Ghanaian president commissions Chinese automobile assembly plant
ACCRA, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) — Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday commissioned a Chinese automobile assembly plant in Kpone city of the Greater Accra Region.
Zonda Sinotruk, with an investment of 30 million U.S. dollars, is the culmination of a tripartite agreement by Ghana’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, China’s heavy-duty vehicle trading company Zonda and manufacturing company Sinotruk to build a heavy-duty vehicle assembly plant in Ghana.
Commissioning the plant, Akufo-Addo commended the partners for their commitment to building a major hub in Ghana to assemble heavy-duty trucks for West Africa, saying the collaboration demonstrated how notable players were taking advantage of the Ghanaian government’s One District One Factory initiative to transition from imports to manufacturing.
Akufo-Addo also lauded the companies for establishing a state-of-the-art training center to train artisans to apply appropriate technology and skills to build their capacities in assembly processes, repair, and maintenance.
“My government is not oblivious of the challenges confronting manufacturing. I am convinced that our progress in restoring macroeconomic stability and our determination to return to growth will benefit the private sector in manufacturing and commerce,” the president said.
The new plant is expected to assemble more than 3,000 heavy-duty and light-duty trucks, including tipper trucks, wheel loaders, backhoes, trailers, semi-trailers and oil tankers, in a year.
The plant pledged to employ at least 200 more crew and create more indirect employment opportunities.
Yang Yang, the managing director of Zonda, said the decision to shift from trade to industrialization was a pivotal step in building a self-sustaining ecosystem for society.
“The Zonda Sinotruk assembly plant is not just about vehicles, it is about shaping the future of Ghana. It creates jobs, imparts valuable skills, and injects revenue into Ghana’s economy,” Yang said, adding it is also conducive to fueling the country’s automotive industry.
According to her, Zonda products have earned the trust of notable customers, including the Ghana Bauxite Company, Ghana Manganese Company, some leading players in the construction industry, and petroleum haulage companies. Enditem
Guinea-Bissau’s capital hit by blackout blamed on late payments
BISSAU, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) — Guinea-Bissau’s capital Bissau and its surroundings have been in a blackout since Tuesday morning, due to the cut of electricity supplies from a floating power plant that serves the city and surrounding areas.
According to a press release of the Electricity and Water Company of Guinea-Bissau, the national electricity and water company, the Karpowership company, which owns the floating power plant, has decided to suspend the supply of electricity to demand payment of debts owed for an undisclosed amount.
“The government and the Karpowership company are negotiating to find a consensus to overcome the situation,” the statement said. Enditem
African countries mull use of mediation to solve disputes
NAIROBI, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) — African countries on Wednesday began a two-day meeting in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi to promote the use of mediation conducted under the courts’ umbrella to solve legal disputes.
The Inter-Continental Mediation Summit brought together more than 100 participants of judicial officers and mediators from across Africa to share and exchange ideas and deliberate on how to promote the use and uptake of mediation as the first option in dispute resolution.
In her opening remarks, Martha Koome, the chief justice and president of the Supreme Court of Kenya, said court-annexed mediation is part of a multi-door approach to justice because it is a more creative way through which Africa can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of its systems of justice.
“Mediation does not diminish the importance of courts or litigation because, for many disputes, there are more amicable, more efficient, more context-sensitive, and more holistic avenues of resolution than traditional litigation,” Koome said.
She revealed that court intervention in child custody, maintenance, and other family disputes should be a last resort, with mediation being the first port of call for such disputes.
Harriet Magala, the judge of the High Court in Uganda, said African courts should make strides in institutionalizing mediation as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism to promote a culture of mediation in the continent.
Magala noted that court-annexed mediation is ideal, especially for cases involving family and commercial disputes.
She added that there is a positive impact of mediation in terms of facilitating expeditious resolution of disputes, restoring relationships between disputing parties, and improving the continent’s business environment.
Elachi Agada, the president of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators of Nigeria, said Africa can leverage mediation to ensure that the legal systems are accessible, efficient, and equitable for all.
Agada urged Africa to focus on the resolution of commercial, land, and employment disputes through mediation, as these can have far-reaching consequences on the social, economic, and inclusive development of the continent. Enditem
Egyptian president reaffirms support for Palestinians, rejects Sinai relocation amid Gaza conflict
CAIRO, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) — Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi expressed Wednesday Egypt’s firm support for the Palestinian people and a strong opposition to any attempts to relocate them to the adjacent Sinai Peninsula.
