Gold price slide knocks growth

Ghana’s economic growth slowed sharply to 0.3 percent year on year in the third quarter of last year due to a slowdown in the mining sector, compared with 6.1 percent in the second quarter, the country’s statistics office said yesterday. The economy grew 1.6 percent in the third quarter of 2012. The government projects growth of 8 percent this year in part on the back of exports of gold, cocoa and oil. The country is rated one of Africa’s brightest prospects because of its stable democracy and sustained growth. But a sharp fall in global gold prices last year affected production in that sector, the statistics office said. “Most of the declines came from the mining and quarrying sector, especially the drop in gold prices that heavily affected production,” government statistician Philomena Nyarko said. – Reuters


Bill to update oil sector code

The parliament of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is debating an oil code that may impose a 40 percent capital gains tax, allow drilling in national parks, and force current title holders to renegotiate their deals, according to a copy of the draft law obtained from members of the National Assembly. The code will create a new legal framework for the country’s nascent oil industry and replace 1980s-era legislation governing hydrocarbons. Existing permits that were legally acquired “remain valid and are renegotiated in the 36 months from the date the law is enacted”, the draft says. The DRC’s president will retain the right to approve all permits, according to the proposals. The government’s plans to raise its current oil output of 25 000 barrels a day is opening up dozens of blocks for exploration across the vast country. . – Bloomberg