This week in Ghana

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After a national report indicating a 900% increase in cars on the nations roads, President Kuffour promised a 90million dollar rehabilitation of the railway network between the western and eastern regions. An ambitious road construction has also been started to boost the economy of these two rich natural resource regions.
He also reiterated the need for rehabilitation and expansion works at the Takoradi ports and harbour to help increase the capacity of business from landlocked countries in the sub-region.

Another subject was the completion of the construction of the west african gas pipeline with important terminals in the region as well as the discovery of oilfields in the region, making it investor friendly.

This comes after a triple increase of the country’s oil import bill of more the $2 billion connected to the rise in crude oil price on the international market which is said to be impacting the country’s economy. Although the agricultural and mining sectors have enjoyed a substantial boost, helping in the economic balance, there is a risk of a negative economic impact on the country’s foreign reserves should this trend in crude oil continue.

Among other events earmarked for this year, which may adversely affect the country in the oil area, is the hosting of the 26th African Cup of Nations next week, with over a million visitors anticipated. Meanwhile with these high numbers expected, the Local Organising committee has confirmed approval of the increase in national flights to destinations hosting the various matches. They include; Accra, Skondi-Takoradi, Kumasi and Tamale. The company contracted for air transfers during the games is Afritel African Cup of Nations Air Shuttle. They will also be in charge of ground transfers from the airports to the stadia.

The Ghana international airport branch of the Customs Excise and Preventive Services has also announced that targeted revenue for 2007 exceeded expections by five percent. The target was set at 903.23 billion cedis while revenue collected totalled 946.068 billion cedis. This was credited to the department’s high level of discipline and dedication to duty.

Awards covering international airline travel services, domestic airlines, nightclubs, restaurants, accommodation and other areas in the hospitality industry was launched on Tuesday by the Ghana Tourist Board as part of its 8th Tourism Awards event, which aims at rewarding excellence, competiveness and promotion of Ghana as an exceptional tourist destination. The final event is to be held in Accra on the 18th of July.

A seven member jury has been set up to select nominees. The general public can also participate under the supervision of an audit company through text messaging (SMS) from their mobile phones.

Mobile phone subscribers, meanwhile, may have a new solution to their increasing demands with the announcement of MTN and RIM about their planned launching of Blackberry in the country. This will enable users access the internet through wireless connections.

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