In a joint press conference with visiting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Cairo, Sisi said “we reject the displacement of Palestinians from their land” and expressed concerns that the current escalations in the Gaza Strip are “bids to force Palestinians to seek to enter Egypt’s Sinai.” “Displacement to Sinai means transferring the attacks against Israel to Egyptian territories, which threatens the long-term peace between Egypt and Israel,” the Egyptian leader added. For his part, Scholz said joint efforts are underway for trying to deliver humanitarian aid to the Palestinian enclave, adding the Gazans are in dire need of water, food, and medicine. Jordan canceled a quadrilateral summit that was scheduled for Wednesday to include the leaders of Palestine, Egypt, Jordan and U.S. President Joe Biden, following a blast on a Gaza hospital, which killed at least 500 Palestinians.
Sisi declared three days of mourning over the victims who lost their lives in the hospital bombing. On Tuesday, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the attack, demanding Israel stop targeting the vicinity of the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza to enable Egypt, other countries, and international and relief organizations to deliver humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip as quickly as possible. At least 500 people were killed when a rocket hit the Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza on Tuesday evening, according to Palestinian sources. The Gaza-based Health Ministry said Israel carried out the airstrikes, while the Israeli military said the Islamic Jihad organization is responsible for the “failed shooting” that targeted Israel.
Egypt to raise Suez Canal transit fees by 5-15 pct in 2024
CAIRO, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) — Egypt plans to raise transit fees for ships passing through the Suez Canal by 5 to 15 percent starting on Jan. 15, 2024, according to a statement released by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) on Monday.
Transit fees for crude oil tankers, petroleum product tankers, liquified petroleum gas carriers, liquefied natural gas carriers, chemical tankers and other liquid bulk tankers, containerships, vehicles carriers, cruise ships, and special floating units will rise by 15 percent, it said. Meanwhile, transit fees for dry bulk vessels, general cargo vessels, and roll-on/roll-off vessels will increase by five percent, according to the statement. It added that the new transit fee increases did not apply to containerships departing from ports in northwestern Europe and sailing directly to ports in the Far East.The SCA’s statistics showed that the canal’s revenues hit 9.4 billion U.S. dollars in the fiscal Year 2022-2023 which ended in June, up from 7 billion dollars in the previous fiscal Year.
Cote d’Ivoire appoints new prime minister
ABIDJAN, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) — President of Cote d’Ivoire Alassane Ouattara signed a decree on Monday appointing Robert Mambe Beugre, former governor of the Abidjan District, as the prime minister, according to the presidency.
“President Alassane Ouattara on Monday signed a decree appointing Robert Mambe Beugre as the prime minister and head of government,” Cisse Abdourahmane, the secretary general of the presidency, said in a statement.
Mambe should propose a new government to the president “as soon as possible,” said the statement.
On Oct. 6, Ouattara signed a decree terminating the functions of Prime Minister Patrick Achi and those of the government members. Enditem
Ethiopia expects 182 mln USD from energy exports in 2023/2024 fiscal year
ADDIS ABABA, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) — Ethiopia expects to earn around 10.1 billion birr (about 182 million U.S. dollars) from energy exports to neighboring Djibouti, Kenya and Sudan in the current 2023/2024 fiscal year, which started on July 8, an Ethiopian official said on Monday.
Ethiopia aims to start energy exports to Tanzania in the 2023/2024 fiscal year, and if the plan is successfully carried out, it will be the first time the East African country exports energy to another country with which it does not share a common land border, Moges Mekonen, communication director of the Ethiopia Electric Power (EEP), a state-owned electric producer, was quoted by the Ethiopia Press Agency.
Ethiopia earned 102 million U.S. dollars from energy exports in the previous 2022/2023 fiscal year. Mekonen said the EEP also plans to earn a further 20 billion birr (about 358.5 million dollars) in revenue from domestic energy-related activities.
Ethiopia’s energy export is part of a broader plan to economically integrate the East African region through electricity infrastructure. The Ethiopian government has announced its plan to increase the country’s export revenue from electric power to 400 million dollars within 10 years. Enditem
Tanzania requests World Bank, IMF to introduce Kiswahili as working language
DAR ES SALAAM, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) — Tanzania has requested the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to introduce Kiswahili as a working language, the Ministry of Finance and Planning said in a statement released on Sunday.
The statement said the request was made by Saada Mkuya, minister of State in Zanzibar President’s Office responsible for finance and planning, when she addressed the 2023 annual meetings of the WBG and the IMF in Marrakech in Morocco. Mkuya, who led Tanzania’s delegation to the meetings, said Kiswahili is already used as a working language in various regional organizations, including the East African Community, the Southern African Development Community, and the African Union. She said Kiswahili is among the 10 most widely spoken languages in the world, with more than 200 million speakers.The 41st session of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization proclaimed July 7 of each year as World Kiswahili Language Day, making it the first African language to be recognized in such a manner by the UN.