Saturday, 18 November 2017
Business and Economy

Business and Economy (725)

Tanzania's parliament has passed two controversial laws to bring about far-reaching reforms in the mining sector.

One law explicitly states that the Tanzanian people will have permanent sovereignty over all natural wealth and resources, and ownership and control will be exercised by the government on behalf of the people.

This means private companies would mine on behalf of the nation - whereas before the law stated that once firms signed a contract with the government, they owned the minerals.

Another law empowers parliament to review all agreements made by the government regarding natural resources.

The two pieces of legislation follow months of dispute between President John Magufuli's government and UK-listed mining firm Acacia over revenue sharing.

Acacia is accused of under-reporting the gold and copper levels in its concentrate exports by more than 10 times and of underpaying the government tens of billions of dollars over the two decades it has been operating in the East African country.

The company strongly denies any wrongdoing.

Mining companies and lobby groups had urged the government to delay passing the two laws to allow for more consultation.

The government, however, pushed ahead with gaining parliamentary approval for the legislation.

Posted On Tuesday, 04 July 2017 13:13 Written by

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stated that the rapid economic development being anticipated from the policies put in place by his government will automatically translate into more satisfactory pension arrangements for the elderly.

To this end, President Akufo-Addo has revealed that “the Ministry of Finance, despite our short period in office, is already working on procedures to streamline and improve the administration of pensions. Those procedures will be made public in the very near future.”

Again, the President added that measures are being put in place to address the needs of key demographic segments of our society.

These measures, he said, are ”specifically to set up pension arrangements for farmers in our major cash crop agricultural sectors like cocoa, coffee, sheanuts, palm oil, pineapple and cashew nuts; and for members of small scale business associations, like umbrella organizations such as GPRTU/PROTOA and Association of Small Scale Industries (ASSI), and similar associations across the country.”

Government, he added further, also remains committed to providing the aged with a Freedom Pass to enable them ride for free on all public transportation.

President Akufo-Addo made this known on Saturday, 1st July, 2017, at a lunch held for senior citizens at the Banquet Hall of the State House, to commemorate 57 years since Ghana became a Republic.

In constructing his vision of a “Ghana beyond Aid”, the President assured that “we shall continue to recognise and honour the sacrifices and inputs made to the growth and development of our nation by all of you gathered here this afternoon.”

With the country having some way to go in how it treats its older citizens, President Akufo-Addo stated that it is for this reason that the 2016 Manifesto of the New Patriotic Party, pledged to develop and implement policies for the aged, and mainstream aging issues into the framework and strategy of national development.

Government, the President assured, “is committed to the realisation of this, and is rolling out programmes and initiatives geared to this end.”

President Akufo-Addo was grateful for to the senior citizens, both present and absent from the ceremony for the considerable contributions to the building of modern Ghana in all fields of endeavour.

“Our nation remains indebted to you. Your names should be enshrined in letters of gold in our history, because you have helped enhance the image of our country,” he added 

Conditions of freedom and democracy

After sustained periods of authoritarian rule, punctuated by short bursts of unsuccessful democratic governance, President Akufo-Addo noted that the Ghanaian people, just as they had demonstrated in the drive towards independence in the 1940s and 1950s, showed again their determination to live in conditions of freedom and democracy.

“On 28th April, 1992, they approved, by an overwhelming margin in a Referendum of that day, the adoption of the provisions of the Constitution of the 4th Republic, which set up the institutions of a liberal democratic state, operating on the basis of the separation of powers, with express guarantees of fundamental human rights,” he said.

The President continued, “We can all say, without any equivocation, that the 4th Republic has seen the longest period of stable constitutional governance in our history, and the benefits are showing. We have experienced in this era sustained economic growth; freedom of speech is now taken for granted; Parliament is making a good fist of exercising its oversight duties; and the Judiciary continues to demonstrate its independence.”

Nonetheless, President Akufo-Addo stated that the country continues to suffer important institutional and other deficits, such as widespread unemployment, corruption in the Executive and in the Judiciary, lack of authority of Parliament over public finances, and the lack the full logistical complement and personnel for the security services to provide adequate and effective safeguard for the nation’s stability and security.

