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Business News of Friday, 22 February 2008

Source: Nana Sifa Twum, London

Golden Jubilee Savings Bond Launch in London

Ghana’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Mr Annan Cato has indicated that the Government of Ghana seeks to provide an economic system that will ensure equitable participation in, diverse ways, by all citizens irrespective of their country of residence.

This according to him is to enable them contribute meaningfully to the socio-economic development of the country.

He acknowledged that Ghana’s remarkable economic growth had been effectively supported by her citizens outside the country and the government, therefore, is determined to include them in all the economic policies of the country.

Mr Annan said this at the launch of the first ever Golden Jubilee Savings Bond in London over the weekend.

The launch formed part of a road show by the Ghana Government to whip up the interest of Ghanaians in the Diaspora in investing back home by partaking in the bond offer.

The event was organised by the Strategic African Securities (SAS), leading managers of the bond.

“The bond has been designed to achieve other important objectives such as broadening the participation of Ghanaians in the formal financial system and promoting long term savings and investment culture in Ghana”.

Ghanaians living outside the country have the opportunity to access all the advantages and fully patronise the bond from wherever they reside in the world.

Trips by officials from the Ministry of Finance had already done to Germany and The Netherlands to sensitise Ghanaians in the new offer. Other countries on the schedule were the United States, Canada and Australia.

“We have to own our country now and in the future,” The High Commissioner declared, adding that the country’s economy must be in the hands of its citizens.

He described the bond which is available to all Ghanaians living anywhere in the world, as an opportunity to plough back their earnings abroad into the ever-growing economy of the country.

Mr Annan dispelled fears that investment in bonds in Ghana is not safe and said the Ghana government has never breach any payment contract with either an individual or organisation. “That is why we have earned so much reputation on the international market scene”. He observed.

The Senior Corporate Advisor and Research Analyst at SAS, Mr Mawuli Hedo said interest rate for the bond would be fixed at the prevailing five-year Government of Ghana rate on the issue date for those who will invest.

The Technical Advisor to the Minister of Finance, Dr. Sam Mensah explained that the bond is being issued to encourage long-term savings and investment among Ghanaians, with the Government of Ghana seeking to raise GH¢50 million to embark on infrastructural development in every region of the country.

He announced government’s intention to extend the offer for some months more in the Diasporas to enable Ghanaians outside the country to effectively patronise.

The Bishop of the Calvary Charismatic Baptist Church in Poplar, London. Bishop Francis Sarpong, who chaired the function, commended the Ghana Government for what he described as “good offer to the Ghanaians living outside the country”. He therefore urged all Ghanaians to take advantage of the situation to invest at home.

Bishop Sarpong took the opportunity to present one thousand pounds to the Northern Ghana Disaster Relief Fund. He expressed the church’s readiness to build a news house for a displaced family in the north as a result of the disaster.