M-KOPA Expands to Ghana, Unlocking $10m in Credit for Customers

M-KOPA, a leading African fintech platform, on Monday announced the official launch of its flexible digital financing model in Ghana following a successful pilot phase. The strategic move to expand its operations makes Ghana the second West African country for the company, strengthening its Pan-African footprint to provide financial and digital inclusion for underbanked customers.

The company established its market entry in the Greater Accra Region, focusing on smartphone financing.

Leveraging key partnerships with Samsung and Nokia, M-KOPA has provided financing to over 100,000 people and unlocked more than $10m in digital credit for customers in Ghana. These early-stage milestones pave the way for future regional growth and product expansion.

Mayur Patel, M-KOPA’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: ‘As a truly inclusive fintech on a mission to improve financial and digital accessibility, Ghana presents an exciting opportunity for us to expand our impact. Our customer-centric approach will enable us to enha
nce the day-to-day quality of people’s lives. We are thrilled by the success of the first phase of our entry in Ghana and are on track to serve more customers across the country’.

The Ghana launch follows the recent publishing of M-KOPA’s 2023 Impact Report, which shares the company’s remarkable progress in servicing over 3 million customers and unlocking over $1bn in credit.

Nearly half of all M-KOPA’s customers are first-time smartphone users, and 4 out of 5 customers report the quality of their lives has improved because of M-KOPA’s innovative products and services.

Chioma Agogo, General Manager, M-KOPA Ghana, said: ‘We are incredibly proud to announce the official launch of our successful operations in Ghana. This move represents a pivotal step in M-KOPA’s journey to inclusion and underscores our tangible impact and commitment to empowering the customers we serve in Ghana.’

M-KOPA’s fintech platform has steadily grown its footprint in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, and Ghana, with plans to expand to South Af
rica.

The innovative company combines the power of digital micropayments with the Internet of Things (IoT) to provide customers with access to productive assets. In markets where individuals have limited pre-existing financial identities and conventional collateral, M-KOPA’s flexible credit model allows individuals to pay a small deposit and get instant access to everyday essentials, including smartphones, and to digital financial services such as loans and health insurance.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Six females to contest in District-Level Elections in Akatsi South

A total of six women in the Akatsi South Municipality of the Volta Region have filed to contest in the upcoming District-Level elections in their respective Electoral Areas.

The female aspirants, drawn from different Electoral Areas, if elected, would break the ‘all-male dominance’ structure of the current assembly members.

Madam Patience Agozi, an aspirant for Live Electoral Area (EA), explained to the Ghana News Agency that she remained optimistic about a massive victory to represent the voice of her electorates.

The other aspirants include Madam Happy Justine Akorlor, Anyidzime-Zuta electoral area, Davordzi Angela, Agbedrafor electoral area, Akpalu Charity Sherry, Gefia electoral area, Comfort Afi Gorni, Kpevi-Gornikope electoral area, and Ahiabu Diana for Dzogadze electoral area.

The GNA also gathered that a total of 96 males have since filed to join the race.

Figures from the Electoral Commission in Akatsi South also revealed that 21 females formed part of the Unit Committee slots as compared to a
total of 217 males from the 28 Electoral Areas within the Municipality.

The EC has slated December 19 for the conduct of the district-Level Elections across the country.

The elections would take place in 6,252 electoral areas and with 38,672 polling stations nationwide.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Vibrant culinary industry stressed as EKGS Culinary Institute graduates students

Ghana needs a vibrant culinary industry that can absorb more graduates to rewrite the nation’s employment narrative, Mr Joseph Amarh Amartey, the Acting Executive Director of the Tourism Society of Ghana (TOSOGHA), has observed.

He explained, at the 45th graduation ceremony of the EKGS Culinary Institute, in Accra, that ‘the culinary industry provides an enormous variety of opportunities’ and urged the graduates to be prepared with the mindset to meet the needed quality standards to promote tasty food for quality health.

