113 posts tagged infrastructure
113 posts tagged infrastructure
President Mahama, who was giving the keynote address at “The Times” of London CEO Summit Africa which was held at the Savoy Hotel in London said the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) projection of 10 countries with high annual growth rate on the continent, including Ghana, could become a mirage if the disturbing cycle of unemployment is not highlighted and addressed.
He stressed that the extent of joblessness could be better appreciated if one considers that Africa’s rapidly expanding labour force could hit 1.1 billion by the end of 2014, making “the continent’s collective labour force bigger than that of China and India”.
In calling for the effective management of the continent’s collective labour force, therefore, President Mahama pointed out that it ought to be understood as part of a bigger problem that provides opportunities for the provision of infrastructure to support the projected 50 percent of the population who will migrate to Africa’s urban centres within the next 15 years.
He cautioned that instead of urbanization merely resulting in the indiscriminate mushrooming of slums in African cities, Africa should seize the opportunity to provide equitably, infrastructure such as modern roads, social housing, commercial malls, safe drinking water, and reliable power generation and transmission systems for its rapidly growing population.
He observed that “If I am constantly calling for investment in Africa’s human resource, it is because I recognize that human capital, properly trained and harnessed, remains the key to Africa’s socio-economic and political development”.
He pointed out that Ghana has learnt lessons, both from its own past and the history of other nations. He stressed that these lessons have informed Ghana’s strategic decision to empower local participants as critical players in the country’s newly emerging oil and gas industry.
In order that its effect could be concretized, President Mahama said a draft legislation instrument on local content was being examined to ensure a perfect integration of the extraction of the natural resource with the local economy through gas processing, fertilizer production and refinement of petroleum products among others.
In view of this overarching objective, President Mahama continued,
“Africa is seeking partnerships for the mutual benefit of both investors and its people. A partnership that would transfer technology to the continent, a partnership that will create jobs, a partnership that will ensure growth and a decent life for its people”.
The Ghanaian government plans to double installed capacity from 2,800MW in 2010 to 5,600MW in 2017.
The majority currently comes from hydroelectricity: output from the 1,020MW Akosombo Dam is due to be joined later this year by another 400MW from the Bui Dam.
Deregulation of Ghana’s energy industry started in the mid 2000s and is ongoing. A clear legislative framework has attracted independent power investors.
A renewable energy law that came onto the statute books in December 2011 provides further incentives for renewable investors, such as an obligation to be connected to the network and feed-in tariffs that guarantee a price for their electricity.
Last year, energy ministry deputy director Seth Mahu said the government is looking for $1bn of investment in renewables
Mr Ken Allen, Chief Executive Officer of DHL Express, has described Africa as the last bastion for business globally with the potential to improve to be stable and lucrative for international commerce.
Mr Allen is in Sub-Saharan Africa to visit some countries including Zambia, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa.
The visit would serve as a platform for DHL to expand into the continent and increase its already vast footprint into the far-flung, rural areas.
The Tata group, which gets 2.3% of its revenue from Africa, aims to grow its business in the continent by 30% a year by increasing its presence in automotive, mining, infrastructure and hospitality sectors, a company official told reporters on Monday.
The group, which had operations in Africa since 1977, plans to enter seven new countries in the next 3-4 years, increasing its presence to 20 countries in the continent.
Indian companies such as Essar, Bharti Airtel Ltd, Bajaj Auto Ltd and Tata Motors Ltd are investing in the continent to create new markets for their products, establish brands and influence consumer preferences.
Commerce minister Anand Sharma on Monday said that the bilateral trade between Africa and India is expected to reach $100 billion by 2015 and the target could well be achieved in 2014. Sharma said that Indian investments in Africa are now close to $50 billion.
Tata group said five of its companies are operating Africa and it will increase investments in the continent.
“We have made investments of around $1.7 billion in all the running projects in Africa and we will continue to augment that,” said Raman Dhawan, managing director, Tata Africa Holdings.
“The focus areas will be power projects, telecommunications, automotive, mining and hospitality.”
President John Dramani Mahama told law makers last month that the laying of a 600-kilometre rural-urban fibre optic broadband infrastructure from Ho in the eastern Volta Region to Bawku in the Upper East Region in the north has started.
In addition, President Mahama said, the government has set up the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) and is using the “Connect School Initiative” to connect all 38 Teacher Training Colleges to the Internet. It has already supplied at least 20 computers, along with the required peripherals such as UPS, printers, projectors and scanners to help support ICT training.
The ministry of communication is also supervising the connection of 26 Government-Assisted Technical Institutes to the Internet with similar supplies of ICT equipment as well as connecting 37 vocational training institutes to the internet. Government officials say these projects are not isolated as they are intended to complement the national e-government project.
The overall objective, communications minister Dr Edward Omani Boamah said, was to make “ICT one of the key drivers of national development.”
Dr Boamah said the e-government network is a turn-key project under a cooperation agreement between the government and the Peoples Republic of China, which is providing $127 million.
Africa’s infrastructure is poised for increased development and investment. The next decade should see increased spending on the back of commodity expansion and a growing middle class on the continent. Africa’s economy has remained resilient despite the downturn being experienced in Europe and the US. Africa and South America will be the next global growth point and will see increased investments especially from China.
Key to this continued growth is the development of infrastructure and natural resources.
With the interest of multinational companies in Ghana’s oil and gas reserves, the population is expecting quick improvements to service provision. President Mahama began his first term in office in January with plans to create jobs and build more roads, bridges, schools and hospitals. (via Ghana: First term test | West Africa)