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IMF predicts UK economic bounce-back this year to match resurgent US

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The International Monetary Fund sees Britain growing in 2020 at the joint-strongest pace of the G7 group of leading industrialised nations – after a contraction last year that was the worst among them.

Britain’s economy will grow faster than any major economy in Europe as it rebounds from the COVID-19 recession and emerges from lockdown, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted.

In the latest update to its World Economic Outlook – its periodical look at the state of the global economy – the IMF forecast that the UK economy would grow by 7% this year, the strongest year for economic growth since comparable records began following the Second World War.

The UK’s forecast growth rate would represent the joint-strongest rate in the group of seven leading industrialised nations alongside the US, which is also expected to expand by 7%.

The UK growth rate this year is stronger than Germany (3.6%), France (5.8%) and Italy (4.9%), though the UK economy contracted more than those other countries in 2020.

The IMF’s updated forecasts also anticipate the UK growing by 4.8% next year, implying that the UK economy will regain its pre-COVID levels around the turn of the year.Advertisement

However, while the UK is expected to rebound quickly, it is not expected to regain all the lost potential growth sacrificed during the pandemic – something which is not true of the US, which the IMF expects to be stronger, on a GDP basis, following the pandemic than was anticipated before it struck.

The IMF said that the main fault line in the global economy in the coming years would be between those countries with high vaccination rates and those mostly emerging economies with lower levels of immunisations.

Its chief economist, Gita Gopinath, said: “We estimate the pandemic has reduced per capita incomes in advanced economies by 2.8%, relative to pre-pandemic trends over 2020-2022, compared with an annual per capita loss of 6.3% a year for emerging market and developing economies (excluding China).”

Considering the likely impact of the Delta variant of COVID, the IMF said: “In countries with high vaccination coverage, such as the United Kingdom and Canada, the impact would be mild; meanwhile countries lagging in vaccination, such as India and Indonesia, would suffer the most among G20 economies.”

In spite of growing disquiet about rising prices of goods and services around much of the developed world, the Fund said it expected high inflation levels to abate in the coming years, saying that many of the price rises reflected temporary factors.

However, it added that this was “subject to significant uncertainty given the uncharted nature of this recovery”.

“More persistent supply disruptions and sharply rising housing prices are some of the factors that could lead to persistently high inflation,” the IMF said.

“Further, inflation is expected to remain elevated into 2022 in some emerging market and developing economies, related in part to continued food price pressures and currency depreciations – creating yet another divide.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said of the Fund’s findings: “There are positive signs that our economy is rebounding faster than initially expected, with the IMF forecasting the UK to have the joint highest growth rate in 2021 among the G7 economies.

“That said, we still face challenges ahead as a result of the impact of the pandemic, which is why we remain focused on protecting and creating as many jobs as possible through our Plan for Jobs.”

Journalist and science writer for NewsAfrica24, the Atlantic, New Scientist, Aeon, Men’s Health, and many others. Author of The Intelligence Mafias, published by Stoughton (UK)/WW Norton (USA) and translated into six languages.

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Tullow Ghana appoints Cynthia Lumor as its first deputy managing director

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Tullow Ghana has announced the appointment of Mrs. Cynthia Lumor as Deputy Managing Director, effective 1st October 2021.

Mrs. Lumor is the first to be appointed as Deputy Managing Director of Tullow Ghana since it began operations in 2006.


Commenting on her appointment, Chief Executive Officer of Tullow, Rahul Dhir said: “I am delighted that Cynthia has been appointed to this important role. Since Wissam assumed office last year, Cynthia has been instrumental in managing our key government and external relationships in Ghana and her promotion reflects her important role in delivering Tullow’s strategy in Ghana.”


Prior to her appointment as Deputy Managing Director, Mrs. Cynthia Lumor served on the leadership team of Tullow Ghana and was Director for Corporate Affairs with responsibility for External Affairs and Social Performance, and oversight of Human Resources, Information Systems and Facilities Management.

She joined Tullow Ghana in 2017 from Scancom Ltd (MTN Ghana) where she was Corporate Services Executive.
Mrs. Lumor has several years of experience in the Oil and Gas industry, having previously worked for the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation as Principal Legal Officer.


As Deputy Managing Director, Mrs. Lumor will be responsible for the integration of the non-technical functions within the Ghana business and will continue to support MD Wissam Al Monthiry in driving Tullow’s plans to invest over $4 billion in Ghana over the next 10 years.