‘Don’t leave here unprepared and go home with the mindset that you cannot find jobs, or you cannot meet the quality standards needed to promote good food which will impact on quality health,’ Mr Amartey told the 130 graduates, who included three males.

The graduates, apart from Ghana, came from Nigeria, Mali, Liberia, Togo, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, and Uganda, and underwent different durations of professional culinary and floral training at the Sakaman-Dansoman, Accra-based instit
ute.

They studied and were trained in Cake Making, Pastry Art, Cookery, Balloon Ribbon Making and Floral Art.

The sounds of clinking forks, knives, and spoons in a pleasant aroma of distinct kinds of dishes and prepared meals, cakes and drinks that filled the air at a food exhibition in the foyer of the Accra International Conference Centre, on Sunday matched the different genres of music in auditorium.

The graduation ceremony was held on the theme: ‘Building the Human Capital for the Culinary Industry: the Way to Economic Transformation; EKGS Culinary Institute, Doing Great Things with Creative Minds.’

Mr Amartey advised the graduates to be guided by expertise and experience, saying, ‘Think smart and look sharp.’

He reminded the gathering that economic growth in Ghana over the years had been attributed to the role played by the culinary industry and urged the graduates to use the training received to create jobs and guarantee the safety and sustainability of the culinary industry.

‘To this end, I want
to urge all the graduates, do not leave here unprepared for the world of work which includes the job market in Ghana,’ Mr Amartey said.

He added: ‘Remember, you have the choice of applying what you have learnt here, or perhaps leave everything here and join the bandwagon complaining of joblessness. I pray you will never join them.’

Mr Amartey advised the graduates of the significance of the career path they had chosen, and said, ‘They can continue to grow, and improve what they have acquired, but above all, they ought to apply the skills and expertise to develop Ghana.’

Ms Efua Otua Goode Obeng-Kyei, the Director of the Institute acknowledged stakeholders in the 25 years of the life of the institute and gave thumbs-up to the graduates for remaining faithful in their training to join the culinary profession.

She noted that revenue in the culinary industry worldwide amounted to some US$ 30.78 billion this year (202) and is expected to grow by 9.34 per cent annually.

She said the institute had trained over
8,000 people, and re-emphasised that, ‘at this critical moment of growing unemployment in the country, you need a vibrant culinary industry to rewrite the narrative.’

Ms Obeng-Kyei repeated her appeal at the last graduation ceremony to the Government to grant industry players some tax relief.

‘I want to put on record that the current taxes are far too high for industry players to make training affordable to many who will want to join,’ she said.

Ms Obeng-Kyei said the Institute would, as part of its corporate social responsibilities, apply a 50 per cent discount on tuition fees to 10 less privileged students.

Madam Maria Aba Lovelace-Johnson, Director of the Inspectorate Directorate of the Foods, and Drugs Authority (FDA) who chaired the ceremony, acknowledged the role of small and medium enterprises SMEs) in the Ghanaian economy, and called for more support for their sustainability.

The graduates presented a citation in appreciation to Ms Obeng-Kyei and the Institute for their training

Ms Bridget Otumf
uor was adjudged the best-graduating student.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ministry of Gender urged to publish procedure for accessing Domestic Violence Fund

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) has been called upon to publish the procedure for accessing the Domestic Violence (DV) Fund to help in the rehabilitation of survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).

Mr Ore Ayoola Akanji, Research, Advocacy and Learning Manager, Ghana SRHR Alliance (GH Alliance), who made the call, said ‘We realised that there are some gaps in the Domestic Violence Act, which include assistance from Police to survivors, and free medical care for survivors. We believe that if the DV Fund can be accessed, it will address these loopholes.’

He said it would also provide a first stop-shelter for survivors of domestic violence, make it easy for the Police to do their work effectively, help survivors in their rehabilitation process, and be reintegrated into society.

