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Financial sector players engaged on strengthening ESG compliance



The Development Bank Ghana (DBG) has partnered with the World Bank and the Ministry of Finance, in a joint effort to bolster Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) compliance within the financial sector through the maiden engagement of key players in the industry.

The focus of this collaboration is to empower financial institutions operating within the commercial banking sector, savings and loans, and finance houses with the tools and knowledge necessary to establish robust environmental and social management systems in alignment with the sustainable banking principles introduced by the Bank of Ghana.

Mr. John Boateng Akuoko-Tawiah, Head of ESG, Sustainability & Climate Finance at the Development Bank Ghana, emphasized the significance of this initiative, saying: “We are convening this workshop for our financial institutions within the commercial banking sector, savings and loans, and finance houses. The goal is to enhance the capacity of our current partners and potential partners of DBG.”

“We aim to help them establish robust environmental and social management systems in line with the sustainable banking principles introduced by the Bank of Ghana,” he added.

DBG’s involvement in this process is driven by the requirement for partner banks to implement well-structured environmental and social management systems. In this regard, DBG extends support and technology to expedite the implementation of these guidelines, recognizing their pivotal role in the development of the financial sector.

“Our long-term aim is to expand the number of partner banks beyond the current three commercial banks. We believe this is essential to facilitate the inflow of capital into Ghana for development and the private sector. Partner banks need to meet specific criteria, including financial performance and alignment with DBG’s mandates,” Mr. Akuoko-Tawiah stated.

DBG plans to launch initiatives at the beginning of 2024, with partnerships with leading institutions and academia. The objective is to establish a Center of Excellence focused on environmental and social governance and sustainable finance. This center will provide comprehensive training and support, ultimately transforming the financial sector and benefiting the private sector.

This International Center of Excellence aims to build ESG Excellence and the Capacity of Financial institution’s partners while transforming MSMEs to be ESG Compliant.

Furthermore, the Centre will advance sustainable financing products to contribute to Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to support DBG Green Finance and Investment Programmes; as well as promote sustainability reporting and impact measurement.

Otwiwa Offei-Akoto, Director of Wholesale Financing and Credit Origination at DBG, conveyed the institution’s dedication to strengthening the environmental and social management capacity of Ghana’s financial institutions and stakeholders.

She stated, “Our collective aim is to ensure the effective implementation of environmental and social management in the financial sector. We also hope that the sessions over the next few days will fully equip DBG’s partner financial institutions and potential partners to evaluate and mitigate the inherent E&S exposures in their credit decisions.”

The program aims to accelerate the compliance of Ghana’s banks with the Bank of Ghana Sustainable Banking Principles, positioning them to receive development financing from DBG.

“At DBG, the outcomes of the interventions we are deploying with our partners in the economy is something we keep a razor-sharp focus on. We define success as the outcomes that support the building up of a resilient private sector and economy and improve the lives of the people we serve,” she stated.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Andy Ameckson, Head of the Banking & Non-Banking Unit, at the Ministry of Finance, representing Mr. Sampson Akligoh, the Director Financial Sector Division, emphasized the crucial role of Environmental and Social Risk Management in supporting sustainable development projects in Ghana.

Effective risk management practices align DBG’s operations with international sustainability standards, mitigating potential negative impacts while enhancing positive social and environmental outcomes of financed projects.

“This workshop is designed to help financial institutions (FIs) better understand environmental and social risk management, sustainable finance, and explore sustainability-related business opportunities,” Mr. Akligoh stated.

He emphasized that DBG seeks to align its activities with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by effectively implementing its environmental and social management system, contributing to the achievement of the SDGs, particularly SDG 13 on Climate Action.

Mr. Ameckson explained, “Environmental risk management ensures that projects financed by DBG are designed and implemented in a manner that minimizes negative impacts on the environment. By avoiding or mitigating issues such as deforestation, pollution, and habitat destruction, the bank helps ensure that projects contribute positively to local development, enhance livelihoods, foster social cohesion, and guarantee long-term economic viability.”


