FreezeLink, a cold chain logistics firm convened its maiden West Africa Agri Cold Chain Summit in Accra. The event held at the Ghana Shippers House on 25 October 2022which was under the theme ‘Unleashing Ghana’s Fruit and Vegetable Exports,’ brought together key stakeholders in the pharmaceutical and fruit and vegetable export sectors.
The discussions touched on the war in Ukraine and increased fruit and vegetable exports for Ghana; the connection between ‘pre-cooling’ and Ghana’s currency crisis; and the reason why African fruit and vegetable exports, on average, earn 55 percent below the global price for the same produce.
Export Forex windfall
Speaking at the event, the Country Manager of the multi-national airport handling company Swissport, Chris Goodsir noted that: “War in Ukraine is creating an energy shortage in Europe that will see greenhouses, used for growing fruit and vegetables, having to reduce their hours of operation.
The resulting shortage of fruit and vegetables means that exporters of these crops in West Africa have an opportunity to sell higher volumes of exports to Europe but at higher prices, too”.
Adding that, this window of opportunity to export temperature-sensitive food, by harnessing cold chain logistics, comes at a time when Ghana is desperately in need of export-driven foreign exchange.
Other experts further pinpointed opportunities for the fruit and vegetable export stakeholders in attendance. “We have enquiries from Spain, where they prefer our fruits. It is because GMOs in their own markets have reduced the taste of their home-grown varieties. We have an advantage” explained Marjorie Abdin, Vice President of the Federation of Association of Ghanaian Exporters (FAGE), while Samuel Yeboah, Deputy Chief Operating Officer of GIRSAL mused “we are 6 hours from Europe but Kenya is 12-14 hours away: if you see their horticulture exports to those counties, compared to ours, it will open your eyes to the opportunities in front of us, if only we grab them.”
In a speech entitled ‘Horticulture Exports – what the Winners in Africa are doing to succeed and how the public sector helps’ Dr Michele Bruni, co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer of InspiraFarms, an international cold chain equipment manufacturer, shared his experiences working across Africa – “Intra Africa trade is a hugely overlooked opportunity across the continent. One of our partners in Zimbabwe recently began selling apples in the Democratic Republic of Congo at higher prices than it sells them in its traditional market of Singapore. What makes these profits possible?” He asked, before adding, “Precooling and an unbroken cold chain. Precooling is critical. For every hour after harvest that produce is not precooled, it loses one day of shelf life. But poor quality pre-cooling can also lead to a loss of water, and therefore value” he warned.
FreezeLink’s CEO, Mr Owusu Akoto added another dimension to the infra-Africa trade opportunity. The company is close to finishing building a World Bank-funded refrigerated, fruit and vegetable terminal at Cotonou International Airport: it will enable Benin farmers of chilli pepper, mango, banana, pineapple and pawpaw to export their produce to high-value international markets.
“Initiatives like the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) can only make their way from dreams to reality if we have infrastructure that creates connectivity. Cold chain represents such vital connectivity for the food and healthcare sectors” he said.
Public sector support
The conference also shed unusual light on the role of public sectors around Africa in promoting fruit and vegetables and of particular insight was a disclosure by Dr Michele Bruni “One visionary African country, who I cannot disclose just yet, will announce this year that all fruit and vegetable exports have to go through an unbroken cold chain. They are ensuring low post-harvest losses for their farmers, long shelf life and high prices for their horticulture exports. This rising tide will lift all ships”.
The summit was sponsored by a global provider of cold chain solutions, Carrier and ADDFRA, their local partner while Water for Energy and Food Grand Challenge (WE4F), a program focused on environmentally sustainable innovations aiming to improve energy and water efficiency in the agricultural sector, co-hosted the event.
One of the participants shares insights about cold chain during the Summit
From left to right, Glikou Folly Mike, Founder & CEO (Sunrise Plus); Marjorie Abdin, Vice President (Federation of Associations of Ghanaian Exporters); Chris Goodsir, Country Manager (Swissport); Amma Gyampo, Co-Founder and CEO (Scale Up Africa)
Global Citizen Festival raises $2.4 Billion to end extreme poverty
Pledges totalling $2.4billion were announced as part of activities to mark the Global Citizen Festival in New York City and Accra on Saturday, September 24, 2022.
Key commitments were announced to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the festival’s impact and advocacy, through the hard work of many partner organizations.
A statement issued by Global Citizen said the 2022 Festival saw “more than US$800 million announced to end extreme poverty NOW and US$1.6 billion announced by the European Commission and Canada as part of the seventh replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria on Sept. 21, in addition to the announcement of five companies signing on to the UN-led Race to Zero initiative to reach net-zero emissions by 2050”.
Of this funding, more than US$440 million was earmarked exclusively to initiatives to end extreme poverty on the African continent, with the remainder intended to reach people around the world, including across Africa.
The Global Citizen Festival campaign announced commitments by world leaders and governments in support of ending poverty now, including Canada, Belgium, Denmark, the European Commission, Germany, Ghana, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, United Nations, and the United States.
From around the world, messages of support for Global Citizen’s End Extreme Poverty NOW campaign were received by President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, President of France Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez, COP27 Youth Envoy Dr. Omnia el Omrani, Taoiseach of Ireland Micheál Martin, Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros, COP26 President Alok Sharma, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, US Rep. Jamie Raskin, US Rep. Ann Wagner, and US Rep. John Curtis.