He was speaking at a dialogue on the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act organised in Tamale by the GH Alliance under the Power to Youth project as part of activities to commemorate
this year’s 16 Days of Activism Campaign against SGBV, which is an international campaign commemorated from November 25, through December 10, every year.

The discussions centred on the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act, gaps identified in the Act, challenges faced by survivors of SGBV in accessing justice and other services, and the MoGCSP’s activities to reduce cases of SGBV in the country.

Participants included representatives from the Regional Department of Children of the MoGCSP, the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, the National Population Council, civil society organisations, and media practitioners among others.

The then Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, last year, announced that the DV Fund had been established with a seed fund of GHc1.5 million to support survivors of SGBV.

However, many survivors of SGBV across the country are not able to access the DV Fund because the procedure to access it has not been made public, henc
e the call for the MoGCSP to publish the procedure to make it easy for survivors to access it.

Mr Akanji also urged the Ministry to put into implementation the requirement to have a quarterly meeting of the Domestic Violence Management Board, which was important to discuss crucial matters regarding SGBV.

He also called on the Ministry to quicken the pace of the review of the Domestic Violence Act to cater for the needs of victims.

Mr Sanday Iddrisu, Northern Regional Director, Department of Children, MoGCSP said efforts were ongoing to open a one-stop-shop for domestic violence cases at the Tamale Teaching Hospital by the first quarter of next year to ensure comprehensive care for survivors of SGBV.

Mr Iddrisu said the MoGCSP was engaging various stakeholders including religious leaders to speak against child marriages as well as had trained some women market executives to serve as paralegals in their markets and communities to assist survivors of SGBV.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mrs Vicent
ia Aboagye, Northern Regional Coordinator of DOVVSU said DOVVSU was working to resolve SGBV cases as well as ensure justice for survivors.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Sunon Asogli suspends the power shut-down decision

The Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) Limited Company has suspended its intended indefinite shut-down of its 560-megawatt power plant over the government’s failure to pay for the power used.

Management of the plant had earlier announced the shutdown of the plant on Monday, December 4, 2023, as it could not operate effectively with the debt yet to be honoured by the Government of Ghana and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

However, in a statement to the ECG, signed by Qun Yang, the Chairman of Sunon Asogli, and available to the Ghana News Agency in Tema, it was indicated that it was suspending the planned shut-down due to an intervention and assurance by the Minister of Finance.

It indicated that ‘in view of the intervention and assurance from the Minister for Finance and Minister of State, we have resolved to suspend the plant shutdown for one week.’

Sunon Asogli, however, asked for confirmation on the terms of payment of the outstanding invoices.

‘Kindly confirm our understanding that we shall be paid a
n interim sum of US$60 million in two tranches. The first tranche is US$30 million to be paid this week, and the second tranche is in the week of December 11, 2023,’ it stated.

Sunon Asogli is jointly owned by Shenzhen Energy Group (60 per cent) and the China Africa Development Fund (40 per cent) and is the first independent power producer (IPP) in Ghana.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Loss and Damage Fund must be free of bureaucratic hurdles – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says it is imperative that the newly-established Loss and Damage Fund is made free from the bureaucratic hurdles that have hindered speedy resource allocation of other climate funds.

The Fund, which was a crucial element to the collective response of countries to climate change must also be agile and responsive to the needs of those affected, he said.

‘Our goal is to ensure that the Fund is a dynamic and effective tool in addressing the immediate impact of climate change on vulnerable nations,’ he emphasised.

President Nana Akufo-Addo made the remarks at a COP28 finance summit, at the UAE, when the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and Vulnerable (V) 20 Finance Ministers held a stocktake of reforms in the international financial architecture to spur development-positive climate action.

This comes a day after the current and incoming chairs of the CVF endorsed and launched the COP28 finance declaration.

