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World Bank Gives Ghana $200m For Digitisation

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The World Bank has approved US$200 million to help the Government of Ghana increase access to broadband, enhance the efficiency and quality of selected digital public services, and strengthen the digital innovation ecosystem in Ghana, and help create better jobs as well as economic opportunities.

The digital sector is one of Ghana’s best-performing sectors, and it grew on average by 19 per cent per year between 2014 and 2020.

According to Pierre Laporte, World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, “Today, Ghana is among the digital leaders in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Digital Economy diagnostic conducted in 2020 identified key bottlenecks that needs to be removed to further accelerate Ghana’s digital transformation. Building on previous investments, particularly through the ongoing World Bank-supported e-Transform Ghana Project, this newly approved Ghana Digital Acceleration Project is supporting a regulatory shift to create an enabling environment for digital inclusion and innovation; streamline governance and delivery of public services; and facilitate smallholder engagement in data-driven digital agriculture.”

He continued that, “Expanding digital access and adoption, enhancing digital public service delivery, and promoting digitally enabled innovation are essential for Ghana’s digital transformation, which will help drive a robust post-COVID-19 recovery.”

Mr. Laporte further explained, “The Ghana Digital Acceleration Project covers all these elements, and will help advance the whole-of-government digital transformation agenda to accelerate adoption of digital technologies and innovation by key productive sectors, such as agriculture, to foster an economy-wide digital transformation.”

The project will help strengthen the local digital entrepreneurship ecosystem, and improve the survival and growth rate of digital technology-enabled startups. Such goal will be achieved through supporting more effective innovation ecosystem coordination, better service provision by Entrepreneur Support Organisations, expansion of access to early-stage financing, and promotion of advanced digital innovation skills.

The Ghana Digital Acceleration Project is expected to increase access to mobile internet and broadband services of six million people, by encouraging private sector investment in last-mile connectivity in underserved rural areas. It will further promote digital inclusion for women, persons with disabilities, and rural communities through regulatory updates and investments, among others. Also, it will help to remove barriers to broadband and digital service access for Ghana’s lowest-income people, and to close the regional digital gap.

Maria Claudia Pachon, Senior Digital Development Specialist of the World Bank and Task Leader of the project, commented, “Public sector digitisation under this operation will continue the e-Transform project’s digital public service delivery ongoing efforts, to help generate significant economic and development benefits for people, businesses and the government, such as increased efficiency gains and time savings for the society and the economy,” adding that “the digitisation of government services will also result in significant cost savings due to decreased travel and processing time to obtain services, as well as transaction costs such as manual entry errors, fraud, and corruption.”

Kubidyza is a Global Celebrity Blogger, Music Promoter and a Social Media Influencer | Most Influential Blogger In Ghana For Bookings: Kubinho80@gmail.com

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McDonald’s To Leave Russia Permanently After 32 Years

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McDonald’s has announced that it will leave Russia permanently after 30 years.

McDonald’s announced in March that it would temporarily close its roughly 850 restaurants in the country as part of the economic fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Chicago-based company owns 84% of its stores in Russia and has stated that its restaurants in Russia and Ukraine contributed 9% of its annual revenue, or around $2 billion (£1.6 billion).

The company expects to incur a non-cash charge of between $1.2 billion (£980 million) and $1.4 billion as part of the exit.

“The humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, as well as the precipitating unpredictable operating environment,” McDonald’s said in a statement.

According to the company, it has begun selling its restaurants there due to the “humanitarian crisis” and “unpredictable operating environment” caused by the Ukraine war.

McDonald’s intends to sell its business to a local buyer, which employs 62,000 people and operates 850 restaurants (including those run by franchisees).

The restaurants will be “de-arched,” which means they will no longer use the McDonald’s name, logo, or branding. In a statement, McDonald’s stated that its “priorities include seeking to ensure that McDonald’s employees in Russia continue to be paid until the close of any transaction and that employees have future employment with any potential buyer.” In Russia, it will keep its trademarks.

According to the company, doing business in Russia is “no longer tenable” or consistent with its values.

“This is a complicated issue with no precedent and profound consequences,” McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski wrote in a message to franchisees, employees, and suppliers obtained by The New York Times.

“Some might argue that providing access to food and continuing to employ tens of thousands of ordinary citizens is unquestionably the right thing to do,” he continued. However, it is impossible to ignore the humanitarian crisis caused by Ukraine’s war. And it’s difficult to imagine the Golden Arches symbolizing the same hope and promise that drove us to enter the Russian market 32 years ago.”

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Ashantigold Demoted To Division Two For Match Manipulation

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Ashantigold Sporting Club of Ghana has been demoted to Division Two, Ghana’s third tier league, after being found guilty of match manipulation.

The incident occurred at the end of the 2020/2021 Ghana Premier League season, when Ashantigold defeated Inter Allies 7-0. Hashmin Musah, an Allies player, scored two own goals and later admitted his action was to ruin a bet placed on the game.

Dr. Kwaku Frimpong, the club’s President, and his son, Emmanuel Frimpong, the club’s Chief Executive Officer, have also been barred from football activities for ten years and eight years, respectively.

Eight club players were also banned for two years each after being found guilty of match manipulation, and a further five players were given four-year bans for failing to appear before the GFA’s Disciplinary Committee.

Furthermore, the club was fined Ghs 100,000, the President was fined Ghs 100,000, and the CEO was fined Ghs 50,000.

The decision will be implemented beginning with the 2022/2023 season.

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Inter Allies Demoted To Division Two For Match Manipulation

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Inter Allies Football Club has been demoted to Ghana’s second division after being found guilty of match manipulation.

The Ghana FA’s Disciplinary Committee announced the decision on Monday, following the conclusion of an investigation into last season’s final day clash between AshGold and Inter Allies at the Len Clay Stadium.

The game was won by AshGold 7-0, with Inter Allies defender Hashmin Musah scoring two own goals in the process.

Musah, however, admitted after the game in a radio interview that his own goals were scored on purpose to scupper a 5-1 bet that some people had placed on the match.

The GFA announced that the club had been charged on two counts and that it would be demoted to Division Two at the end of the current season. They were relegated from the Ghana Premier League last season and fell into this division.

In addition to the demotion, Inter Allies must pay a GHS 100,000 fine under the GFA’s Disciplinary Code.

Their head coach, Felix Aboagye, and team manager, Reuben Adjetey, would be barred from all football-related activity for 24 months.

As part of the GFA’s sanctions, four players were given 24-month bans. Richmond Lamptey of Kotoko was banned from football for 30 months because he was playing for Inter Allies at the time of the incident.

Hashmin Musah was also punished, but he received a shorter 6-month ban for bringing the incident to light, and he was also warned to notify the GFA’s Integrity Hotline in the future if he becomes aware of such unscrupulous arrangements.

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