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AirBnB introduces new service for luxury travelers

AirBnB is offering new services aimed at wealthier travellers as it seeks to compete in the luxury travel market.

The accommodation site will offer a dedicated section for boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts and more unusual locations such as treehouses and boats.

The firm also announced ‘AirBnB Plus’, a stamp of approval for locations it has inspected.

The moves follow more stringent regulations being imposed on the company in a number of countries.

Recent data published by the San Francisco Chronicle suggested AirBnB lost more than half its listings in the city as stricter regulations took hold.

As the company prepares to float on the stock market, this diversification is AirBnB’s attempt to put more eggs in different baskets. That may reassure potential investors concerned that AirBnB’s core business – of homeowners sharing their properties – could be under threat.

These latest announcements continue AirBnB’s gradual shift from a company that was created to help those who could not afford hotel rooms into a more traditional travel company.

Brian Chesky, AirBnB chief executive and co-founder, made the announcements in San Francisco on Thursday.

AirBnB Plus is the firm’s attempt to bring some quality assurance to its listings, removing some of the uncertainty travellers may have about the state of a property.

“Airbnb Plus homes have been inspected and verified in person against a 100+ point checklist covering cleanliness, comfort and design,” the company said.

Brian CheskyAirbnb chief executive Brian Chesky

While the site has offered hotel rooms and boutique locations for some time, they will now be listed in a separate category, making them easier to find. AirBnB Collections will also group certain types of accommodation for specific trips, such as a honeymoon.

AirBnB was founded in San Francisco, and in this small-but-symbolic market the company has seen a dramatic decline in accommodation spaces.

Data gathered by the San Francisco Chronicle suggests short-term rentals dropped by more than 50% in less than six months. At the same time, long-term rental site Zillow reported a rise in available apartments in the Californian city.

The data was collated by Host Compliance, a firm that aids cities in enforcing regulations on short-term rentals. It included companies other than AirBnB, such as HomeAway and Flipkey.

But as the biggest player in short-term rentals, AirBnB has been hit hard. According to the Chronicle, in August 2017 the site had 8,740 listings in the city. By January, that number had dropped to 4,191.

The site will group properties ideal for certain purposes, such as a honeymoonThe site will group properties ideal for certain purposes, such as a honeymoon

Around the world, AirBnB said it has 4.5 million listings.

The company told the Chronicle they considered January 2018 to be a “hard reset” and that it was now confident that all of the listed spaces were fully compliant. Many of the disappearing properties were assumed to rental tenants renting out spare rooms without the knowledge of the homeowner.

San Francisco is not the company’s biggest market – that is Paris, followed by London and New York. But what happens here could provide a blueprint for other cities, particularly those where affordable housing is at a premium.

“Platform accountability works and works very, very well, just as we expected,” said Dale Carlson from ShareBetter SF, a group calling for stricter regulations on short-term rentals.

He believed AirBnB’s latest announcement ended “the myth of home sharing”, adding: “Airbnb is morphing into just another online travel agency. It’ll be pretty hard to sustain a $31bn valuation in that market.”

Exactly when the company aims to list on the stock market is unclear. Last month, chief financial officer Laurence Tosi departed, with reports suggesting internal tensions over how long the IPO process was taking.

AirBnB is now not expected to list until next year at the earliest.

Source: BBC

PAC summons Kumasi Technical University over ‘questionable’ contract

The Kumasi Technical University in the Ashanti Region has been summoned before the Public Accounts Committee in Accra over a contract the institution awarded without following due process.

The technical university is said to have entered into a joint venture agreement with private firm, SONTECT for the procurement of some facilities to help students in the school have practical training in computer repairing and assembling.

Under the agreement, a new firm was formed with the name Kumasi Polytechnic SONTECT  (KPST) in which the polytechnic was to have a 40% share, and SONTECT, 60%.

But there are claims that whereas evidence abound that the Kumasi Technical University committed a huge chunk of resources, less can be said of SONTECT.

This was revealed when the authorities of the Technical University appeared before the Public Accounts Committee sitting in Sunyani.

PAC on Monday, February 19, 2018, began public hearings of the report of the Auditor-General of financial expenses of Municipal/District Assemblies (MDAs), Tertiary and pre-tertiary institutions in the Brong Ahafo and Ashanti Regions.

