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  1. 1. A M O N T H L Y M A G A Z I N E MAY 2011 / ISSUE 005 GH¢5.00Single spinesalary structureIs it breaking the backof the national budget?(page 5) Ghana-AustraliaNew insurance bodyfor West Africa relationsFirst bold attempt at retainingsub-regional business Improved ties open(page 34) a new chapter USA........................$5.00 CFA ZONE....... CFA 2,500 of opportunities UK..........................£3.00 NIGERIA..................N500 (page 22) EUROPE................ E4.00 SOUTH AFRICA..........R25 AUSTRALIA.......... A$7.50 SOUTHERN AFRICA...R25 THE FIRST BUSINESS READ IN GHANA Follow us online at
  2. 2. GHANA BUSINESS & FINANCE MAY 2011 / ISSUE 005 Managing Editor Mark A. Kwateng Deputy Managing Editor Oswald Felli Special Reports Editor Contents Evans Boah-Mensah Leader 1 A M O N T H L Y M A G A Z I N E Copy Editors 5..... Single spine salaries and the cost Dede-Esi Amanor-Wilks of doing business in Ghana Nana Spio-Garbrah Over the past months, the business MAY 2011 / ISSUE 005 community has learnt of public service GH¢5.00 agitation over Ghana’s new public Contributors service salary structure, known as the Emilie Norkor Kinkan Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS). Raphael Adeniran The SSSS attempts to place all public Director, Sales & Marketing sector workers on a unified pay and grade Martino Kashif structure, which will determine their Single spine relative salaries. salary structure Is it breaking the back of the national budget? Deputy Manager, Marketing (page 5) Ghana-Australia Michel Kouassigan New insurance body for West Africa relations Improved ties open Leader 2 First bold attempt at retaining sub-regional business (page 34) a new chapter Deputy Manager, Circulation & Subscriptions of opportunities 9..... Freezing Libyan assets – Where USA........................$5.00 CFA ZONE....... CFA 2,500 (page 22) Josiah Spio-Garbrah UK..........................£3.00 NIGERIA..................N500 EUROPE................ E4.00 SOUTH AFRICA..........R25 AUSTRALIA.......... A$7.50 SOUTHERN AFRICA...R25 THE FIRST BUSINESS READ IN GHANA Follow us online at does Ghana stand? The winds of change in the Middle East Front Cover: Editorial Committee H.E. Billy Williams, Australian High Prof. Paul N. Buatsi and North Africa (MENA) region started Commissioner to Ghana Prof. Kwame Addo off with the Jasmine revolution in Ms. Johanna Awotwi Tunisia in January 2011. Subsequently, Mr. Gaddy Laryea mass protests led to the fall of Egyptian Mr. Ray de Bono president Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule Nana Robert Mensah in late January, before spreading to Libya. Mr. Fredrick Alipui But where does Ghana stand in this crisis? Office Location: Ghana Business & Finance African Business Media House No. 7, Bulletins Lamb Street (Off Farrar Avenue) 12..... The economy this month Adabraka, Accra Review the latest economic trends and Ghana what is up and coming. Mailing Address: Agriculture: Shea nut promises P.O. Box 0772, Osu, Accra, Ghana 16..... Business & finance this month to transform lives of the poorest Tel: +233 302 240 786 Which companies are making profit or Page 44 Fax: +233 302 240 783 loss, launching products, closing down, etc.? Take a look… Economy 20..... China Africa relations take a promising new turn The influx of Chinese goods has unnerved local industrialists. While some whose Branding, Layout & Design of the products compete directly with Chinese “Ghana Business & Finance” magazine substitutes have either collapsed or are by Dmax Studios in Malta, EU. ( struggling to survive, others lament the CEO & Art Director “dumping of inferior goods” from the Asian country. Yet some believe Finance: First National Savings Ray de Bono and Loans reaches poor and a greater Chinese presence is unbanked Page 48 in Africa’s interest. Senior Designer-in-Charge of Publication Sasha Vella Studio Support Executive (in charge of GB&F Online) Jonathan Galea IT Strategy Director Uwe Schoenfeld Subscribe online at or please refer to page 19 Contents continued overleafAll information contained within this magazine is the property of Ghana Business & Finance and is not to be used without written authorisation from GHANAthe publishers. Although every effort is made to ensure the correctness of information submitted for publication, the magazine may inadvertently containtechnical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Ghana Business & Finance assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in this publication or otherdocuments that are referenced by or linked to this publication. BUSINESS & FINANCE 3