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More than 57% of Ghanaian workers do not enjoy employee benefits – Old Mutual study




A study conducted by pan-African investment and savings firm Old Mutual has revealed that more than half of Ghanaian workers (57%) sampled in a survey do not have or enjoy employee products from their employer.

It found that of those who have employee benefits, health insurance and retirement funds were the most prevalent benefits for most employees in Ghana.

“Health insurance leads in both the formal and informal sector, whilst retirement fund membership is much more notable in the formal sector (52% vs 7% informal). About half of the formal sector workers reported receiving financial information from their employers versus only 18% of informal sector workers, with most being indifferent on it being beneficial,” the study revealed.

Additional highlights of the annual report dubbed; Old Mutual Financial Services Monitor (OMFSM), revealed that financially distressed Ghanaians were higher among the lower income group (72%) and those in the informal sector representing (68%).

Meanwhile, the study indicated that less than 1 in 5 consumers had expressed confidence in the country’s economy.

“This low level of confidence is reflected across the surveyed countries in Africa, namely SA, Namibia, and Kenya,” the OMFSM survey explained.

When it came to financial priority, income security was identified as the top priority for most Ghanaians (as well as across the surveyed countries in Africa).

It further showed that with regards to income, 44% sampled in the survey indicated that they rely on a single source of income, while about 1 in 4 (24%) are PolyJobbers – side-hustling, freelancing, and doing after-hours work in addition to their regular job.

It noted that these PolyJobbers are more prevalent among those earning GH¢3000 or more (37%).



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Deloitte Ghana makes 5 recommendations government can employ to grow the economy




The local economy took a downward trend in 2020 after the country was hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war also affected the economy and the government in a bid to restore the economy on track ran to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $3 billion financial bailout program.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, presented the 2024 Budget Statement and Economic policy in parliament.

The Budget Statement was under the theme “pursuing growth & development within a stable macroeconomic environment”.

The budget reading was by Article 179 of the 1992 constitution and Section 21 of the Public Financial Management Act 2016 (Act 921).

Tax waivers for the local textile industry, agricultural machinery and vehicles, and inflation expected to remain within the IMF program’s Monetary Policy Consultation Clause (MPCC) of 29.4 percent, among others were some of the highlights of the budget presentation.

Speaking at the 5th edition of Deloitte Economic Dialogue in Accra on Wednesday, November 22, 2023, the Country Managing Partner of Deloitte Ghana, Daniel Kwadwo Owusu, gave 5 recommendations the government can adopt to grow and stabilize the economy.

According to him, the government can curb the high unemployment rate in the country due to the contraction of the industrial sector in 2023 by enhancing the agro-processing sector.

The sector, he said, needs to move to value addition to create employment opportunities for the teeming unemployed youth in the country.

Below are the 5 recommendations made by Deloitte Ghana:

Intentional focus on agric and industries

He called on the government to enhance agro-processing leading to value addition, industry growth, and employment opportunities for the youth.

Lack of stable currency affects planning and confidence in investment

According to Mr Owusu, currency stability is very crucial, therefore, the government needs to stabilize the currency as the industry looks forward to projections and investment decisions.

Halt harassment of industry players

Deloitte recommended an approach that identifies industries as partners in economic development.


Sustain monetary and fiscal policy to keep moving inflation to the targeted levels.

Remove nuisance taxes

Remove some of the taxes that industries have termed nuisance taxes such as the COVID-19 levy.

Also, the government must consolidate indirect taxes into the VAT regime.

These when adopted, Mr Owusu said, will help build a better future for the local economy which will subsequently drive Ghana to a sustainable economic recovery.



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Volta Fair: Unveiling the concealed beautiful bride




The Volta Trade and Investment Fair is a platform to reveal the hidden treasures of that eastern part of Ghana, aiming to attract capital for the overall growth of the national economy.

