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Items filtered by date: Friday, 31 March 2017

A renowned international economist Dr. Ernest Yedu Addison has been appointed by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the governor of the Bank of Ghana.

He becomes the 15th Governor to be appointed to the high office of the Bank of Ghana.

The new governor will be replacing the outgoing governor Dr. Abdul Nashiru Issahaku whose resignation takes effect from April 1, 2017.

In a statement signed by the director of communications at the presidency Eugene Arhin, Dr. Ernest Addison’s appointment comes after the President with considerable regret, accepted the resignation of the Dr. Abdul Nashiru Issahaku

Dr. Addison, who until 2011 worked at the Bank of Ghana as the Director of Research for 8years,

At the Bank of Ghana Dr. Addison was a member of the Open Market Operations Committee, Money Market Auction Committee and the Editorial Committee and also secretary to the Financial Programme Implementation Committee and the Financial Policies Committee.

He is currently the lead economist at the African Development Bank (AfDB).

He has been at his current position for the past 5 years and is in charge as the Lead Economist, Regional Director General—South of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The international economist Dr. Addison, is credited with major reforms at the Research Department of the Bank of Ghana between 2003 and 2011 as director of the department.

Before joining the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Addison worked at the West African Monetary Institute as the Chief Economist for 3years (2000 – 2003).

He also chaired the Task Force set up by the Authority of Heads of State of ECOWAS to undertake all the preliminary studies culminating in the setting up of the West African Monetary Institute.

Dr. Addison is a product of Mfantsipim School in the Central Region, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Ghana, Legon.

He also earned his Masters in Economics from the Cambridge University where he was awarded of Philosophy (MPhil) in Economics.

He is credited with several publications on economics and also holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Economics.

Source: Norvan Acquah - Hayford/thebftonline.com/Ghana

Published in Bank & Finance

The firing of South Africa\'s respected finance minister on Friday sent the currency tumbling by close to 5 percent and brought fresh anger at President Jacob Zuma as a split in the ruling party deepened.

Zuma\'s replacement of Pravin Gordhan came as part of an overnight Cabinet shuffle that changes 10 of the country\'s 35 ministers. \"Holy wow. Midnight ministerial massacre in South Africa,\" former U.S. Ambassador Patrick Gaspard tweeted. The new ministers will be sworn in later Friday.

Pressure has been growing on Zuma to step down after he recalled Gordhan, who has a strong reputation as a bulwark against corruption, from a trade trip in London earlier this week. The recall caused South Africa\'s rand to tumble, another blow to Africa\'s most industrialized economy that grew just 0.5 percent last year.

Many South Africans had viewed Gordhan as a responsible steward of an economy that now could be downgraded to junk status by credit ratings agencies within days.

Gordhan has been replaced by Malusi Gigaba, a former home affairs minister, a statement from the president\'s office said. Gigaba, who was criticized for introducing draconian visa rules that crippled South Africa\'s tourism industry, has little experience in economics.

\"It can have quite significant negative impacts on the economy and on policy in the short term. In the longer term, however, it may lead to the downfall of Zuma and his patronage, which will certainly be a good thing for South Africa,\" said economist Dawie Roodt.

The Cabinet shuffle comes as the calls for Zuma to step down grow.

\"It is parliament who hired Jacob Zuma and it is parliament that can fire him,\" said Mmusi Maimane, the leader of the main opposition Democratic Alliance, which on Thursday said it would launch a vote of no confidence in the president.

Frustration has been growing with Zuma after numerous allegations of corruption. On Wednesday, Gordhan inspired a standing ovation at the funeral of one of South Africa\'s leading anti-apartheid activists as longtime leaders of the ruling African National Congress, the country\'s former liberation movement, called for Zuma to step down. The outcry by funeral-goers including the ex-wife of Nelson Mandela, Winnie Madikizela Mandela, further exposed the ruling party\'s divide.

The new Cabinet changes are \"to improve efficiency and effectiveness,\" the statement from Zuma\'s office said. But even allies of the ruling party had warned against replacing Gordhan. Deputy general-secretary Solly Mapaila of the South African Communist Party, which is in an alliance with the ANC, warned Thursday that the party\'s seven Cabinet members would resign if Zuma fired the finance minister.

Also Thursday, the Economic Freedom Fighters opposition party applied to the country\'s highest court to order parliament to begin impeachment proceedings against the president for lying to the legislative body.

The EFF called it \"a last resort,\" with party leader Julius Malema accusing parliament, which is dominated by the ANC, of failing in its duty to hold the president accountable. The scandal-ridden Zuma in November survived an attempt by senior party members to oust him as president. Earlier last year, South Africa\'s highest court found that Zuma had violated his oath of office by refusing to abide by an order to pay back some of the millions of dollars in public money spent on upgrading his rural home.

Gordhan became South Africa\'s finance minister after Zuma\'s abrupt decision in December 2015 to fire Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and replace him with a relatively unknown figure, David van Rooyen, unsettled markets and prompted a national outcry. Late last year, prosecutors dropped fraud charges against Gordhan that were criticized by many South Africans as politically motivated and deepened concern about alleged government mismanagement.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was among high-ranking officials in the ruling party who expressed their support for the finance minister. Ramaphosa is seen as a likely candidate to succeed Zuma as ANC leader at the ruling party\'s conference in December.