  3. 3. GHANA BUSINESS & FINANCE MAY 2011 / ISSUE 005Contents International relations Health & Beauty Telecom22..... Australia-Ghana relations 40..... New investors enter Spa Industry: 52..... MTN leads the way as service After reopening its Ghana mission in The business of feeling beautiful delivery gets better 2004, diplomatic, business and cultural As Ghana’s economy grows, so does the Gone are the days when customers had ties between Australia and Ghana have stress level in the work-place. Meeting to wait for weeks and months for an grown stronger than ever. High tight deadlines, anxiety at work as well application to be approved before they Commissioner Billy Williams speaks and competition in the marketplace have could own a mobile phone. Today, the about the scope for even stronger contributed to an increased demand for telecoms industry has devised ways to relations. stress management, rejuvenation and improve service delivery and provide relaxation, opening up opportunities for alternatives for subscribers. entrepreneurs in the spa and beauty Oil & gas industry.28..... Local firms pitch for share of oil Technology business Agriculture 54..... ICT forum discusses ways to The Association of Ghana Industries bridge digital divide in Africa (AGI) is pushing relentlessly for greater 44..... Shea nut promises to transform As the year 2015 approaches, the year by participation of Ghanaian companies. lives of the poorest which, the Millennium Development Just as cocoa, referred to as brown gold Goals (MDGs), are expected to be met, until the end of the 19th century in West an international organisation is ICT Africa, has transformed the livelihoods intensifying its effort to help Africa meet of subsistence farmers in Ghana’s forest its targets with respect to information30..... Rural connectivity scheme solves belt, confidence in the shea crop is gaining communication technologies (ICTs). puzzle of tangible results momentum and has the potential to Despite the struggle of many governments transform the lives of the country’s in developing countries to provide media, poorest. Country in focus internet, broadband and telephony services to rural communities, Ghana’s 56..... After Gbagbo, Ouattara faces government has chalked successes in this Agribusiness uphill climb to woo investors area through a fund that supports French troops in support of pro-Ouattara ICT access for underserved communities. 46..... OKA Farms set pace in local rice Northern New Forces rebels captured production and export embattled ex-President Laurent Gbagbo. Despite the challenge posed by imported But now Ouattara must convince Insurance rice to local production in Ghana, one investors that their money is in safe farmer believes locally produced rice is hands.34..... Long awaited sub-regional ready to hold its own against the reinsurance body finally emerges imported grains. A US $100 million reinsurance company Energy was finally launched in March 2011 to serve as a financial backbone for Finance 57..... Investor attention shifts from insurance companies in Anglo-West Jubilee field Africa. 48..... First National Savings and Loans As Ghana uses up almost all of its reaches poor and unbanked deepwater offshore blocks available for Savings and Loans companies (S&Ls) exploitation at the Jubilee field, the Manufacturing are filling the gap left by commercial GNPC looks elsewhere for new banks to extend financial services to the hydrocarbon deposits.36..... Valco’s revival prompts Chinese unbanked population of Ghana. countermove An integrated aluminum industry has always been central to Ghana’s industrialisation dream. But as steps are taken to rejuvenate the country’s only aluminum smelter, a business threat lingers.4 GHANA BUSINESS & FINANCE
  4. 4. LEADER 1The Single Spine Salary Structureand doing business in GhanaOver the last several months, the business community has heard of agitations within the public services ofGhana regarding the new public service salary structure, known as the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS).The SSSS is an attempt to place all public sector workers - the police, ministerial civil servants, the judiciary,customs and immigration officers, to name a few - on a unified pay and grade structure which will determinetheir relative salaries. The SSSS process, which involved extensive work by consultants, concluded byestablishing nine service classifications, and a 25-level pay and grading system.A t its centre, a SSSS attempts to establish the total As much as it is a well-intentioned reform, the SSSS is a successor compensation for public service officials with to many decades of attempts to harmonise the pay structure in comparable qualifications and experience taking Ghana. In the latter 1990s the Ghana Universal Salary Structure into account the different tasks these officials (GUSS) was itself a Single Spine Structure. perform. As an example, three former schoolmates may find themselves 25 years removed from A government White Paper on the current SSSS, published insecondary school in the following occupations: Police December 2009, noted that “Over the years, pay reforms andCommissioner, medical doctor in a government hospital and reviews have been undertaken by past Governments with theAssociate Professor in a public university. The question which goal of improving Public Service salaries and managing thethe SSSS seeks to address is how to quantify the value that each recurring canker of disparities and inequities in the Payof these individuals brings to the economy vis-a-vis each other. Administration System. GHANA BUSINESS & FINANCE 5
