 20-million pound grant under a jobs and economic transformation programme.

The expected outcome of the programme, which will be implemented in the next six years, includes economic diversification and trade boost that will deliver 15,000 formal jobs in the targeted sectors.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, initialled for Ghana, while the UK Minister of State for Africa, Ms Harriet Baldwin, signed for her country.

Addressing the media at the Jubilee House after the signing ceremony on Tuesday, Mr Kyerematen said the government was working to reduce the volatility of the economy by diversifying its sources of growth, especially from being an export base to a sector that created jobs.

Read Also: Ghana, Kenya overtake Nigeria on list of most hardworking foreigners in US

He said the government was also pursuing comprehensive initiatives and strategic interventions to open up investment opportunities for domestic and foreign companies.

The interventions, he said, covered agro-manufacturing, automobile assembling, pharmaceutical, salt-based chemicals and garments and textiles industries.

For her part, Ms Baldwin stated that the provision of the grant represented a new relationship that would make the UK help Ghana realise its policy of a Ghana Beyond Aid.

She said the support would facilitate value addition, promote industrialisation and focus on ensuring that doing business in Ghana was easier.

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Nigerien President, Mohamed Bazoum wants employment quotas for African immigrants

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Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum wants employment quotas for African immigrants tailored to job needs from European countries.

President Bazoum made the position in an interview with an Italian newspaper, La Repubblica. on Friday.

The president’s argument is that the quota will address European countries’ needs for its labour market and could help resolve the problem of illegal migration and human trafficking.

“In France, Spain, and Italy you have many jobs in sectors of employment where Africans can work,” Bazoum said.

“These numbers need to be established, country by country, and then the consulates entrusted with the responsibility of enforcing them.”

Surveys of African migrants in or heading toward Europe reveal that the majority were either employed or in school at the time of their departure. Yet, they felt despair over their economic prospects.

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IMF Chief, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, to visit China over Africa’s growing debt profile

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As the debt profile of many African countries continues to rise, the International Monetary Fund strategy chief, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu will travel to China next week for another high-level meeting.

Her travel is part of efforts to press the world’s largest sovereign creditor for quicker progress on debt restructurings for countries in need.

The IMF chief had called for debt restructuring arrangements for Zambia and Chad to be completed shortly.

Pazarbasioglu said it was critical to move forward and that “outreach to China next week is very important, at the highest levels.”

“It’s moving – very slowly, but it’s moving,” Pazarbasioglu said, noting that the participation of mining company Glencore Plc in the Chad treatment was also “a very good sign” that “even the most difficult private sector participants” were participating.

She said the Paris Club of official bilateral creditors had taken years to hammer out their debt relief processes, and China was learning, although she noted that the debt issues facing borrowing countries now were acute.

“The problem we have is that we don’t have that time right now because these countries are very fragile and dealing with debt vulnerabilities,” she said. “What we need is speed.”

Pazarbasioglu said the IMF would continue to press for changes to the Common Framework, including a freeze in debt payments when countries apply for a debt treatment, as well as clearer procedures and timelines for action, and ensuring comparable treatment for private creditors.

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