The finance declaration, endorsed by CVF members Ghana, Barbados, K
enya, Colombia, and Senegal, is to build on the V20 Accra-Marrakech Agenda, Bridgetown Initiative 2.0, and Nairobi Declaration, among other initiatives.

It highlights the need for a more equitable and effective global financial system in the context of climate change.

The leadership of the CVF and V20, in their submissions, said the move was crucial to climate justice, which required having a fit for purpose international financial architecture and international financing model that ensured that climate financing reached the most vulnerable.

V20 economies have suffered immense losses amounting to 20 per cent of wealth, amounting to US$535 billion over the last two decades due to climate impact.

The event also covered the operational progress of the CVF-V20 and the pivotal role of V20 Climate Prosperity Plans (CPPs), national investment-powered strategies that seek to maximise socio-economic outcomes for vulnerable countries and resilient development.

Barbados will be the next CVF chair by mid-2024.

Form
er Maldives President and Founder of the Forum, Mohamed Nasheed, has been appointed as the CVF’s first Secretary-General.

Source: Ghana News Agency

COP 28: President Akufo-Addo urges building of safety nets for developing world

Ghana has urged the industrialised countries to support the V20 loss and damage fund to cushion the developing world against the shocks from the climate crisis.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, making the appeal at a side event of the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 28), said such assistance was needed for robust social safety nets for the developing world.

He was addressing a COP 28 finance summit when the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and Vulnerable (V) 20 Finance Ministers held a stocktake of reforms in the international financial architecture to spur development-positive climate action.

This follows a day after the current and incoming chairs of the CVF endorsed and launched the COP28 finance declaration.

The finance declaration, endorsed by CVF members Ghana, Barbados, Kenya, Colombia, and Senegal, is to build on the V20 Accra-Marrakech Agenda, Bridgetown Initiative 2.0, and Nairobi Declaration, among other initiatives.

It highlights the need for a more equitable and effec
tive global financial system in the context of climate change.

‘We are all now aware that climate change has an enormous impact on the fundamentals required for our survival on earth,’ President Akufo-Addo stated.

‘It imposes developmental constraints and burdens on our already stretched resources and we, in Ghana, are witnessing this phenomenon for ourselves at first hand.

‘A few weeks ago some parts of my country were confronted with the severe humanitarian crisis triggered by the spillage of water from our country’s largest hydroelectric dam due to unusually high rainfall patterns.’

The President drew the attention of the international community to the widespread and growing impact of the climate risks.

Finance Ministers of the V20 group of vulnerable nations, a coalition of more than 40 developing countries, last year, agreed to design and test a funding facility to address the losses and damages of lives, livelihoods and infrastructure caused by climate impacts.

They will use resources from a joint
V20-Climate Vulnerable Forum Fund in achieving the Fund’s objectives.

President Nana Akufo-Addo said the Fund, which served as the global shield against climate risk, and ultimately the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), should be resourced to benefit humanity.

About 150 presidents, prime ministers, royals and other leaders are participating in the COP 28, hosted by the United Arab Emirates.

They are expected to present their plans to cut heat-trapping emissions and mostly seek unity with other nations to avert climate catastrophe.

Discussions at the Conference centre on varied climate change-related issues, including the progress made in several workstreams.

They are also hammering out the details of the loss and damage finance facility to help vulnerable communities deal with immediate climate impacts.

They are also focused on driving towards a global goal on finance that would help fund developing countries’ efforts in addressing climate change, accelerating both an energ
y and a just transition, closing the massive emissions gap, among others.

In addition, the first-ever global stocktake will conclude at COP 28.

The global stocktake is a process for countries and stakeholders to see where they are collectively making progress towards meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and where they are not.

Meanwhile, leaders of developing nations went into Saturday’s second day of a UN climate summit to press rich industrial countries to share their know-how to fight global warming and ease the financial burdens they faced, while trumpeting their own natural resources that swallow heat-trapping carbon in the air.

Source: Ghana News Agency