“There is, however, far more self-confidence among Ghanaians today, than there has been since the very early days of self-government. Freedom and the spread of democratic values are strengthening the determination of Ghanaians to build a new Ghana, that is neither pawn nor victim of the world economic order,” he added.

Posted On Monday, 03 July 2017 11:57 Written by

The street where the Da Rocha home is located is extremely narrow. It is called Kakawa, a short stretch behind Union Bank Headquarters at Lagos Island. Even though the home, a large one storey building, the shape of a square, is said to be called Water House, neighbours who spoke with Saturday Tribune last Friday referred to it as “Da Rocha House.”

The house has obviously received a series of facelifts in its long life, but it still retains much of its original 19th-century look. For example, a large room on the ground floor serves both as the garage and the building’s entrance; the windows are unusually many, all of them designed as though they were intended for a church.

The lone car in the garage was covered with tarpaulin, on Friday. At the right side of the entrance was a makeshift bookstore where a young man sold mostly dictionaries. A tailor, an elderly man whom neighbours called “Baba”, occupied the left wing. Both men appeared to work also as domestic staff for the Da Rochas.

“Madam is sleeping,” the tailor said. It was past 9.am, and sensing the need for further explanation, he added, “She has just returned from a journey. You should come back around 12 or 1pm.”

Attempts made to meet her, hours later were unsuccessful. Even as of 2:30 pm, the message from the tailor who had gone up to check, yet again, remained the same: she was resting, and she would not give an appointment.

Water House is at the centre of the historical area that is the Lagos Island. The Third Mainland Bridge is only a few metres away; the popular Marina and Broad Streets are just by the corner, as is the Cathedral Church of Christ, the oldest Anglican Cathedral in Nigeria.

It was here, at Water House, in the 1800s and 1900s that the businessman, Candido Da Rocha, (believed to be the wealthiest Nigerian at the time) lived. It was here that the city’s first water fountain and first borehole were constructed. From here, Candido Da Rocha (Yoruba call him Darosa) operated what was known as Iju Water Works which supplied water to the entire Lagos district. For his work, he was paid directly by the colonial administration, until the water project was altogether acquired by the government.

Massive enterprise

A source who knows the family well, on Monday, made available to Saturday Tribune an interview given to the Catholic Herald by Da Rocha’s grandchild, Professor J.T Da Rocha-Afodu.

In the interview, published in the April 2017 edition of the magazine, the Emeritus Professor of Surgery at the University of Lagos said he and his siblings were, in fact, raised by Da Rocha himself.

The professor said, “My grandfather was Late Chief Candido Joa Da Rocha, Chief Lodifi of Ilesa. He was born in Bahia, Brazil and died in Lagos in 1959. He had his Secondary School education at CMS Grammar School, Lagos. Available records showed that he was never beaten in the school and always came first in his class. His classmates were Late Bishop Oluwole and Late Herbert Macaulay. He was a voracious reader of newspapers, magazines and books, including those written in Portuguese. He had a good stock of books in his library including those on classical English and Portuguese.

“He brought us up after the demise of my father during the 2nd World War in 1940. My father’s boat was torpedoed by the German Submarine U.2 off the Coast of Batvia near Russia and all those in the ship perished. My grandfather took over our upkeep and education of myself and my two brothers and sisters from primary school to the University. Candido Joa Da Rocha was a business man, property and land owner and a financier. He lived in Water House Kakawa Street. The home was commemorated in literature by a novel, The Water House by Antonio Olinto.”

A key strategy used by Da Rocha to boost his revenue appeared to be his readiness to embark on many different projects at a time.

Da Rocha-Afodu said, “Chief Da Rocha collaborated with J.H. Doherty and Sedu Williams to found a Lagos Native Bank, the first in Africa. He owned many houses. He participated in the Lagos Horse Racing at Race Course where he won many trophies. The horses were housed at his stables at Water house, No 12, Kakawa Street, Lagos. His home, Water House, had the first borehole in Lagos. Some of his business interests included a restaurant called The Restaurant da Rocha and Sierra Leone, Deep Sea Fishing Industries Ltd.”