Financial and policy announcements were also made by many corporate, philanthropic, and NGO partners including Accenture, Cisco, Citi, Delta, the Dutch Postcode Lottery, Ford Foundation, Gavi and Girl Effect, the Global Menstrual Equity Hygiene Accelerator, Lego Foundation, Procter & Gamble, Rotary International, Verizon, WWT, YouTube and Google.org.
“Amidst all the doomsday messages we hear today, hope lies in the fact that millions of citizens are rising up to take action, more than any other point in history. 10 years ago, Global Citizen was just an idea – and 10 years from now we’ll see a generation of Global Citizens running for office, starting companies, and transforming communities,” said Hugh Evans, Co-Founder and CEO, Global Citizen.
In support of the Global Citizen campaign to defend the planet and take climate action NOW, five businesses officially signed on to the Race to Zero campaign to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 as a part of Global Citizen Festival, including American Eagle Outfitters, Betterfly, Harith General Partners, Juan Valdez Café, and WWT.
Global Citizens have taken more than 2 million actions with Global Citizen in 2022 to help achieve Global Citizen’s mission to End Extreme Poverty NOW, more than doubling the record previously set by the international advocacy organization.
“With 43 days to go to COP, we need countries to move from pledges to implementation — as youth we have a critical role to play in making sure our nations do not backtrack on their promises,” said Dr. Omnia el Omrani, COP27 youth envoy, in a video message to Global Citizens at Global Citizen Festival.
With stages in Accra and New York, the event captured the Global Citizen ethos, channelling an eclectic array of musical talent in support of our efforts to End Extreme Poverty NOW and build momentum ahead of the G20 summit and UN Climate Conference, COP27, both in November.
BOST profit: State-owned enterprises can deliver value with right leadership – NAPO
Minister of Energy, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has commended the Bulk Oil Storage and Distribution Company Limited (BOST) for the turnaround in its operational and revenue fortunes.
This comes on the back of the state-owned firm, increasing its profits to GH¢161million in 2021 after it recorded a loss of GH¢291 million in 2020.
Speaking at the first Annual General Meeting of the company, Dr. Opoku Prempeh said the development demonstrates that state-owned enterprises can deliver value through the right leadership and management to boost national development.
“The transformation is indeed massive, as evidenced in improved operational efficiency. This is the path to go if we should attain the path of State-Owned Enterprises contributing to the fiscal policy of government for its national growth and development agenda. Imagine if 100 SOEs each made GH¢150million net income,” Dr. Opoku Prempeh said.
The Minister disclosed that the improvement in BOST’s revenue was due to a core business strategy and an increase in petrol and diesel sales revenue of about 83 percent.
He added that an amount of US$611 million paid from the US$624 million debt accumulated in 2017 was generated from BOST’s internally generated funds.
The sector minister also lauded the management of the state-owned firm for the effective utilisation of revenue generated from the nine pesewas BOST margin on petroleum products.
He explained that proceeds from the petroleum levy were used to undertake renovation and repair works on fuel depots, decommissioning of tanks, revamping four river barges for fuel transportation on the Volta Lake, and the upgrade of the Akosombo jetty.
“The rest are upgrade and replacement of loading arms, pumps and valves across all the depots at Buipe-Bolgatanga-Petroleum-Product-Pipeline; Tema-Akosombo-Petroleum Product-Pipeline; and Bolgatanga Petroleum Export Depot among others.”
He continued, “Comparing figures, I also saw BOST reducing its administrative expenses from as high as GH¢538 million in 2016 with a staff strength of 349 to GH¢212 million in the year 2021 with a staff strength of 487.
The energy minister also commended BOST for deploying cost-cutting measures in its operations.
“Genuine administrative costs grow upward and not downward due to factors like inflation among others but I would like to commend management for the prudence that resulted in these massive reductions in the cost of operations.
The company is spending less while achieving more for the government and people of Ghana; from the face of the record, this is an impressive performance that the company’s board and management need to be commended for,” the energy minister stated.
Dr. Opoku Prempeh in his concluding remarks reaffirmed BOST of government’s commitment to make the entity an effective and profitable one.
“I am aware of recent developments in the mass media on BOST, but I am also aware of the political economy around operations of the company. Government is also aware of the turf-war to get the company derailed, and we are not falling for those who seek to engage the reverse button,” he emphasised.
Silver Star loses benz dealership deal in Ghana
Silver Star Auto Limited, a popular automobile firm in Ghana has lost its deal as the authorized distributors of Mercedes benz in Ghana.
A Press Statement issued on Thursday, September 15, 2022 by the Company said Mercedes Benz Germany has decided to engage a new multinational dealer for the Ghanaian and West African market at large albeit leading the market share by far in Ghana for luxury vehicles.
“We have tried our level best to make a case with Mercedes-Benz in Germany without luck, all appeals failed to have produce any response from them leaving us no choice but to seek redress from the courts,” the company said in its statement.
Despite the separation, SSAL assured its customers that it will still remain an independent trusted partner for Mercedes-Benz advice, support, and aftersales service.
Below is the full statement
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- England defender Harry Maguire gets roasted in Ghanaian parliament (Video) December 4, 2022
- Ghana vs Switzerland (2-0) Full Highlights Goals, Pre-Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Friendly Match (Video) November 18, 2022
- StorONE is transforming software-defined storage November 17, 2022
- ICANN Boost Africa Internet Access with New Root Server November 17, 2022
- Parliament to begin implementing no scanning, no entry directive today November 17, 2022
- PIAC, GNPC expected at Ofori-Atta censure hearing today November 17, 2022
- Public university workers remain on strike after continued stalemate November 17, 2022
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