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Ghana to begin production of Covid-19 vaccines as Nissan sets assembly plant for 5,000 vehicles yearly

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President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana in his State of the Nation Address in parliament on Wednesday said the country will start producing its own COVID-19 vaccines by January 2024.

A National Vaccine Institute would be established to lay out a strategy for the West African country to begin the first phase of commercial production for the jabs, he said without providing further details.

“A bill will shortly be brought to you, in this House, for your support and approval for the establishment of the National Vaccine Institute,” he said.

The development comes after the President announced on Tuesday the opening of sea and land borders on Tuesday, 2 years after he announced the closure of borders to the West African country in the wake of the global pandemic – Covid-19.

The World Health Organization says Ghana has so far vaccinated over 14 million people with a single dose and over five million fully vaccinated – 16.3% of the population.

As a testimonial to its automotive development policy to encourage investment, president Akufo Addo announced that a new assembly plant with the capacity to assemble 5,000 new vehicles per annum has been established by Nissan in the eastern port city of Tema, which is currently producing Nissan and Peugeot brands of vehicles for the Ghanaian and West African markets.

The multinational, JAPAN Motors Trading Company (JMTC) had confirmed the president’s announcement in an earlier update on its official website. “…has been approved to begin producing the all-new ‘Built of More’ Nissan Navara at its brand-new, state-of-the-art assembly plant in Tema, outside the capital Accra”.

The new plant is different from the Navara production facility which is in Accra, the capital of Ghana, that is 100% Ghanaian operated by the Japan Motors Trading Company (JMTC), which invested the US $3 million into its construction, following Ghana’s drafting of its automotive development policy to encourage investment in the sector.

According to the World Bank, Ghana’s rapid growth was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the March 2020 lockdown, and a sharp decline in commodity exports. The economy had grown at an average of 7 percent in 2017-19, before experiencing a sharp contraction in the second and third quarters of 2020.

The economic slowdown had a considerable impact on households. The poverty rate is estimated to have slightly increased from 25 percent in 2019 to 25.5 percent in 2020.

With the recent wave of declarations Ghana’s economy is projected to recover gradually over the medium term, thanks to commodity price growth and strong domestic demand.

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Nigeria has received $10.9 billion multi-sector investments from AfDB— Official

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Nigeria has received $10.9 billion from the African Development Bank (AfDB), comprising $4.9 billion in public and private sector initiatives.

AfDB Director-General of the West Africa Region, Lamin Barrow, said the bank’s Nigeria funding approvals total $10.9 billion since it started operations.

Barrow made the revelation at the Second Interactive Session and Workshop on Developing Bankable Business Proposals/Business Plans for Youths in Agriculture in Abuja on Monday.

It was part of the bank’s 60th anniversary celebrations with stakeholders. Nigeria is the AfDB’s largest shareholder, and the bank’s relationship with it has grown, Barrow said.

The AfDB invests in Nigeria’s energy, power, transport, water, and sanitation infrastructure.

“Over the last 60 years, the Bank has grown into a trusted partner and the continent’s premier development financial institution.

“Our cooperation with Nigeria has expanded over the years, especially considering that Nigeria is the largest shareholder.

“Since it started operations in the country, cumulative financing approvals have reached 10.9 billion dollars and our portfolio currently stands at 4.9 billion dollars supporting projects in the public and private sectors,” he said.

After taking office eight years ago, AfDB President Dr Akinwumi Adesina prioritized the High 5—Power, Feed, Industrialize, Integrate, and Improve Africa’s quality of life—Barrow added. He said these were accelerators for achieving the SDGs and Agenda 2063 ambitions. The projects and programs supported during this time have reportedly affected over 400 million individuals.

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Analysts expect Egypt’s economy to rise 4.0% in 2024/25

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A recent study that sampled seventeen economists by Reuters has predicted slower economic growth for Egypt in April after a $8 billion IMF accord in March.

The median projection for GDP growth in the fiscal year starting July 1 was 4%, down from 4.35% in April and 4.15% in January.

The poll predicted the GDP grew 2.9% in the fiscal year ending June 30. This is below their April and January predictions of 3% and 3.5%. Poll: 2025/26 growth should rise to 4.99%.

After the IMF agreement, Capital Economics’ James Swanston predicted slower growth due to tighter fiscal and monetary policies and a weaker pound.

“The overall net impact is that economic growth will be weaker this fiscal year, but there are reasons to be more optimistic on GDP growth from FY2025/26 onward,” Swanston said.

Egyptian tourism and Suez Canal revenue have slowed due to the Gaza crisis, which has cut Egypt’s foreign revenue by more than half.

Egypt’s planning ministry predicted 4.2% growth in 2024/25 on June 2. Analysts expect the Egyptian pound to fall to 49.50 per dollar by June 2025 and 52.50 by June 2026.

Before dropping it in March 2024, the central bank kept the pound at 30.85 per dollar. It’s roughly 48.40 per dollar.

The survey forecast 20.5% headline inflation in 2024/25 and 12.05% in 2025/26. In June, inflation dropped to 27.5% from a record high of 38.0% in September, exceeding the central bank’s objective of 5%-9%.

The analysts expect the central bank’s overnight lending rate to drop to 21.25% by June 2025 and 15.25% by June 2026.

Foreign money shortages have slowed the Egyptian economy. However, a $24 billion real estate transaction with the UAE in late February, a significant currency devaluation, and a $8 billion IMF accord in early March have mitigated that.

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