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Zimbabwe’s economy records growth

Zimbabwe’s economy will grow faster than expected in 2018, from an estimate of 4.5 per cent to 5 per cent, the Central Bank has predicted.
Reserve Bank Governor John Mangudya, in his first post-election monetary policy statement, in Harare said the new government reforms would kick-start growth that had languished for more than two decades.
Mangudya also hinted that rebalancing the economy would require “painful measures”.
He announced a plan to separate local and foreign currency bank accounts and a new tax on goods and trucks as part of measures to ease the shortage of U.S. dollars since the country dumped its own currency in 2009.

Ghana bans use of tyres to process animals

West Akyem Municipal Assembly in Ghan has passed a bye-law banning the use of flames from tyres in process meat by either households or butchers.
The ban was for health and environmental reasons.
The new law stipulates that “Any butcher who breaches the bye-law will be liable on conviction to a fine of between 50 and 100 penalty units (GHc600-GHc1200) or in default imprisonment to a term not exceeding six months or both”.
The Assembly passed another bye-law to prohibit the use of passenger vehicles, including taxi cabs, for transporting dead bodies to and from hospital mortuaries.
The bye-law permits only ambulances and hearses for transporting dead bodies.
Drivers who breach the provision are liable on conviction to a fine of between 20 to 30 penalty units, which is equivalent to between Ghc240.00 to Ghc360.00.
The use of flames from tyres in process meat is prevalent in Nigeria.
Tyres are used to burn skin of animals, especially cows and goats.
Source: Business Highlight

Automation reduces workforce in transport sector

The increase in automation would cause a reduction of 48 per cent workforce in world’s supply chain and transport industry.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) raised the alarm in a Future of Jobs Report 2018 obtained through a survey of WEF members all over the world.
“Global labour markets are undergoing major transformations due to technological breakthroughs.
“Four specific technological advances would drive change; ubiquitous high-speed mobile internet; artificial intelligence; widespread adoption of big data analytics; and cloud technology.
“These changes if managed wisely, could lead to an era of good work, good jobs and improved quality of life for all. Otherwise, it could pose the risk of widening skills gaps, greater inequality and broader polarization.
“In the supply chain and transport industry, it is expected that this change on the workforce in would cause a reduction of 48%.”
Other changes projected for the industry include a modification of the value chain by 82%, modification of locations of operation by 42% and expansion of task specialized contractors by 52%.
The report added that the technological changes were set to dominate the 2018–2022 period as drivers of business growth.
It also projected a decline for certain job roles across the automotive, aerospace and supply chain and transport industries by 41% in 2018.
The affected jobs include transportation attendants and conductors, client information and customer service workers, data entry clerks, material recording and stock keeping clerks and assembly and factory workers, among others.
By 2022, the report added that said roles would decline by 16%.
It also indicated the relative change in contribution by human workers and machines to specific task roles, attributing the reduction in the relative share of task hours contributed to a specific task by human workers to increased machine productivity over the 2018–2022 period.
“The expected decline is due to emerging roles such as supply chain and logistics specialists, service and solution designers, process automation specialists, data analysts and scientists, innovation professionals, and artificial intelligence and machine learning specialists.
These new roles are expected to increase in demand by 8% in 2018 and 21% in 2022.
“Certain key job tasks in 2018 would more and more be executed by machines.
 These include communicating and interacting which would increase from 17% performance in 2018 is to 25% in 2022; performing complex and technical activities which would increase from 21% in 2018 to 36% in 2022; and the execution of physical and manual work which as of 2018 is at 31% to 48% in 2022,” the report said.
The report conducted on 15,126,280 employees worldwide, cuts across 12 industry groups which include Automotive, Aerospace, Supply Chain & Transport; Aviation, Travel &Tourism; Chemistry, Advanced Materials and Biotechnology.
Others are Consumer; Energy Utilities and Technology; Financial Services and Investors; Global Health and Healthcare; Information and Communication Technology; Infrastructure; Mining and Metals; Oil and Gas; and Professional Services.
Source: Ship and Ports