Chairman of the Committee and Member of Parliament for the Ketu North Constituency, James Klutse Avedzi, after three hours of debating the contract signed between the University and SONTECT (KPST), ruled that the discussion be suspended to make way for all those involved in the process to be invited in Accra to provide further and better particulars to address the queries.

He stated that due process was not followed and there were a lot of issues that needed to be answered and “that is why we spent more than two hours on that particular issue and that is where we realized that there were accusations and counter accusations.”

“We need to bring all the parties together to go deep into the matter and bring it to its logical conclusion. We need to put all the people together to bring finality to the matter and that is why we suspended discussion on this matter that at another time, we will be inviting the university with appropriate bodies to come to Accra to respond to the issues,” he added.

Speaking to Citi News after appearing before the Committee, acting Vice Chancellor of the Kumasi Technical University, Prof. Asiamah Yeboah, admitted that he took over the administration of the university in January 2017, and the KPST issue dated back to 2011 when he was not in office, and that he was still studying the documents.

Prof. Yeboah explained that the University [then Kumasi polytechnic], entered into the contract with SONTECH to give birth to a new company called KPST, and per the arrangements, Kumasi Polytechnic was supposed to have 40% and SONTECH 60% of assembling of computers and other software services to boost the knowledge and capacity of Engineering and Computer Science students of the university.

The initiative, Prof. Yeboah said was a good move but faced implementation challenges that made nonsense of the whole initiative.

On the way forward, he said the previous council advised the board to abrogate the contract and even appointed auditors to lead the process to audit the contract records, and the claim that SONTECT which owned 60% of the birthed company committed some resources to the project.

The Acting Rector disputed that claim, and said “there’s no evidence to prove that SONTECT has paid anything as support or commitment to the project.”

The acting Vice Chancellor said all the issues concerning the institution have been reported to the University Council awaiting their advice and directions on the projects.

Sunyani Technical University appears before PAC

Still at the committee sitting, the Sunyani Technical University on the other hand discharged itself creditably to the admiration of the committee.

The committee was however not happy with delays with the completion of GETFUND projects at the institution.

But in response, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Kojo Adinkra Appiah, blamed the delays on delayed cash flow from the GETFUND making it difficult for the contractors to continue the work.

“In fact, money was not coming from the GETFUND, and that gave a lot challenges to the project and so when the external auditors came, they thought they were infractions, but we took our time and explained to them. They realize they were genuine challenges and that was why the projects were not completed on time”, he explained.

He appealed to government and the GETFUND to intervene and provide the necessary assistance to complete the projects which he said is helping to address the classroom, offices and accommodation challenges of the institution.

The Vice Chairman of Committee, Edward Dery, expressed worry over the side-stepping of procedures stipulated by the Financial Management Act management and heads of institutions and MDAs.

He accused management of the Kumasi Technical University of deliberately dodging all the queries raised by the committee and pledged members’ readiness to do the necessary due diligence to ensure the right thing was done and misappropriated funds refunded.

By: Mashoud Kombat/citifmonline.com/Ghana

Pass RTI bill if you want to fight corruption – MP tells Nana Addo

A Deputy Minority Chief Whip, Ahmed Ibrahim, is asking President Akufo-Addo to ensure the passage of the Right to Information Bill if he is indeed committed to fight corruption.

Ahmed Ibrahim says although the President has set up the Special Prosecutor Office, the institution will be ineffective without the passage of the Right to Information Bill into law.

Speaking to Citi News, the Banda legislator said without the Bill, the Special Prosecutor would find it difficult to access information for effective work to be done.

“Corruption is an activity which takes place in secrecy, and governance is such that everybody is asking for transparency and accountability. People do not just ask for accountability. Whoever is asking for accountability will first of all have to ask for transparency. If there is no transparency there can be no accountability. The 1992 constitution says that all Ghanaians must have Right to Information such as must be established by the laws of the country. From 1992, we have struggled and have not been able to do it. Even though we have not done that, we have certain structures or certain constitutional bodies that are created to fight corruption, but the inability to pass the Right to Information bill into law has always made certain corrupt activities to be hidden in secrecy.”

“ If you say you have passed the Special Prosecutor Bill, the Special Prosecutor is going to fight corruption based on the information and what if the information does not exist, who will give him that information? Is it not government? So if government passes the RTI, then every individual will use the RTI law to knock on every door when public money is being spent.”