Genealogy of greatness

While it is not often clear how Nigerians with great wealth lived during the colonial period, many accounts have suggested that most of them kept a low profile. This quality appears to have been inherited by the descendants of Da Rocha, who even though they take pride in the family name and the legacies of their father, have nonetheless stayed out of the limelight.

A list provided by Professor Da Rocha-Afodu tells a story of a family which over the years has produced a number of notable names in fields such as medicine, trade, law, education and sports.

For example, Dr Moses Da Rocha, Candido’s brother, was one of the first medical doctors in Nigeria. He studied in Scotland and upon return to Nigeria set up a hospital at 4 Tinubu Street, Lagos.

Another grandchild of Da Rocha’s was Dr. Oladele Da Rocha-Afodu, described by his brother as “a pioneer of the game of Polo in Nigeria.”

“He was the eldest son in the Da Rocha-Afodu family. As a medical practitioner he specialized in Bacteriology and Pathology. He was one of the founders of Polo game in Nigeria and contributed immensely to the development of the game. He once donated a cup to the Lagos Polo Club in memory of late Candido da Rocha,” the professor said.

The professor’s elder sister, Mrs Abimbola Aina Omololu-Mulere, was a lawyer, and according to his brother, the “first Nigerian female graduate in Law to attend the University.” A graduate of Trinity College, Dublin University, she would later found Adrao International Schools in Lagos. She died in 2000.

Of his mother, Candida Adenike Afodu, Candido Da Rocha’s youngest daughter, the professor said, “She was mother of three ladies (Late Mrs. Abimbola Omolulu-Mulere, Mrs. Angela Omolara Branco and Mrs C.K Somolu) and two other men: Late Dr. O. da Rocha-Afodu, and Late Mr. Candido Olu da Rocha-Afodu.

“After the demise (in 1940) of her husband (Mobolaji Abisogun-Afodu, a pharmacist) during the 2nd World war, she came to live at Water House with her six children including Professor J.T. Da Rocha-Afodu. She took care of her father and her children. Her elder sister was Late Mrs. Angelica Folashade Thomas who was an active supporter of the Catholic Church and a Papal Medalist.

“Mrs Afodu was an active member of many women societies at Holy Cross Cathedral. She died at the age of 95 years and her funeral service was held at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos.”

Eternal charm

To many residents around Kakawa Street, Water House has remained something of a communal symbol, a repository of a people’s identity. Neighbours speak fondly of it, and are often quick to direct visitors to it. It is a quiet neighbourhood, and in its simplicity, the house itself appears hidden, dwarfed by the imposing edifices that surround it. Yet, there is a charming aura about it, one which appears to grow as the house ages. It is like a treasure in the shadows: it is hard for a visitor to resist the urge to cast a second look — and to ask questions.

Posted On Sunday, 02 July 2017 17:57 Written by

Adrien Silva scored an extra-time penalty as Portugal recovered from a goal down to beat Mexico 2-1 in Sunday’s third-place play-off at the Confederations Cup in Moscow.

Luis Neto bundled into his own net to hand Mexico a 54th-minute lead, but Pepe stabbed home a stoppage-time equaliser to force an extra 30 minutes at Spartak Stadium.

Silva then struck his first international goal after a handball inside the box on 104 minutes, while both sides finished with 10 men as Nelson Semedo was dismissed for Portugal before Raul Jimenez saw red for Mexico.

World champions Germany face Copa America holders Chile later in the final in Saint Petersburg.

European champions Portugal were without captain Cristiano Ronaldo after the Real Madrid star was released from the squad to return home to meet his newborn twins.

Portugal and Mexico drew 2-2 in the opening game of the group stage, when Hector Moreno salvaged a last-gasp point for the Gold Cup winners, but were left fighting for a consolation prize in the Russian capital.

Portugal should have gone in front in the drizzling rain on 17 minutes when Andre Silva was upended by 38-year-old Rafael Marquez, with the video assistant referee stepping in to award the spot-kick.

But Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa flung himself superbly to his right to tip Andre Silva’s low spot-kick round the post.

