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Fitch puts Ghana on downgrade watch

Ratings agency Fitch warned Ghana on Friday that the west African country could face a credit downgrade due to its rising debts and depreciating currency. The ratings agency downgraded the country's outlook to "negative" from "stable", citing a budget deficit of 10.8 percent of national ouput and a 20-percent depreciation of Ghana's currency, the cedi. "Ghana's large budget deficit is adversely impacting economic stability, with the current account deficit and inflation firmly in double digits," the ratings agency said in a statement.

Ghana opposition leader announces third presidential run

Ghana's opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo, who narrowly lost the country's last two presidential polls, announced Thursday that he would again seek his party's nomination for the 2016 general election. Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) secured 47.7 percent of the vote in the December 2012 election and launched a legal challenge to the results that gave President John Dramani Mahama the win with 50.7 percent support. The Supreme Court upheld those results last year, after which Akufo-Addo spent six months in Britain before returning to Ghana earlier this month.

Ghana to promote local industry to boost economy

Ghana's president on Tuesday was heckled by opposition lawmakers while he outlined plans to boost the country's economy, as a free-falling currency sparks frustration over living costs. John Dramani Mahama was repeatedly shouted down by detractors as he unveiled proposals to diversify the economy from an over-reliance on gold, cocoa and oil exports by boosting local manufacturing. Among his proposals were new sugar mills and a factory to produce jute sacks to hold cocoa, as well as a government pledge to back Ghanaian farmers and the fishing industry.

Ghana president calls for changes over currency pressure

Ghana needs to make "fundamental" changes to its economy if it is to protect its currency and allow its markets to continue growing steadily, President John Dramani Mahama said on Tuesday. West Africa's second-largest economy has attracted international interest in recent years because of its promising oil reserves, relative political stability and high growth rates. But a weakening currency and concerns that fluctuations in global prices of major export commodities such as gold and cocoa have raised fears of a slow down.

Football: Ghana, Libya through to CHAN final

Ghana and Libya reached the final of the African Nations Championship on Wednesday by winning their respective semi-finals on penalties when their matches ended 0-0 after extra-time. The Ghanaians will seek to go one better tha the 2009 tournament where they lost in the final to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Black Stars stunned Nigeria as their players held their nerve better than their opponents to win the penalty shootout 4-1. The Ghanaians had done well to hold the Nigerians scoreless as they pounded Ghana's goal.

Football: Ghana win sets up CHAN semi-final against Nigeria

Ghana defeated DR Congo 1-0 in the final African Nations Championship quarter-final on Sunday, setting up a West African derby against rivals Nigeria in the last-four. A 67th minute penalty was enough to see Ghana through, Kwabina Adusei slotting his place kick comfortably past the Congolese keeper. Congo had a few half chances to pull it back, but never really looked like equalising. On 83 minutes Ghanaian striker Mohammed Yahaya should have put it beyond doubt. Clear through on goal he shot the ball directly into the keeper's body.

4,700 illegal miners expelled from Ghana in 2013

Ghana deported 4,700 illegal miners last year, most of them Chinese nationals, deputy information minister Ibrahim Murtala Muhammed said on Thursday. "Most of them were Chinese illegal miners. Largely, they were arrested by the special task force," Muhammed said, adding that Nigerians, Russians and South Africans were also expelled. Local police and a task force of military, police and immigration officials began targeting illegal miners last year on the orders of President John Dramani Mahama.

Filmmaker battles to save historic Ghana cinema

The Rex, a single-storey, slope-roofed movie house was once the hotspot for film fans in Ghana, but, like many of the country's cinemas, it hardly shows movies anymore. The building is now abandoned, except on Sundays when dozens of evangelical Christians cram through its century-old walls for weekly, boisterous prayers sessions. The Rex's fate is part of a wider decay of film-going culture in Ghana, the first sub-Saharan African country to gain independence and which become the hub for the continent's film industry in the immediate post-colonial era, experts said.

Ghana backs down on proposed condom tax

Ghana on Tuesday backed down on a proposed tax on imported condoms after mooting increased levies on foreign-made goods as a way of cutting government debt. Finance Minister Seth Terkper made the announcement as he presented the 2014 budget, backing parliament's proposal last week to raise overall sales tax by 2.5 percent. "The preference for VAT (value added tax) is more efficient," he said.

Ghana arrests 46 more foreigners over illegal gold mining

Ghana has arrested 46 more foreigners suspected of illegal gold mining in the last week, including 43 Chinese, two Indians and an American, an immigration official told AFP Thursday. The latest raid in the crackdown on illicit gold mining in the central region, which included gunfire but no injuries, raises the number of those arrested to more than 600 since June, mostly people from China.
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