Daily Watch – Ghana to swap $4B of domestic debt, Gabon military seizes power

30th August 2023

Nigeria has scored a total of 54 percent in the second Joint External Evaluation (JEE) of the country’s capacity to prevent, detect and respond to public health threats. This is an improvement from the 39 percent it scored in its first JEE conducted in 2017. The Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, made the disclosure while briefing newsmen at the end of the JEE exercise in Abuja. The JEE involves a diverse team of experts, collectively evaluating a country’s preparedness and response capacities across 19 technical areas, under the guidance of relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs). It is done every five years.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced that the results of the upcoming governorship election in Kogi State will be transmitted electronically directly from polling units to its central server. This move aims to prevent rigging, electoral fraud, and irregularities that have marred previous elections. The governorship election is slated for 11 November 2023. Speaking at a media roundtable organised by the Independent Press Centre (IPC) in Abuja, Professor Gabriel Longpet, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Kogi, highlighted the significance of this electronic transmission. He emphasised that it will help eliminate issues that typically arise between polling units and collation centres, ensuring that the results remain intact and untouched.

Ghana has agreed terms to swap about $4 billion of domestic debt, taking another step toward meeting its obligations under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout. The results imply Ghana achieved about 95 percent success under the latest three debt exchange deals. Pension funds agreed to exchange 29.6 billion cedis ($2.6 billion) out of 31 billion cedis of existing bonds for two new notes maturing in 2027 and 2028.  Investors also agreed to swap $741.7 million of foreign currency-denominated notes out of $809 million eligible bonds for two new securities maturing in 2027 and 2028 that pay 2.75 percent and 3.25 percent respectively, the Finance Ministry said on Tuesday, 29 August. Separately, the country’s cocoa-industry regulator will offer 13 percent on five new bonds maturing in 2024 through 2028 to investors who tendered 7.7 billion cedis out of their existing 7.9 billion cedis of cocoa bills for the new notes. Ghana still needs more relief to bring debt to a target of 55 percent of gross domestic product by 2028 from 71.1 percent of GDP at the end of April.

A group of senior military officers have gone on national television in Gabon saying they have seized power because elections held over the weekend were not credible. The officers, appearing on Gabon24 in the early hours of Wednesday morning, 30 August, said they had cancelled the elections, dissolved all state institutions and closed the country’s borders. This is coming a few hours after President Ali Bongo was declared by the Gabonese Election Centre to have won a third term in the presidential election with 64.27 percent of the vote, while Bongo’s main challenger, Albert Ondo Ossa, had come in second place with 30.77 percent.