Rui Patricio produced a sharp stop to deny Javier Hernandez, Mexico’s all-time leading scorer, from close range on the half hour, but the Portugal keeper was beaten shortly after the break.

Hernandez’s cross from the byline floated beyond Carlos Vela and Patricio, with Zenit St Petersburg centre-back Neto unwittingly turning the ball home.

Portugal went in pursuit of an equaliser and Gelson Martins — replacing Ronaldo in attack — was denied by an excellent save from Ochoa with just over an hour played.

But Ochoa was beaten in the first minute of injury time as Pepe lunged to get on the end of Ricardo Quaresma’s curling right-wing cross to force extra time.

Silva, on as a substitute, then grabbed the winner just before the end of the first period of extra time, burying a penalty after Miguel Layun handled in the box.

Semedo was then sent off on 106 minutes after picking up a second yellow card, but Mexico’s numerical advantage was swiftly wiped out when Jimenez received his marching orders.

Posted On Sunday, 02 July 2017 16:17 Written by

Arik Air, Nigeria’s largest carrier said on Friday it would resume daily flight operations between Abuja and Accra, Ghana on July 17.

The airline’s Chief Executive Officer, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu, disclosed this on Friday in Lagos that the resumption of flights between the two countries was part of efforts to satisfy the company’s customers.

Ilegbodu said flights were suspended on the Abuja-Accra route in March following the closure of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, to pave way for the rehabilitation of the runway.

He said the Abuja-Accra flight would operate daily at 5.30 p.m. (local time) departure out of Abuja with a departure time of 7.40 p.m. (local time) in Accra.

“The re-introduction of the Abuja-Accra operation is part of the management’s strategy to optimise flight schedule and respond to the needs of our valued customers.

“Arik Air has been in the forefront of providing customer-centred services since our inception and we will continue to respond to the needs of our customers,” the CEO said in a statement.

Posted On Saturday, 01 July 2017 11:49 Written by

Ghana's President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has reiterated that unless the economies of African countries industrialise, with the goal of adding significant value to its primary products, they cannot create the necessary numbers of good-paying jobs that will enhance the living standards of their peoples.

According to the President, “raw material producing economies do not create prosperity for their people. The way to that goal, the goal of ensuring access to prosperity, is value addition activities in a transformed and a diversified modern economy.”

President Akufo-Addo was speaking at the opening of the 53rd Zambia International Trade Fair, on Thursday, June 29, 2017, the last day of his official State Visit to that country, when he made this known.

Speaking on the theme “Innovation for Industrialisation”, the President stated that it is for this reason that one of the flagship programmes of his government is the “one district, one factory” initiative.

Through public-private partnerships, President Akufo-Addo told his Zambian audience that his government aims to establish at least one industrial enterprise in each of the 216 Districts of Ghana, and ensure that Ghana no longer becomes a retailer of cheap imported goods.

“The establishment of these factories will mean that each district becomes an economic growth pole, the centre for the creation of jobs, and, thereby, halt the phenomenon of rural-urban migration of our nation’s youth,” he added.

However, the process of value-addition to Africa’s raw materials, the President stressed, “starts with adding value to our human capital through an education system that provides every child with the skills to realize their full potential.”

Africa, he explained, needs a confident, educated workforce to be able to compete effectively in the global economy.

“This is why, for my part, I have made education one of the foundations of my vision to build a knowledge-based, industrialised economy in Ghana. Access to free, universal, quality, basic education is the key to participation in the new global economy,” he said.

Africa’s problems present us with opportunities

With Africa’s hopes for prosperity and attaining a proper place among the comity of nations remaining unfulfilled, President Akufo-Addo stated that the problems confronting the continent are largely the result of the failure of leadership.

“You could, if you were so minded, look on the extent of the problems that face our continent and region and feel overwhelmed. We should not be. These problems, in my view, present us, in Africa, with opportunities to bring progress and development to our continent,” he said.

He continued, “With the aid of science and technology, the promotion of enterprise, innovation and creativity, and the spread of democratic values, we can construct a new era of prosperity for all the peoples of Africa.”