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Explain benefits of insurance to Ghanaians – NIC to Insurance Companies

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Director of Supervision at the National Insurance Commission (NIC), Mr Seth Eshun, has called on stakeholders in the insurance industry to make it a priority to explain to the general public the benefits of insurance.

He said it is through constant public education and sensitization that will enable the public appreciate the benefits of insurance.

Mr Eshun was speaking during H.Insured – A streetwise thought leadership platform to demystify insurance, organised by Hollard Insurance on Thursday September 9 in Accra.

The topic for this discussion was “Media and Insurance – Making insurance a Ghanaian lifestyle. There is a lot of work for us as stakeholders to do to demonstrate to the people the importance of insurance.

“Those that don’t have money they need the insurance the most. All of us have work to do demonstrate the benefit of insurance that is why the education is important.”

He further noted that although the insurance industry of Ghana’s economy has seen improvement over the years, a lot of work has to be done to improve upon the image of the industry.

Mr Eshun explained that the complaints unit within the NIC has over the years received several disturbing reports from customers of insurance companies.

These complaints, although have been worked upon, he said, there still more work to be done to deal with the issues.

Asked how the industry is performing, he stated that “If you look at the past five years the industry grows averagely about 25 per cent every year which is very good and is encouraging because we don’t see such consistent growth in any sector in Ghana.

“But you look at our total asset base, around 8billion and you compare that to the banks which is about, give or tale, 150 billion. So our asset base is about five percent of that of the banks. Even though we are growing there is still a lot of catching up.

“We have a department that handles complaint from the public about issues they have in the insurance industry.

“Traditionally most of the complaints to do with motor but now it is changing a bit. Traditionally, it was motor because we were paying premiums about 70 cedis for third party.”

He added “About four years ago, we increased this to about 327 cedis and so the insurance industry had a better capacity to pay claims and so you see that because of a better capacity to pay claims the image of the insurance industry is improving but it has come from a very bad stage.

“There is a bit more that needs to be done. If you look at what we worry about also is the issues that happened with the banks in which some banks went down.

“Two companies were affected in the insurance industry. So there is work for all of us to do to ensure that those bad events do not spoil the state of the industry.

“So the short answer to this is that there has been a lot of growth but there are still issues about image that we need to address.”

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University of Ghana’s GHS456,000 locked up in defunct financial firm – Audit report

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An amount of GHS456,199.08 invested by the University of Ghana has been locked in a defunct Fund Management Company; Liberty Asset.

This was contained in the 2020 Auditor-General’s report, which revealed that the University’s College of Health Sciences and School of Medicine and Dentistry invested the money in contravention of the school’s own financial Regulations and Governance.

While the College of Health invested GHS377,003.00, the School of Medicine and Dentistry invested GHS79,196.08. Both investments were made in 2016.

“There was no evidence of due diligence report available to continue investment with Liberty Asset in terms of its risk profile”, the report mentioned.

“We noted that the College Administration and School of Medicine and Dentistry (SMD) invested a total amount of GHS 456,199.08 in Liberty Asset which, is not a commercial bank and does not meet any minimum capital requirements of Bank of Ghana”, paragraph 1009 of the audit report on Public Boards noted.

Liberty Asset was one of the companies the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revoked their licences in 2019.

SEC, in a statement, explained that the revocation follows the companies’ failure to “return client funds which remain locked up and in a number of cases, has even folded up their operations.”

But the University of Ghana’s anomaly according to the report was a result of the failure of the College to develop a monitoring mechanism to ensure that all units adhere to the university’s directives.

It added that the situation has the tendency to increase the financial risk exposure of the university.

The Auditor-General has recommended to the management of the university to strengthen its investment oversight activities on treasury management and ensure strict adherence to the policy instruction on investments.

“Furthermore, any investment amount lost by the university may be disallowed and surcharged against the affected officers in accordance with Article 187 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and Section 18 of the Audit Service Act 2000, Act 584,” the report added.

Management response

Management of the University of Ghana in responding to this said that the investment was “made before the Vice Chancellor’s instruction issued on 4 October 2018. The investment was being rolled over as efforts made to call in the investment were not successful”.

The University insisted that due “processes were followed before the investment was made”.

“Liberty Asset is currently under receivership and follow-ups are being made. Investment Committee has been reconstituted and has issued guidelines on investments as of February 2020 pending the finalization of the investment policy. This is to ensure that such incidences do not recur,” University authorities added.

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