  5. 5. LEADER 1 Attempts to redress these problems included reviews by It was clear that many workers wished to have the SSSS introduced Commissions and Committees, such as Mills-Odoi (1967); Issifu into their pay packets with immediate effect. However, he preferred Ali (1973); Justice Azu-Crabbe (1979-1983) and Gyampoh that the implementation of the SSSS take several years, so that (1992-1993). Despite these attempts, distortions, inequities and the impact did not derail the government’s expenditure budget. low incomes continue to persist within the Public Services.” Notwithstanding the government’s pledge to accompany the The White Paper continued: “A comprehensive 22-Level Ghana introduction of the SSSS with massive public education Universal Salary Structure (GUSS) was introduced in 1999. It campaigns, it is evident that the general public does not was intended for implementation in all institutions in the Public understand it fully. Services, to deal with salary inequities and distortions. Although it seems that the police and other uniformed services However, the objective of universality underpinning the GUSS are pleased with their new SSSS derived salaries, other could not be realised, particularly since sections of the professional groups are not. Numerous strikes by teachers at Public Services were allowed to opt out without any sanctions the graduate and non-graduate level have sent the message being applied. Its failure could also be attributed to the fact that these professionals do not believe the nation that the Central Management Board and the Appellate values their services. Body that were to manage its implementation were not backed by any legal instrument and were also not adequately There is therefore some concern that current worker agitation resourced.” can lead to improper or hasty implementation of the SSSS. In such a scenario, the business community would suffer the adversity The challenges facing the nation in the implementation of the of a misaligned government budget with respect to revenues and SSSS have generally been presented as an argument between expenditures and likely upward pressures on the private sector various groups of workers and the State. However, closer wage bill as private sector workers may also begin to see the examination of the issues also reveals that the business and perceived benefits of taking to the streets. A rising national wage financial community will be affected. bill could have attendant implications for interest rates, borrowing rates, and the general transaction cost of doing business in Ghana. The roll-out of the new pay structure is to occur over a five-year If the government heeds to pressures to increase wages, it will period. In an exclusive interview with GB&F in November 2010, then invariably have to pass along the cost to businesses via fiscal the Minister of Finance, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, expressed concern tools such as levies and license fees. that a hurried introduction of any major pay raises would have an undesirable inflationary impact. There is now a genuine fear that when the SSSS gets applied to the health service and to other specialised services, more labour instability could occur and ripple down to the business community. So although the SSSS has the objective of reducing the length of negotiations over salaries, the negotiations seem to be lengthier and more dramatic in certain cases. Another down side to increasing the public sector wage bill for the private sector is the difficulty the latter may have in recruiting high-quality employees who may now be enticed to become civil servants. Conversely, notwithstanding the inflationary impact of the SSSS, a better paid public sector could be more efficient in delivering important services of interest to the business community. Whether it is in the acquisition of land, the payment of taxes or the processing of contract documents, the public services perform many important tasks that start businesses and keep them in operation. It is also now well known that a motivated and efficient public sector has been very critical to the economic transformation of nations such as Singapore, Chile, and China. There are still a number of countries today where a public sector career is deemed preferable to a private sector job, not only in terms of job security but also in terms of pay. This is the case in a country like France although this often comes at the expense of productivity. Additionally, as the incomes of public workers rise, their purchasing power also improves, which can generate demand for more products and services, thereby also deepening economic activity, and the development of financial and credit products for consumers. Despite the thousands of faithful public servants who have served Ghana loyally, irrespective of salary and compensation, most private sector executives maintain the suspicion that it is the unofficial incomes generated through unnecessary delays in processing transactions that keep many civil servants in the public sphere at lower salaries. A greater degree of transparency in both private and public compensation structures could help to redress Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, Minister of Finance some of these suspicions. 6 GHANA BUSINESS & FINANCE