President Akufo-Addo also stressed the crucial importance of small and medium scale enterprises to the economies of Africa, with nearly 95% of all businesses on the continent being small-scale enterprises.

“They are the heartbeat of our economy, and are at the core of Africa’s private sector. In every city, town, village or hamlet in our respective countries, these small and medium scale enterprises support the livelihoods of our communities. At the national level, they contribute significantly to our gross domestic product and taxes. Indeed, the survival of most countries on the continent is directly anchored in the success of small and medium-scale enterprises,” he added.

Promoting access to digital technology for SMEs, particularly for our youth, he stressed, will enable them realise their full potential, the ripple effects of which would see huge economic gains in the shortest possible time. 

In concluding, the President reiterated his conviction that Africa can engineer its transition from poverty to prosperity in a generation.

“We are determined to do that in our generation, and ensure that succeeding generations will be neither victims nor pawns of the international economic order,” he added.

Posted On Saturday, 01 July 2017 01:48 Written by

Chairman of Etisalat Nigeria, Mr Hakeem Bello Osagie, has resigned his appointment following the approval of a restructuring plan for the telecommunications firm.

The Chairman of Etisalat Nigeria, Mr Hakeem Belo-Osagie, has resigned his appointment following the approval of a restructuring plan for the telecommunications firm.

The resignation is effective immediately, according to an insider source.

“Although the chairman had planned to leave immediately the banks made the take-over move, he opted to tarry until a road map for the company was finalised. The timing of the resignation was strategically delayed till now when stakeholders have agreed on a plan and come more than a week after Mubadala Development Company directors tendered their resignation.

The development also reflects Mr Belo-Osagie’s deep commitment to protecting the interest of all stakeholders. It is now expected that Etisalat Nigeria under its new shareholding structure will navigate through its current loan repayment challenge with minimum impact. “ the source added.

“Over the last several months, the chairman has worked extensively with critical stakeholders to prepare clearly articulated strategies and robust road maps that will mitigate the impact of the new shareholding restructuring and realignment on the operations and management of the 4th largest telecoms player in Nigeria.

With this development, the new board will assume control of Etisalat.

This is coming following interventions, which have been roundly applauded, from regulatory agencies, including the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other stakeholders to ensure that the best decisions are taken in the interest of the subscribers, employees and the Nigerian economy.

Further announcements on the composition of the new board are expected from the stakeholders,” the source remarked.

Posted On Saturday, 01 July 2017 01:17 Written by

Claudio Bravo was Chile’s hero on Wednesday as they beat Portugal 3-0 in a penalty shoot-out in the Confederations Cup semi-finals.

The Manchester City goalkeeper saved all three penalties from Portugal’s Ricardo Quaresma, Joao Moutinho and Nani, while Arturo Vidal, Charles Aranguiz and Alexis Sanchez nailed their spot-kicks for the South Americans.

Chile progress to Sunday’s final in St Petersburg to face either Mexico or Germany, who meet Thursday in Sochi in the other semi-final.

Losers Portugal will contest Sunday’s third-place play-off in Moscow.

Chile almost settled Wednesday’s match in the dying stages of extra-time when both Vidal and substitute Martin Rodriguez hit the woodwork as Portugal hung on to take the game to a shoot-out.

The defeat in Kazan will be bitterly disappointing for Portugal’s superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Real Madrid star, who is facing doubts about his future in Spain as he prepares to answer allegations of tax evasion in a Madrid court next month, had won man-of-the-match awards in all three group matches.

Before kick-off in Kazan, Manchester City’s new signing Bernardo Silva shook off a foot injury he suffered in the 4-0 drubbing of New Zealand to make Portugal’s starting line-up.

With Pepe suspended, Jose Fonte partnered Bruno Alves at centre-back.

Up front, AC Milan’s 21-year-old striker Andre Silva partnered Ronaldo, but the pair endured a frustrating night at the hands of Chile’s defence.

Chile’s coach Juan Antonio Pizzi named the same team which drew 1-1 with world champions Germany last Thursday as centre-back Gary Medel and midfielder Aranguiz both shook off knocks.

The game got off to a frantic start which demanded early saves from both goalkeepers.