Respite for Nigerian business community in Ghana

The 400 business outlets belonging to
Nigerians that were shut in Ghana would soon be re-opened following
intervention by relevant authorities.
Nigeria’s Deputy President of the Senate,
Ike Ekweremadu, said respite was coming the way of the Nigerian
business community in Ghana.
The government of the West African
country has promised to reconsider its policy on foreign businesses,
following his intervention.
Ekweremadu said the implementation of the
policy had led to the shutting of over 400 shops owned by Nigerians in
the Ashanti Region of Ghana.
The lawmaker, who is a former Speaker of
the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States, gave
the indication on his Facebook page, following his discussions with the
Regional Minister of the Ashanti Region, Simon
Osei-Mensah.
The Government of Ghana in August this
year ordered the sealing off of over 400 shops belonging to Nigerians at
the expiry of an eviction order issued by the Ministry of Trade.
Ekweremadu noted that the freedom of the
peoples of the sub-region to ply their trades in any part of West Africa
was central to the prosperity of ECOWAS.
He said, “I spoke with the Regional
Minister of Ashanti, Ghana, my brother and former deputy at the ECOWAS
Parliament, Simon Osei-Mensah, over the weekend on the pains of the
Nigerian business community in the Ashanti Region of
Ghana on the sealing off of over 400 Nigerian-owned shops in Ghana,
especially in Kumasi.
“We shared thoughts on the need to uphold
the spirit and letters of the various ECOWAS Protocols as well as the
pursuit of the ECOWAS Vision 2020, which aims at a transition from an
ECOWAS of states to ECOWAS of peoples.
“Osei-Mensah assured me of the safety of
Nigerian businesses and people in Ghana, noting that he would personally
take up the matter with the authorities to ensure that the shops were
reopened immediately.”
Ekweremadu added, “Nigeria and Ghana have
come a long way and it is my hope that we will continue to nurture this
relationship for the mutual benefit of our respective countries.
“Meanwhile, I am in touch with the
Nigerian business community in Ghana, including the National President,
Nigerian Union of Traders Associations, Ghana, Mr Chukwuemeka Nnaji, and
I have urged them to remain calm, law-abiding
and continue to live in peace with their hosts in the spirit of African
and ECOWAS brotherhood.”
In the meantime, the Petroleum and
Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria has highlighted the need
to reform the nation’s oil and gas industry in a bid to ensure economic
development.
PENGASSAN, in its Independence Day
message to Nigerians, said the government must resolve to address the
gaps in the legal framework guiding operations and activities in the oil
and gas industry through the passage of the Petroleum
Industry Bill.
Noting that the PIB had suffered several
setbacks, the President, PENGASSAN, Mr Francis Johnson, said, “The bill,
when passed, will attract and retain more investments. We believe that
the benefits derived from a reformed oil
and gas sector will assist in the development of other sectors of the
economy to prepare the country for the future of a nation without oil.”
According to the association, the
Independence Day anniversary affords Nigerians the opportunity to review
the progress made so far as a nation in its socio-economic and
political journey, and to appreciate the sacrifice of thousands
of forefathers who laid down their lives to make the country breathe
the air of freedom and to keep Nigeria as one united and indivisible
nation.
It said while the country had managed to
stay together as a nation with abundant human and natural resources that
could make it great, a lot of work would be required for the country to
take its rightful place in the global stage.
The statement read in part, “Nigeria has
had 19 years of uninterrupted democratic rule. It is also right to say
that Nigerians have made a lot of progress in the field of agriculture,
commerce, banking, and manufacturing.
“However, there are many challenges that
must be surmounted for us to be a great nation indeed. Issues of
insecurity, infrastructural decay, nepotism, unemployment, impunity,
illegal migration, capital flight, abuse of power and
recklessness of the political class continue to dominate national
discourse.”

Buhari eliminates shady oil deals

President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration is making progress in the fight against corruption as shady oil deals and the 
brazen theft of billions of Naira are no more.
The president stated this in his address
to the nation as part of activities to mark Nigeria’s 58th Independence
Anniversary in Abuja on Monday.
Buhari also disclosed that the Federal
Government had recorded progress in its efforts toward recovery of
stolen public funds and assets despite vicious and stiff resistance.
“We are making progress in the fight
against corruption and recovery of stolen public funds and assets
despite vicious and stiff resistance.
“The shameful past practice, of the brazen theft of billions of Naira is no more.
“Shady oil deals and public contracts that were never delivered have become things of the past.
“Consequently, and this is very evident across the country, we have done more with less in infrastructural developments.
“Roads, railways, major bridges, schools,
energy and power, air and sea ports, welfare of serving and retired
personnel both civilian and military including payment of legacy debt
such as pension arrears, have been attended to.’’
On the state of the economy, Buhari 
said, “there is now an enabling environment for local and foreign investment in Nigeria.
“We are building a rules-based system – a level playing field that is free from fixers and intermediaries.
“This is the cornerstone to help genuine
investors and honest consumers, and the platform that will allow for the
real reforms that we intend to deliver over the coming years.’’
He noted with delight that the government
was gradually strengthening the economy with a stable Naira and falling
inflation rate.
According to him, his administration is building an economy that is moving away from over reliance on oil.
Consequently, he said, the nation had
witnessed massive return to farms and seen bumper harvest, despite
recurrent floods across the country.

“These positive developments are the
result of our collective pursuit of a common vision through hard work
and dedication, after the missed opportunities and disappointments that
followed the return to democracy in 1999,’’ he
added.