Calls for RTI bill passage 

There has been a rise in the number of calls for the RTI Bill to be passed after former Attorney General, Martin Amidu’s nomination as Special Prosecutor.

Some individuals including the General Secretary of National Democratic Congress (NDC), Asiedu Nketia, have argued that the Office of the Special Prosecutor will struggle to carry out its mandate without the RTI Bill.

According to Mr. Nketia, without the Bill, the Special Prosecutor will find it difficult to retrieve information, especially from government establishments.

“The most important Bill, even more important than the Special Prosecutor’s Office is the freedom to information Act. If someone comes with a complaint on a bloated price of a project, it will be difficult to crosscheck because if you request for it from government offices, they will tell you they can’t because of official secrecy. If you don’t bring the freedom of information Act, and ask the special prosecutor to do its job, you are going to complicate things for him,” he had earlier suggested.

About RTI bill

The RTI is a fundamental human right guaranteed by the country’s 1992 Constitution, and recognized as a right under International Conventions on Human rights.

The Bill, as it has been drafted, is to also give substance to Article 21 (1) (f) of the Constitution which states that, “All persons shall have the right to information subject to such qualifications and laws as are necessary in a democratic society.”

Successive governments have however failed to ensure its passage despite several assurances.

Although the New Patriotic Party government has promised that the Bill will be passed under its tenure, it is unclear how soon that would be.

The Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, recently stated that Cabinet is yet to hold talks on the Bill before it can be brought back to Parliament for approval.

By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana

Corruption ranking covered corruption cases under Mahama – Gov’t

The government has explained that Ghana’s poor performance in the 2017 Global Corruption Perception Index also took into account corruption cases recorded under the John Mahama administration, which left power in January 2017.

The government’s Spokesperson on Governance and Legal Affairs, Herbert Krapa, explained that the report was not an indication that the current New Patriotic Party [NPP] government was corrupt.

Ghana dropped 11 places from the 2016 ranking to place 81 out of 180 countries in the 2017 Corruption Perception index.

Ghana’s mark out of a total of 100 was 40, down from 43, which the country attained in the 2016 index.

In an interview with Citi News, Mr. Krapa referenced the Ghana Integrity Initiative’s (GII) technical report, which shows that corruption perception for a given year takes into account two years.

This would mean that the 2017 corruption index also covered 2016, where there was a lack of will to tackle corruption from the Mahama government, according to Mr. Krapa.

“When you look at the technical report which GII added, such that it is a period of two years in which the perception is compiled, when you look at 2016, in that year, you know all the corruption allegations that came to the fore: the bus branding saga, Ghana Standards Authority, NCA [National Communications Authority], Electoral Commission allegations and a host of them that the [Mahama] government did not show any commitment to fighting revelations and scandals that had been made public.”

Mr. Krapa further assured that the Akufo-Addo administration was committed to fighting corruption with all the seriousness.

“Now the perception would be that the current administration has done very little to fight the corruption that the John Mahama administration is said to have supervised. I can assure that whatever report, whatever these exposes… would have exposed and made clear that corruption was particularly present, all of them would be prosecuted and the law courts would determine whether there was actual corruption or not.”

What the GII report said

The GII noted that Ghana’s score of 40 points was likely a reflection of the insufficient investigations, prosecutions and sanctioning of corrupt acts, per data sources from 2016.

Linda Ofori Kwafo

Executive Director of GII, Linda Ofori-Kwafo

“It is important to remind ourselves of the plethora of corruption exposés during the period in question which might have influenced the perception of the respondents to the surveys as well as the business experts – examples include the 2016 election-related corruption issues, Bus Branding scandal, Ghana Standards Authority $1.2m Corruption Scandal, Central Medical Stores Arson Saga, National Lottery Authority bribery and numerous adverse findings in annual Audit Reports on the Public Sector,” the statement accompanying the current index stated.

Ghana’s past performance

The report, put together by Transparency International, ranks countries annually by their perceived levels of corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.

In the 2016 Corruption Perception Index ranking, Ghana dropped four percentage points, scoring 43 out of a clean score of 100.

In 2015, Ghana improved slightly on 2014 with a rank of 56 out of 168 countries and a score of 47.

Thus, Ghana slid back by one percentage point from the 48 points scored in 2014.

By: Naa Shika Caesar & Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana

Court rules on ‘GYEEDA’ scandal case today

An Accra High Court will today [Friday], deliver its judgment in the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) case involving former national Coordinator Abuga Pele and Philip Assibit, Chief Executive Officer of Goodwill International Group.

