The West African cocoa sector is still feeling the pain from lower revenues over the past two years, which is motivating Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire to consolidate their markets; however, implementation of such plans will be hampered by serious financing concerns and lingering local content regulations.
The government prepares to moderately raise taxes on the gold mining sector and to impose fresh local content requirements, although these are unlikely to herald a steer towards more populist and nationalistic policies.
As foreign currency debt issuance reaches a new record so far this year, there are growing concerns over debt servicing sustainability, while several African economies are at serious risk of debt distress.
The latest Eurobond sale shows that short-run market sentiments are likely to remain optimistic despite Ghana’s varied adherence to conditionalities and vulnerable real sector growth as it departs an IMF programme.
New data released on organised crime in Ghana’s urban centres is alarming, while a recently launched joint police and military initiative may push criminality towards more affluent areas of Accra and Tema.
Politicisation of the cocoa sector has complicated the planned discontinuation of subsidies to producers, risking either a wave of labour unrest or incurring excessive borrowing costs and associated debt.
A spate of kidnappings and hijackings in the Gulf of Guinea indicate that piracy risks remain a serious threat in unpoliced waters, despite a more coordinated intervention by regional maritime policing forces.
Recent arrests of suspected Islamist militants and the discovery of ordnance caches has raised concern regarding the Islamic State’s linkages to Ghana and the extent of the terrorism threat to the West Africa country.
A newly confident government seeks to probe contracts signed by its predecessors under a new special prosecutor as it withdraws from its IMF programme, thus raising risk of contract revision and cancellation.
- EXX Africa director Robert Besseling moderated a panel on Africa’s commodity rollercoaster at GTR Commodities in Geneva hosted by Global Trade Review (GTR)
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