It is one of the country’s best-kept secrets that needs to be revealed as one of the best investment destinations, with vast fertile lands, extensive water bodies, captivating tourist sites, and richly diverse ethnic heritage.

To many, the Volta Region is a microcosm of Ghana because whatever is found in other parts of the country can be found in the Region.

Abundant Arable Land

Stretching from south to north, the Volta Region boasts expansive fertile land cultivating a variety of crops, from specialized ones like rice, shallots, carrots, lettuce, and cabbage, to staple tubers such as yam, cocoyam, and sweet potatoes.

Cash crops such as coconut, cocoa, coffee, cotton, and sugar cane are also grown in the Region. The potential for commercial farming is immense, with numerous untapped virgin lands capable of transforming into vital food sources, addressing even global food insecurity.

Diverse Water Bodies

The region is blessed with diverse water bodies, ranging from the pristine sea and clean beaches to lagoons, rivers, lakes, streams, and waterfalls. These bodies support essential economic activities such as fishing, aquaculture, irrigation, and water sports. The Volta Region’s water bodies not only yield delicacies renowned in Ghana but also present opportunities for expanding fish farming and fostering tourism along beautiful waterfronts. The Region is home to some of the biggest fish farms on the Volta Lake but that vast water body can accommodate a lot more.

Enchanting Tourist Attractions

The Volta Region unfolds with magnificent tourist destinations, from the majestic Afadza mountain in the north to the brook and feel of the gentle breeze of the coast. Amedzofe offers a heavenly view and fresh air, complemented by a newly constructed canopy walk by the Ote Falls, creating an unparalleled experience.

Notably, the region boasts the highest waterfall, Wli, and about 10 other falls, contributing to the awe-inspiring beauty of the landscape. The Region also boasts one of the best crocodile ponds located in Ave Dakpa, a monkey sanctuary in Tafi Atome, and a snake village at Liati Soba. The coast bears witness to historical landmarks related to the slave trade, adding another layer of cultural significance.

Cultural Wealth – Kete Weaving

The region is renowned for its kete (kente) designs, woven in towns such as Agbozume to the south, Agotime Kpetoe in the middle, and Tafi Abuife towards the north. Each town has a unique story behind its intricate designs, showcasing cultural richness and craftsmanship. These rich kete designs are completely priced thereby attracting many wholesalers from different parts of Ghana and beyond.

Rich Diversity

Contrary to popular belief, the Volta region is linguistically and culturally diverse, with various languages spoken by the natives, extending beyond the commonly known Ewe. There are languages such as Siyase spoken by the people of Avatime, Nyangbo-Tafi spoken by the people of Tafi, Ikpana spoken in Logba, and Adangbe spoken by the people of Agotime.

The region also embraces diverse religious practices, including Christianity, Islam, and various traditional beliefs, fostering an environment of cultural harmony. Some traditional worships such as Kunde in Kpando, and others in Klikor and Dagbamatey as well as the Roman Catholic Grotto in Kpando-Agbenorxe attract international visitors.

Why Volta Fair?

The Volta Fair catalyzes Ghana’s economic growth, offering a platform to raise awareness about the region’s vast investment potential. The fair has already seen successes, positioning the Volta Region as one of the preferred holiday destinations, attracting conferences, and generating interest from foreign investors in commercial farming and resort development.

Looking Forward

As the next Volta Trade and Investment Fair approaches, anticipation grows for a showcase of diverse products and services. This year, the exhibition is drawing interest from across the African continent, aligning with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). Municipal and district assemblies will have the opportunity during the fair to present their investment potential, in a bid to attract investors.

In the quest for economic growth and resource discovery, the Volta Region stands as a captivating bride, beckoning not only international suitors but also urging Ghanaians to explore and invest in their hidden gems.

Make time and visit Ho from the 26th of November to the 10th of December and be part of the Volta Fair. Visit Volta and Experience Ghana.

The article is by Fred Avornyo, a Marketing Communication Specialist and COO of Volta Fair.

Source: Frederick Avornyo

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