With just six minutes gone, Sanchez put a superb pass in behind the defence, which landed just in front of Eduardo Vargas, but Portugal’s goalkeeper Rui Patricio blocked the shot.

At the other end moments later, a low Ronaldo cross put Andre Silva in space, but Bravo smothered the effort at close range.

Aranguiz twice went close with efforts on the Portugal goal in the opening half and it was end-to-end stuff again after the break.

Chile’s Vargas forced Patricio into another reflex save, while Ronaldo fired at Bravo when Portugal counter-attacked immediately.

Then Vidal’s long-range effort went screaming just high and wide of the Portugal goal.

Ronaldo sent a free-kick just over and had a shot blocked as both sides attacked relentlessly, but the scores remained goalless and the game went to extra time.

There was no let up in the pace as Portugal’s Andre Gomes went close while Sanchez headed Mauricio Isla’s cross from the left just wide of the post.

Joao Moutinho came on for Adrien Silva, who had worked tirelessly in midfield for Portugal, in the first period of extra time.

With time almost up, Chile had a penalty appeal turned down when substitute Francisco Silva appeared to be fouled by Fonte in the area before Vidal, then Rodriguez rattled Portugal’s woodwork.

Posted On Thursday, 29 June 2017 01:11 Written by

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto on Monday evening stepped up their bid for re-election by citing their achievements as  they accused the Opposition of “copying” them.

During a session preceding the official launch of the Jubilee manifesto, the two leaders argued that they had achieved a lot within a short period.

“We should be happy with what we have achieved. We need to work harder for what lies ahead of us,” said Mr Kenyatta.

“There are many things they said we can’t accomplish, which we have. I am sure if given time, there is more we can accomplish.”

DEFENDING RECORD

The President was defending his record, citing Huduma centres, free maternity healthcare, regional integration and improving relations with the outside world.

“You were told that if you elect us, the world will reject us. Today, people from various countries want to visit Kenya. There is no country that has refused to accommodate a Kenyan president,” he argued, referring to the image issues surrounding their cases at the International Criminal Court.

President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto during the launch of Jubilee party Manifesto at Safaricom Kasarani stadium on Monday, June 26, 2017. PHOTO DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

“This is a government that works for the people. We also work with the people. We do so because at the end of the day this country belongs to 45 million people.”

OUTLINED ACHIEVEMENTS

Before the launch of the manifesto, the two leaders and Cabinet Secretaries engaged the audience when they outlined their achievements over the past four and-a-half years.

Foreign CS Amina Mohamed and her counterparts Aden Mohamed (Industrialisation) and Joe Mucheru (ICT) presented their figures, arguing for the Jubilee Party.

President Kenyatta relied on the ministers to tell the story of the achievements of the Jubilee administration.

Ms Mohamed described Kenya’s global picture as one that could only get better.

ESSENTIAL CONTACTS

“We have risen from a country of essential contacts to one that welcomes the President of the United States, His Holiness the Pope and over 50 global leaders,  and hosts 16 summits and 15 major conferences,” said Ms Mohamed.

She added: “In four-and-a-half years, we have increased foreign investment by 400 per cent.”

Mr Mohamed described what he said was opening up of the trade sector and removal of bureaucracy in the conduct of business

“We have made it very easy to do business and we have been cited by the World Bank as the third most improved country on ease of doing business,” said Mr Mohamed.

SECURE JOBS

Mr Mucheru focused on improving Kenya’s IT services. He explained how the government was helping the youth secure jobs through online searches.

Narok Governor Samuel Tunai (left) and Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko during the launch of Jubilee Party manifesto. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

But it was always going to be a government-versus-Opposition affair. Mr Ruto was the first to criticise opposition leaders, saying they want to do things like what the government has done.

“Our record of the last four- and-a-half years speaks for itself. We are the only political party that has a track record,” he said.

“We have a superior plan for our country, which our competitors can only copy and we welcome them to copy because it is the best.”

BLAMING OTHERS

The President chipped in: “The difference between us and them is, as my brother, the Deputy President has said, is like day and night. The difference is this — there are those who seek leadership by blaming others.”