This follows four years of legal battle where state prosecutors and defense lawyers have been putting forward evidence before the court to advance their claims.

While Abuga Pele has been charged with abetment of crime, intentionally misapplying public property and willfully causing financial loss to the state, Philip Assibit is facing charges of defrauding by false pretense and dishonestly causing financial loss.

The two men are alleged to have connived to defraud the state of some 4.1 million cedis.

They have pleaded not guilty to the charges leveled against them.

GYEEDA scandal

In the case scandal that hit the now Youth Employment Agency (YEA), some companies including Zoomlion Ghana Limited, RLG, Asongtaba Cottage Industry Limited and Better Ghana Management Services Limited among others, were contracted to render services under various modules for the GYEEDA programme.

Following reports of the siphoning of state funds under GYEEDA, the government in 2012 ordered an investigation into its activities and subsequently terminated the contracts with the various companies.

The former GYEEDA National Coordinator, Abuga Pele was also hauled before a court to answer for the reported malfeasance under his tenure.

Abuga Pele has since pleaded not guilty to two counts of abetment of crime, intentionally misapplying public property, and five counts of willfully causing financial loss to the state in the ongoing trial.

Mr. Pele, the MP for Chiana Paga in the Upper East Region at the time, said there was a conspiracy to use him as a ‘sacrificial lamb’ for the multi-million cedi corruption scandal, whiles those supposed to have been charged are walking free.

Gov’t blacklists RLG, others

In December 2015, Government supposedly blacklisted companies indicted in the corruption scandal that hit GYEEDA, which included big names like Zoomlion and RLG.

The announcement was made by the then Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu. However, the companies said there was no such blacklisting by government.

For many observers, the slow pace of the trial was an indication that the government was not genuinely interested in prosecuting the case, and that they were doing so to protect their people.

By: Fred Djabanor/citifmonline.com/Ghana

AG backs calls for probe into mass Law School failure

The Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, has backed calls for an enquiry into the recent mass failure of students at the Bar exams.

Her comments follow a 30-day ultimatum issued to the Independent Examination Board (IEB) by the SRC of the Ghana School of Law to re-mark the scripts of students who failed the exams.

Only 91 out of the 474 students who sat the bar exams written in May and September last year passed.

The students have since been protesting the results and have planned to petition the Chief Justice.

Speaking on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana, Gloria Akuffo said an investigation would help unravel the true cause of the mass failure.

“Let us investigate what is the real cause of this large numbers. Is it because lecturers are not good enough? Is it because they do not have good material? Is it because the students themselves are not applying themselves efficiently and begin to find solutions to these.”

‘Parliamentary inquiry’

Her suggestion comes a day after a lawyer, Kwaku Asare, also called on Parliament to investigate the mass failure.

Mr. Asare also made a number of calls including asking Parliament to summon the Director of the Ghana School of Law to explain why they “unlawfully denied access to about 3,000 students who under the laws of Ghana are qualified to have professional legal education.”

The lawyer also called for the setting up of a committee of legal examiners by Parliament to “review the examination, the marking scheme and the exams scripts to find out what has gone terribly wrong with these examinations.”

The massive failure comes at a time when Parliament is debating an LI brought before it by the General Legal Council (GLC); the body that oversees the legal profession and legal education in Ghana.

The LI, if endorsed by Parliament, will see the legalization of entrance examination and interview processes by the GLC for prospective law students.

‘Re-mark exam scrips, scrap exam board’

In the wake of this development, the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) of the Ghana School of Law, has also called for the examination scripts of the Ghana Law School students to be re-marked.

Speaking on Eyewitness News, the President of the school’s SRC, Sammy Gyamfi, said the results did not accurately reflect the performance of the students who sat for the exams.

He stated that in order to ensure the integrity of the exams and the results which were released, the scripts have to be re-marked by “a credible and independent body.”

“Clearly this is a sad day for professional legal education for Ghana. The published results are very dispiriting and discouraging, very disappointing and clearly unacceptable. The results as we have now don’t reflect the true performance of the students. We can’t vouch for the integrity of these results, the integrity of the results is questionable,” he said.

By: Marian Ansah & Sixtus Dong Ullo/citifmonline.com/Ghana

EOCO indicts SSNIT officials over controversial $72m software contract

The Economic and Organized Crimes Office (EOCO) says it has concluded investigations into the controversial Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), ICT infrastructure scandal which dominated the headlines last year.

