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Railway Ministry to order about 35 NEW trains in June 2020

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Railway Ministry to order about 35 NEW trains in June 2020

Railway Ministry to order about 35 NEW trains: The Minister of Railway Development, Joe Ghartey has revealed that the Ministry will be ordering over 30 standard gauge trains in June this year.

According to him, the Ministry has already gotten approval of about $130 million which will be used to purchase the trains from a company in China.

Speaking live on Eye on Port’s interactive programme on national television, Joe Ghartey stated that the technical committee of the Ministry is engaging their counterparts in China to agree on the specifications on the trains.

“Once they agree on the specification, we will sign the particulars of the contract and then we order,” he said.

He said the about 35 trains including both standard and narrow-gauge trains would be ordered in June 2020 and should arrive latest by 2021.

“We need to make the order ahead of time for them to bring it, so if we order now it may not come this year, it will come in about 18 months’ time,” he stated.

In addition to standard gauge trains, he said the Ministry is ordering 3 to 4 narrow gauge trains in June this year.

“We are seeking advice from the Ghana Railway Company limited for them to tell us how many trains they will need,” he said.

“If you look at our passenger trains, they are not sufficient for the demand in addition to the fact that post-COVID-19, now we can’t park our trains so we need more passenger trains hence have ordered some from a South Africa company called Transnet”.

He revealed that the Ministry is purchasing more standard gauge for 2 reasons.

“Standard gauge is what the African Union and ECOWAS have said that the entire Africa should use so that we can have train that will set off from Djibouti and come all the way to Ghana.

“In East Africa, they are doing cross country railway line. We have started in Ghana that is the Ghana-Burkina rail line,” he said.

The Minister said about one hundred (100) old coaches were sold before he assumed office but he ensured that the rest that was left when he took office are rehabilitated and currently being operated.

“The train that goes to Nsawam is a rehabilitated train. The passenger train that goes to Takoradi is also rehabilitated,” he said.

The British, according to him left 947 kilometers of rail line but when he was appointed a minister what was left was barely 10% of that figure.

“And even that 10% was barely working. The last time a train went to Kumasi to Accra was in 2001 on the eastern line. On the western line, it was 2004.” The Minister of Railway Development explained.

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Nigeria commits to pay off US$28.7 million capital arrears in Shelter Afrique

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Nigeria Finance Minister Dr Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed and Shelter Afrique MD Andrew Chimphondah

Abuja – January 11, 2022: The Federal Republic of Nigeria has pledged to pay the full capital arrear of US$28.7m in Shelter Afrique, Nigeria’s Finance Minister Dr. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed disclosed at a meeting with Shelter Afrique Group Managing Director and CEO Mr. Andrew Chimphondah in Abuja.

The Minister further disclosed that the payment will be made in four installments starting January 2022.

In September 2020, the pan African housing development financier received US$$9.4 million from Nigeria. The contribution moved Nigeria to become the second-largest shareholding in the organization with 13.27% of the shareholding, behind Kenya with 17.78%, and ahead of the AfDB at 12.83%.

Lauding the government of Nigeria for its show of confidence in the institution and a stamp of approval for the organisation’s financial turnaround, Mr. Andrew Chimphondah said, “This is a major milestone which is set to propel Nigeria to become the largest shareholder in Shelter-Afrique when the country meets its capital commitment. This is a strong testament of the strong shareholder commitment and support of the Shelter Afrique Board and Management.”

Housing Bond

Shelter Afrique is planning to raise 250 Billion Naira Bond (US$500million) in 2022 to support its affordable housing projects in Nigeria. The Company is set to commence the road shows with prospective investors in January 2022 and is expected to conclude fundraising by end of February.

Shelter Afrique has embarked on a defined strategy of developing and deepening local capital markets so that access to local currency which is competitively priced can be made available to Nigerian Developers from the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Large Developers and Tier 1 and Tier 2 Banks and Primary Mortgage Lenders. The significance of this is that Shelter-Afrique will have been successful in dealing with the foreign exchange exposure risks that have crippled many African countries caused by the weakening of local African currencies against hard currencies such as the United States Dollar and the British Pound Sterling,” Mr. Chimphondah said.

Thanking the Finance Minister Dr. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed for supporting the Bond Issue by the approvals received on critical waivers from the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Chimphondah noted that Nigeria was a critical and strategic market for Shelter Afrique, adding that the fund realized from the bond issue will go a long way in address the affordable housing shortage in the country, now estimated at 17 Million Units against the continent’s 56 million units.

“As a response to addressing this housing shortage, Shelter Afrique will implement a transformative strategy that will crowd in additional capital funding into the low cost large scale affordable housing market in a commercially viable manner,” Mr. Chimphondah concluded.