  6. 6. LEADER 1 The rates of compensation of the SSSS system were developed Although there are now attempts to quantify public service outputs on the basis of certain guiding principles. These principles were and to hold public servants to more measurable benchmarks, internal equity, external competitiveness, affordability, simplicity many public sector workers continue to view themselves as and transparency. If any private sector entity was undertaking a deserving of increased compensation by the mere fact of long salary review process for its own workers, it would probably be service. satisfied to use these public sector pay review principles to guide its process. The examination of the SSSS presents many questions. To what extent should salary increases in Ghana take into account the However, transparency and simplicity may not feature in the salary structures of neighbouring countries to ensure Ghana’s private sector compensation system in Ghana, much of which competitiveness in West Africa? Is it desirable for the private remains shrouded in secrecy. sector in Ghana to also adopt a single spine strategy to dampen the mobility of private sector labour and to allow businesses Businesses in Ghana, as in other regions of the world, believe across sectors to compete without poaching and attrition? that disclosed information can be leveraged to the advantage of Ten years ago, working for a bank competitors. For example, publicly was the dream of most university disclosed salary and compensation It was clear that many workers wished to graduates. Then the mining figures could be used by rival firms to poach the best talent. have the SSSS introduced into their pay companies came along and upped executive salaries. Then the telecom packets with immediate effect. However, companies came along and poached But while businesses are entitled to protect proprietary information, an Dr. Kwabena Duffuor preferred that the those high performers. argument could be made that it implementation of the SSSS take several Today, most Ghanaian professionals would serve the Ghanaian economy well if the Association of Ghana years, so that the impact did not derail the salivate thethe and gas industry. So, a job in at oil prospect of getting Industry (AGI), the Ghana government’s expenditure budget. the desire to achieve equality and Employers Association (GEA) uniformity in public service salaries and/or the Private Enterprises too may be a never-ending chimera. Foundation (PEF) or other interested parties produced an annual compendium of executive salaries. Publishing houses such as It is to be hoped that the errors of the past will not be African Business Media could well be interested in playing a role repeated while making the SSSS into reality. As Ghanaians hear in such an exercise. of the Government signing US$10 billion housing schemes and Presidents buying multimillion dollar jet planes, the cry Certainly, in the advanced economies, companies that specialise amongst workers for greater compensation is likely to only get in employee benefits and executive compensation have periodically louder. published tables of what the prevailing average salaries were for various categories of professionals. Such information is very critical for business planning, particularly for foreign companies that wish to invest in Ghana but have no clarity regarding the salary expectations of the workforce. So, although at the level of the individual firm, secrecy regarding compensation may be an emotive issue and also one that may call for some confidentiality, at the national level, such information is needed by a wide range of stakeholders for market analysis, human and capital resource management, and even taxation purposes. One of the aspects of the SSSS causing the greatest controversy, just as with the previous GUSS, is the notion that “no worker should be worse off than they are under the prevailing system.” This argument is usually championed by unions in their negotiations with the State. Such demands suggest that workers have the expectation that significant salary increases should and will be accessible to everyone, irrespective of merit. Although unintentional, each cycle of salary reclassifications has invariably been associated with major salary increases. By definition, guaranteeing that “no worker will be worse off” ensures that the entire wage bill for any institution and for the whole public sector will rise, often by a factor of at least 15-30% at the end of such salary restructurings, giving major headaches to budget planners and inflation fighters. Part of the problem is that unlike the private sector, the public sector is generally not a meritocracy. Public sector workers are rewarded on the basis of longevity and loyalty, while the corporate world would base compensation on the marginal impact of the employee on revenues, expansion of market share, or increased shareholder value. John Atta-Mills, President of Ghana 8 GHANA BUSINESS & FINANCE