The scandal involves the procurement of ICT infrastructure for the Trust at a monstrous cost of $72 million, a price tag that was well over the initial amount estimated for the project.

Acting Chief Executive Officer of EOCO, ACP K. K. Amoah, told Joy News’ Kwesi Parker-Wilson that a docket on the outcome of the investigation, which was concluded in November last year, has been forwarded to the Attorney-General’s office for further action.

“Attorney-General [Gloria Akuffo] is studying the docket and you will soon hear from her office..some officers are being held responsible,” he said.

He will, however, not give out the names of the indicted officials.

EOCO opened investigations into the scandal at the pensions trust when it came to light that the $72 million spent to procure and install the software and other hardware systems known as the Operational Business Suite (OBS) in a bid to digitise the Trust exceeded the market price.

SSNIT was also criticised for failing to conduct a proper investigation into its MIS Manager, Dr Caleb Afaglo, who is alleged to be occupying the position with fake certificates.

Dr Afaglo had claimed to have Master’s and Doctorate degrees, but EOCO found that he does not have even a first degree.

Afaglo-suit

– Caleb Afaglo

Bidding process

In the wake of the scandal, it emerged that although several firms submitted significantly lower estimates to execute the IT project, management of the Trust decided to select a supplier whose estimate was the most expensive.

One bid sighted by Joy News was just estimated at GH¢17 million or $3.8 million dollars, although meeting all but one of the criteria for selection.

The contracts documents intercepted by Joy News also show that contract sum was initially pegged at $34 million and not $72 million.

 

Source: myjoyonline

Hunger Project Ghana pumps €285,000 into maternal health

The Hunger Project Ghana, in line with its social transformation and leverage principle to improve the living conditions of vulnerable people in rural communities, is investing a total of 285,000 Euros in maternal and child health.

Under its Maternal and Child Health Improvement Project with funding from Else Kroner Fresenius Stiftung, capacities of community health nurses in 15 epicentres of the Hunger Project would be upgraded to provide maternal health services and delivery.

The project would equip the 15 epicentres located in rural communities in the Eastern, Volta and Central Regions with modern equipment to provide timely and efficient maternal healthcare services to rural dwellers.

Briefing the Ghana News Agency at the opening of a training workshop for Community Nurses and other participants in Koforidua, on Community Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF), the Country Director, Mr Samuel Afranie, noted the training was to complement the effort of the Ghana Health Service.

He said in order to provide full access to quality maternal healthcare, the project’s focus was to train the community health nurses to provide the needed services in maternal health care and reduce maternal mortalities.

Mr Afranie noted the Hunger Project was in partnership with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in implementing a “task-sharing’ programme to build the capacities of community health nurses.

The epicentres are Community Health and Planning Services (CHPS) compounds built by the Hunger Project in rural parts of the country.

It has constructed 60 epicentres in the country, with 13 in the Eastern region and one each in the Volta and the Central Regions.

The Country Director said the project was focusing on the 15 epicentres in the three regions and expressed the hope that the remaining 45 epicentres would be covered.

Mrs Stephanie Ashley, Coordinator of the Maternal Health and Child Improvement Project, said the IYCF was a component of training community health nurses to enable them to offer comprehensive maternal and child care services in their respective communities.

She said the participants would be trained on how to counsel mothers on the complementary baby feeding, food nutrition, home visits and how to use community monitoring tools to improve on nutrition in communities.

Joy News’ Maxwell Agbagba honoured at 2017 Engineering Awards

Joy News’ Maxwell Agbagba was among top winners at the 2017 Engineering Awards held in Accra on Thursday.

His report about a dangerous pothole in the middle of the Achimota-Apenkwa Overhead Bridge earned him the ‘Engineering Evangelism Award’.

Part of the citation presented to him stated the report was “recognized locally and internationally by experts.”

Agbagba-citation

Other winners at the event include the inventor of a water-bicycle, Frank Darko, and Florence Cobbold, who won the Distinguished Woman in Engineering Award.

The 4th edition of the prestigious annual awards, organised by the Ghana Institution of Engineers (GhIE), is to honour outstanding contributions of individuals or organisations, who have demonstrated great potential for research in Engineering in the country leading to the transformation of engineering excellence and innovations.