“Then there are those who seek leadership by seeking to correct mistakes and offer hope, opportunity and the future.”

The President said he was voted in when some individuals were questioning his ability to lead, especially in light of the case he and his deputy were facing at the International Criminal Court.

Posted On Tuesday, 27 June 2017 00:00 Written by

The Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017, which was published on Wednesday September 28, has ranked Rwanda the most improving nation in Sub-saharan Africa.

The report, published by the World Economic Forum, says Rwanda has risen 6 places to 52- closing in on the region’s traditionally most competitive economies; Mauritius and South Africa, despite the two countries registering more modest improvements, climbing to 45 and 47 respectively.

In 2014-2015 report, Rwanda improved its world ranking to 62nd position in the world, up from 66th last year.  In Africa, Rwanda retained 3rd position and number one in the East African Community. This improvement comes particularly from labor market efficiency and institutions pillars where Rwanda ranked 9th and 18th in the world respectively.

Lower down the ranking, Kenya climbs to 96, Ethiopia holds steady at 109 while Nigeria slips three to 127.

Two countries in Latin America and the Caribbean make it into this year’s top 50. Chile, the outlier in the region on 33, climbs two places although the gap is closing with the second highest ranked economy, Panama (up 8 places to 42). Next comes Mexico which performs strongly with a 6-point climb to 51. Argentina and Colombia, the third and fourth largest economies in the region, ranked 104 and 61 respectively.  According to the rankings, Rwanda is followed by Botswana (64), Namibia (84) and Kenya (96).

The report is an annual assessment of the factors driving productivity and prosperity in 138 countries. The degree to which economies are open to international trade in goods and services is directly linked to both economic growth and a nation’s innovative potential.

The trend, which is based on perception data from the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI)’s Executive Opinion Survey, is gradual and attributed mainly to a rise in non-tariff barriers although three other factors are also taken into account; burdensome customs procedures; rules affecting FDI and foreign ownership.

It is most keenly felt in the high and upper middle income economies.

“Declining openness in the global economy is harming competitiveness and making it harder for leaders to drive sustainable, inclusive growth,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum.

The report also sheds light on why quantitative easing and other monetary policy measures have been insufficient in reigniting long-term growth for the world’s advanced economies.

The report finds that interventions by economies with comparatively low GCI scores failed to generate the same effect as those performed in economies with high scores, suggesting that strong underlying competitiveness is a key requirement for successful monetary stimulus.

The report offers insight into how priorities may be shifting for nations in earlier stages of development. While basic drivers of competitiveness such as infrastructure, health, education and well-functioning markets will always be important, data in the GCI suggests that a nation’s performance in terms of technological readiness, business sophistication and innovation is now as important in driving competitiveness and growth.

The Global Competitiveness Index in 2016 for the eighth consecutive year, Switzerland ranks as the most competitive economy in the world, narrowly ahead of Singapore and the United States.

Following both countries is Netherlands and then Germany. The latter has climbed four places in two years. The next two countries, Sweden (6) and the United Kingdom (7) both advance three places, with the latter’s GCI score being based on pre-Brexit data.

The remaining three economies in the top ten; Japan (8), Hong Kong Special Administrative Republic (SAR) (9) and Finland (10) all move backwards.

While European economies continue to dominate the top ten, there remains no end in sight for the region’s persisting north-south divide. Spain improves by one point climbing to 32, however Italy drops back one place to 44 and Greece reverses 5 places to 86.

France, the Eurozone’s second largest economy, climbs one place to 21. For all economies in Europe, maintaining and improving prosperity levels will depend heavily on their ability to harness innovation and the talents of their workforces.

There is some sign of convergence in the competitiveness of the world’s largest emerging markets. China, on 28, remains top among the BRICS grouping although another surge by India – which climbs 16 places to 39 – means there is now less of a gap between it and its peers. With both Russia and South Africa moving up two places to 43 and 47 respectively only Brazil is declining, falling six places to 81.

Culled from: News of Rwanda - www.newsofrwanda.com

Posted On Saturday, 24 June 2017 16:04 Written by
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