  7. 7. LEADER 2Freezing of Libyan assets-Where does Ghana stand?The winds of change in the Middle East and North Africa region started off withthe Jasmine revolution in Tunisia in January 2011. Then, in late January,Egypt caught the fever, with mass protests that led to the fallof the 30-year leadership of Hosni Mubarak.M any were those who thought or argued that, While some African states continue to contemplate a Libyan while the same reaction was possible in asset freeze in solidarity with the West, there are still others Egypt’s neighbour, Libya, it was unlikely to with no clear intent to abide and implement the UNSC take place because of the social and welfare resolutions. programs that Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi had instituted in the Zimbabwe, is apparently mulling over the decision, but iscountry. Even if a revolt took place, many were probably unlikely to comply just because its president, Robertof the view that, it was unlikely to last for long and would be Mugabe, has always cherished loyalty, especially to those whocrushed in a matter of days. helped in Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle. Gaddafi was one of such people. Kenya and Ghana are also among those whoBut since Libya was affected by the revolution bug in late have not made their intentions known on the freezing ofFebruary, it has been raging war ever since. As Libyan assets. In Kenya’s case, it is probable that the governmentviolent clashes between the Libyan rebels and the government’s is stalling on its decision, since the Libyan oil company, TamOil,forces began to intensify, killing hundreds of civilians, two has plans to build an oil pipeline from Kenya to Uganda.United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions (1970 According to the East African newspaper, the oil pipeline, if& 1973) were passed in February. In sum, UNSC Resolution built, is estimated at US$300 million. There is the Nairobi1970 placed a travel ban on Gaddafi and his family, as well as based LAICO/Grand Regency Hotel, a tourist abode,certain key members of his government and allowed for the which has also been linked to Gaddafi. Depending on whatfreezing of all Libyan assets, including those that that were happens in Libya, President Moi Kibaki’s government willlinked to Colonel Gaddafi and his family. probably make an announcement very close to the UN country compliance deadline.The UNSC resolution 1973 , “extends the travel ban and assetsfreeze of UNSC resolution, imposes a no-fly zone over Libya,and authorises all necessary means to protect civilians andcivilian-populated areas, except for a ‘foreign occupationforce’.”As directed by the UNSC resolutions, some Africangovernments decided to follow the West’s lead, byfreezing Libyan assets in their home countries. For example,South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma, announced in Marchthat his government was freezing all assets that were in anyway linked to Gaddafi and his ‘band of merry men’. Libyaowns the Ensemble Hotel holdings in South Africa, as wellas the posh Johannesburg-based Michelangelo Hotel.Similarly, the Rwandese and Ugandan governments alsodeclared Libyan assets frozen. The New Times newspaper ofRwanda reported that RwandaTel, largely owned by Libyaninterests (about 80%), had its mobile operational licenserevoked. The LAICO/Umumbano Hotel in Rwanda, alsowith strong Libyan ties, has been added to the list of frozenassets. Ironically though, Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni,who is a friend of Gaddafi’s and has even offered toaccommodate the embattled Libyan leader if theneed should arise, has also frozen Libyan assets in thetelecommunications, banking, and hotel sectors. Muammar-al-Gaddafi GHANA BUSINESS & FINANCE 9
  8. 8. LEADER 2 With respect to Ghana, it is not so clear why the government In this quest, Gaddafi channelled a lot of Libyan money into has not taken a decision on whether to freeze Libyan assets investment projects in SSA. in the country. Ghana has been widely touted in Western circles, as a role model for the rest of Africa, because of its According to the East African newspaper, Gaddafi “paid 15% sustained peace and stability, its record of good governance of the AU’s budget and also reportedly paid the assessed since becoming a constitutional democracy, its relatively well- contributions of the smaller and poorer member states of the functioning institutions, and its fast-growing liberalised market. organisation”. According to data from the Libyan Arab African Investment Company (LAAICO), the parent company of all The West, and indeed, many other regions of the world would Libyan investments in Africa, including the Libyan investments expect Ghana to join the freezing spree. What then are the in Ghana which operate under the Ghana-Libya