The event, held at the Academy of Arts and Sciences attracted seasoned Engineers, Council Members, past presidents of the Institution, Engineers across the country and the general public.

 

Source: myjoyonline

Will Ghana lead Anglophone West Africa to a single currency?

What’s behind the new push to introduce a West African single currency, the Eco? A statement by Ghana’s finance minister indicates Accra may be making one last attempt to realise this elusive goal.

“The single currency for 2020 vision is: let’s find two, three or four countries that are ready. Once they meet up, we follow through with the others cascading in,” said Ken Ofori-Atta, Ghana’s finance minister, at a meeting of West African ministers in Accra on Wednesday.

Ofori-Atta’s statement appears to be clearly directed at Nigeria, the West African region’s economic powerhouse that has put up stiff resistance to the Eco.

Eco-skeptic Nigeria

Nigeria, however, is not convinced about the benefit of a single currency to its mega economy, whose Gross Domestic Product (GDP) quadruples the rest of the others combined, with the exception of Ghana.

“How do you ensure that it doesn’t look like unfair imposition, especially when Nigeria’s economic growth rate improves geometrically better than theirs?” That is what Michael Adedotun said in an online survey by the Nigerian survey portal This Day Live. “That will cause serious bad blood,” Adedotun added.

Adedotun’s sentiments are echoed across Nigeria. “Nigeria doesn’t really need the Eco; what it truly needs presently is to keep its house in order,” Lagos resident Patience Eneyeme said in the same survey.

“The idea of a single regional currency in West Africa, though appealing, may not benefit Nigeria in the long run because of the identified issues of corruption and cross-border capital flight across member nations,” said Abuja resident Iheanyi Chukwudi.

Chukwudi added that “an Eco may encourage looting and this will be counter-productive to development. Nigeria, which contributes around 75 percent of the region’s GDP, doesn’t really need the Eco for now; maybe much later when regional integration is better.”

Karte Infografik ECOWAS WAMZ ENG

CFA Franc against Eco

The year 2000 had ushered in hopes for a single currency. Proponents of the Eco argued that trade barriers would be significantly reduced, if not wiped out completely, and cross border trade would increase.

But Nigeria, whose GDP is nearly 80 percent more than that of the poorest member of the West African economic community ECOWAS, The Gambia, was extremely skeptical.

The West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) which includes Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Liberia laid down stringent parameters as a basis for the single currency to be introduced.

ECOWAS’ Francophone nations opted out of WAMZ and instead chose to stick with the CFA Franc, whose value is pegged to the Euro and guaranteed by the French Treasury.

WAMZ members, however, failed to meet the criteria of having a single digit inflation rate and a fiscal deficit of no more than four percent annually. As a result, the currency launch had to be postponed on several occasions.

Ghana bets on Eco

Ghana now sees its future in the Eco. “The 350 million market is important to us for our industrialization drive,” Finance Minister Ofori-Atta said, referring to the bloc’s Anglophone population.

“I think if Ghana positions itself well, we’ll be a great beneficiary. The economic activity in the ECOWAS region is improving and most of the large economies are experiencing economic rebound,” he added.

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo hopes the meeting will fast track the process of introducing the currency.

A group photo of ECOWAS leaders in 2016 (Reuters/Str)

Most French-speaking ECOWAS members chose to stick with the CFA franc and not bring in a new currency

“We remain determined to have a single currency, which would help remove trade and monetary barriers, reduce transaction costs, boost economic activities and raise the living standard of our people,” Akufo-Addo said at the meeting on Wednesday.

The president’s statement indicates that Ghana could go ahead and implement the Eco even if Nigeria doesn’t feel ready.

Many users writing on DW Africa’s Facebook page welcome the meeting. “It is long overdue,” said Bright Y.G. “I pray this time around they stick to the agenda 2020 and implement it eventually.”

“They’ve been talking about it since anyone can remember,” said another user Michael A.

Others advised caution. “It will be an economic burden to the bigger countries like Nigeria,” said Tony C. “The onus would lie on such countries to maintain the currency while others relax.”

“Will it stop corruption in Africa? Will it create employment in Africa? Will it stop tribalism in Africa? Will it stop power lovers in Africa? Will it stop bad leadership in Africa?” asked Paschal C.

“They should think of how to upgrade the income of their people and make Africa a better place to be. That meeting is a waste of resources,” he added.

 

Source: myjoyonline

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