 

- Associated Press

Published in Economy

China today hinted at commissioning its first indigenously-built aircraft carrier next month as it strengthens its powerful navy which plays a more dominant role in projecting the nation\'s power overseas.

The \"outfitting work\" is going on smoothly for China\'s first domestically made aircraft carrier, Chinese military spokesman Col Wu Qian told media briefing here today.

Asked whether the aircraft carrier will be launched on the 68th anniversary of the PLA Navy on April .. Reports also said China has started building a new generation of large amphibious assault vessels including a helicopter carrier that will strengthen the navy.

The 075 Landing Helicopter Dock is now under construction by a Shanghai-based shipbuilding company, South China Morning Post reported yesterday.

The amphibious vessel is far larger than similar ships previously constructed for the PLA Navy. The 075 can serve as a form of aircraft carrier and military experts said it would give China\'s navy the ability to launch various types of helicopters to attack naval vessels, enemy ground forces or submarines in the East or South China Sea.

About the stealth aircraft J-20 which made waves in the international media recently, Wu said it is undergoing test flights. The J-20 will improve comprehensive capability of the Chinese air force, he said, adding that \"it will shoulder the responsibility of national sovereignty territorial integrity\".

Official media reports this month said China has operationalised its first stealth aircraft. Once commissioned, it will have major implications for India as it was earlier tested near the border in Tibet for its endurance in high altitude.

The plane is regarded as major breakthrough for China as it will take it at a next level in the region. It is otherwise mostly reliant on Russian aircraft including advanced versions of Sukois like the Indian Air Force.

 

- Economic Times

Published in World

The Maputo Protocol, adopted by the African Union in 2003, was expected to transform the landscape for women’s rights on the continent. Its aim was to set standards and create positive change across a range of areas including violence against women, child marriage, land rights and harmful practices.

But 14 years and 37 ratifications later there’s a great deal that remains undone.

This is largely because African states have tried to escape their responsibilities by claiming they don’t have the resources to implement the protocol. This is despite the fact that it specifically imposes an obligation on states to budget for women’s rights.

Three articles deal directly with the issue. For example, Article 4 calls for budgets to be made available to prevent violence against women while Article 10 (3) imposes an obligation on states to redirect military expenditure to social development and to promote women’s rights. Article 26(2) is the most important one since it imposes an obligation on states to provide the budgetary resources required to implement all of its articles.

Despite this, the obligation to fund the protection of women’s rights is often ignored by states.

Instead, most African countries prepare their budgets in a gender neutral way. But isn’t gender neutrality in fact “gender blindness”? Don’t national budgets that disregard the differences between men and women simply reinforce existing male dominated ways of doing things?

Gender blind budgets

In most African countries national budgets aren’t concerned with the different needs and priorities of women and girls. These gender-blind budgets usually fail to adopt policies which aim to remedy the disadvantaged situation of women and girls.

For example, being gender neutral, a government can allocate its resources to the area of health without taking into account that women have specific sexual and reproductive needs.

There is a way to solve this problem – gender budgeting. This enables states to meet their obligations to provide resources for women’s rights. It ensures that there’s an assessment of the impact that revenues and expenditure have on women and girls, as well as men and boys.

While catering for people of both sexes, gender-budgeting processes recognise that there’s a deficiency in the resources allocated to women. Thus, they aim to ensure that women’s rights are included in general budgeting mechanisms. A number of African countries – for example Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa, Tanzania, Senegal and Namibia – have tried integrating gender budgeting to their budgeting processes.

The problem is that even this approach hasn’t led to enough resources being allocated to ensure implementation of the Maputo Protocol.

For instance, South Africa, the first African country to adopt gender-budgeting initiatives, has not yet met its obligations under the protocol. In South Africa, women still bear a disproportionate burden of the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.

So what more needs to be done?

Barriers to implementation

What’s become clear is that one key barrier to implementation is the lack of guidance on how to implement the budget provisions of the Maputo Protocol. This doesn’t expressly make reference to gender budgeting.

The South African experience gives credence to the suggestion that African states need this kind of guidance. Two years ago the Southern African Development Community developed gender-budgeting guidelines to help member states in their allocation of funds for gender-related initiatives.

The guidelines were based on the provisions of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development that require member states to provide funds for women’s rights and adopt gender budgeting. The guidelines focus on gender-responsive budgets, singling out the process as one that ensures sufficient allocation of funds to women.

Focus on funding

Another barrier to the implementation of gender budgeting is the AU’s failure to ensure that member states meet their obligations to fund women’s rights.

With the exception of fleeting references to gender budgeting in guidelines, press releases, speeches, and reports, the African Union has not paid much attention to the issue. The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) must ensure that gender budgeting is brought to the forefront.

There are many ways to do this including the mechanisms of the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa, communiqués, state reports, investigations, research, resolutions and guidelines.

The African Commission can also develop gender-budgeting guidelines to assist member states. With gender budgeting at the forefront, widespread respect for women’s rights stands a much better chance of becoming a reality across the continent.

Ashwanee Budoo, Project manager of the LLM/MPhil Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa programme at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Published in Opinion & Analysis

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