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Yaw Amoateng Afriyie appointed Deputy CEO of GIPC

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Yaw Amoateng Afriyie

The President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, acting under Section 17 (3) of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act 2013 (Act 865), has appointed Yaw Amoateng Afriyie as the acting Deputy Chief Executive Officer of GIPC.

Amoateng Afriyie’s appointment is subject to the constitutionally required advice of the governing board of GIPC in consultation with the Public Services Commission.

GIPC –  Ghana Investment Promotion Center

GIPC is Ghana’s principal investment agency. Its functional mandate is to attract, promote and retain inward investment into Ghana to stimulate wealth creation and unlock opportunities for the private sector.

Amoateng Afriyie will assist the newly constituted board and the chief executive officer, Yofi Grant, together with the existing management to ensure that Ghana’s post-COVID-19 recovery is anchored on competitiveness, innovation and the board’s broader objectives.

These investment objectives align with Ghana’s international obligations.

Profile of Yaw Amoateng Afriyie

Before his appointment, Amoateng Afriyie worked in various senior capacities in the UK and Ghana as a management and political risk professional. He has considerable experience in commercial, tactical and strategic risk assessment in relation to business and investment in sub-Saharan Africa.

Until recently, he was the managing director of Elmina Advisory Ltd, a Ghana-focused government affairs consultancy advising blue-chip companies and global consultancies to assess opportunities and manage the impact of politics and policy, macroeconomics, and security in Ghana.

He has also worked as West Africa head at Africa Matters Ltd (AML), a London-based Africa-focused consultancy; a research analyst in the international office of the campaign headquarters of the Conservative Party UK; a researcher at Africa Practice, London; an external consultant at the global business advisory firm FTI Consulting; and a freelance contributor on anglophone West Africa at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Amoateng Afriyie holds a postgraduate diploma in global business from the Saïd Business School of the University of Oxford, a Master’s degree (MA) in conflict resolution in divided societies from King’s College, University of London, and a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in politics and international relations from the University of Kent, Canterbury, also in the United Kingdom.

He is an enthusiastic amateur golfer who plays to a handicap of 12. He is equally passionate about the arts, including the music of various genres, current affairs, and sports, including football and Formula 1 racing.

GIPC has recently been adjudged the best investment agency in Africa three consecutive times by Capital Finance International magazine (CFI.co).

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Beaufort Properties and CityBlue announce two apartment projects in Accra

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Beaufort Properties and CityBlue

Beaufort Properties and CityBlue announce two apartment projects in Accra

Beaufort Properties, one of Ghana’s most experienced residential developers, based in Accra, today announced a joint venture with CityBlue Hotels, Africa’s fastest growing local hotel chain, owned by The Diar Group. Under a long-term arrangement, the two companies will build and operate two apartment buildings in premium locations in Accra. Pinewood Residences by CityBlue, will be a 30-unit development, in Airport Residential, Accra and Trinity Residences by CityBlue, will be a 25-unit development, in East Legon, Accra. Both properties, which are scheduled to open in Q4 of 2023, will be a combination of aparthotel and serviced apartments.

Pinewood Residences by CityBlue is located on Senchi Street in the Airport Residential Area, one of the most sought-after locations in Accra. The street is home to Mirage Residence, Association School, the landmark Kass Towers and Hollard Life Assurance.  The seven-story development is walking distance to Accra’s top restaurants (Santoku, SkyBar and La Chaumiere) and is less than 10 minutes’ drive to Kotoka International Airport.

The Trinity will offer some of the largest studio and one-bedroom aparthotel units in Accra – modern and stylish in character. It is the latest phase in the wider Riviera Residence scheme (phases 1 and 2 have already been completed), which is a unique mixed-use, residential development, encompassing living, dining and shopping, in a magnificent lakeside setting in the middle of East Legon.

Ernest Hanson, CEO of Beaufort Properties, said: “The Diar Group has truly identified a gap in the sub-Saharan market over the past decade and this is the time to see CityBlue in Ghana. The brand has consistently demonstrated both growth and resilience across multiple East African markets and it has reached a natural time to launch its first portfolio in West Africa. Beaufort Properties has a strong base and team of professionals in Ghana who are excited to bring such a fresh and native brand into the hospitality sector in Accra.”

Jameel Verjee, Principal of The Diar Group and Founder of CityBlue, concluded: “Our journey across East, Central and Indian Ocean Africa has been our platform. We believe that this has prepared CityBlue for the next phase of expansion and, to do so, it makes sense to partner with a world-class, local team in Ghana with a significant track record of real estate development and a confident view of the post-pandemic rebound in the hospitality sector”.

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