factors Ghana is considering to decide whether it would comply Arab Holdings Company (GLAHCO), Libyan investments make with the UNSC resolutions? up 65.5% of total invested assets, while the government of Ghana owns 34.5%. These assets include the four-star Golden Tulip Hotel, Ghana Groceries Ltd, and the Ghana-Libyan Arab Ghana-Libya relations Agricultural Company Ltd, that has invested in irrigation and agricultural equipment and which owns a 3,426 hectare orchard, Ghana and Libya relations became significant during Africa’s located at Sojakobi, a town that is about 115 km to the east of liberation movement in the mid-1950s to early 1960s, when Accra, that grows fruits including mangoes and lemons. Ghana, Egypt, Guinea, Mali, and Morocco, formed the Casablanca group that called for a United States of Africa. This group eventually led to the formation of the Organisation Implications of a freeze on Libyan assets of African Unity (OAU), which eventually became the African Union (AU). Without the UNSC resolutions, it is unlikely that any African country would have opted to follow the West’s lead to freeze In the 1980s, during the military era of the PNDC regime of Libyan assets. former President Jerry John Rawlings, Ghana’s relations with Libya further strengthened as the latter assisted the former To freeze or not to freeze - that is the dilemma Ghana’s president, with much needed economic aid, especially during Ghana’s John Atta Mills, his senior advisors, and other top government drought period in 1983. Aid from the West, particularly the officials are likely contemplating. While Ghana may wish to United States was not forthcoming because of Ghana’s friendly demonstrate loyalty to Libya’s embattled leader, Ghana is also a relationship with Libya. As a result of the diplomatic and member of the UN and has an obligation to abide and comply economic bonds that were strengthened over 20 years ago, with the resolutions passed. Libya now has a number of financial holdings in Ghana, of which the Ghana government is a minority shareholder. The repercussion to such smaller countries of freezing Libyan assets is the potential loss of millions of dollars in investment Therefore, there is a very strong possibility that Ghana’s and aid. But this idea only really holds true if the West fails to reluctance to make any comments on freezing extract Gaddafi from power. Thus, underlying the stalling of the Libyan assets is because of this 29-year old nurtured relationship. implementation of sanctions under Resolution 1970 is maybe the idea that many African leaders do not think that the air strikes Ghana is likely bound by a moral code to stand close to its friends. and military action will be immediately successful. Perhaps this The freezing of Libyan assets could be perceived as an act of attitude will change in light of Monsieur Gbagbo’s current plight. betrayal. In any case, if Ghana decides to comply with the UNSC resolutions, and Gaddafi remains in power, a post-conflict Gaddafi will Libyan Investments in Ghana probably not be pleased. The economic sanctions against Libya in the 1990s led it to pariah However, at that time, the Libyan leader may be even more status in global affairs, until leaders of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) desperate for diplomatic ties and not express his discontent led by former South African president, Nelson Mandela, intervened outwardly. On the other hand, in the short to medium term, on Libya’s behalf, and asked the West to soften its stance on the Libya may become very inward-looking if Gaddafi remains as North African country. any financial investments that he may have put into Africa will be decreased in favour of Libyan reconstruction. Since the easing of sanctions, having realised how isolated it had been , Libya set out to establish a United States of Africa as part In any case, Ghana and the rest of Africa should be prepared for of its foreign policy. a more radical post-Gaddafi era. Some analysts have gone as far to predict that Gaddafi could decide to sponsor Islam extremists with money and weapons to undermine certain “enemies” through strategic alliance with weak African states as revenge. The labour relations agreement Ghana recently signed with Libya concerning the employment of illegal immigrants of Ghanaian descent in Libya will likely be suspended or even abrogated. Ghanaian students who had previously gone to Libya are unlikely to go back because scholarships will dry up. In the alternate scenario where Gaddafi exits the political scene, assets in Ghana may be renegotiated, as there may be no readily available liquidity to save the businesses. Ghana could very well see Western or East Asian businesses cash in on the spoils. For now, Ghana has not taken a stance since the Libyan conflict started. The country should try, within reason, to remain reliable as an economic partner. But within that context, Ghana must seek to benefit from all possible scenarios - after all, this is the very essence of diplomacy. 10 GHANA BUSINESS & FINANCE
  9. 9. Book before 31 May