Ghana has potential to grow US franschise brands - Stephanie Sullivan

BY: Charles Benoni Okine
Mrs Stephanie Sullivan (4th from right) joined by executive of AMCHAM  shortly after the official opening of the office
Mrs Stephanie Sullivan (4th from right) joined by executive of AMCHAM shortly after the official opening of the office

The United States Ambassador to Ghana, Mrs Stephanie Sullivan, has said the US sees enormous potential to grow that country’s franchise brands in Ghana.

Subsequently, it looks forward to working with the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Ghana to enable the environment in Ghana for that industry to thrive.

Mrs Sullivan said this when she joined executive of Amcham to open the new offices and resource centre of the chamber at East Legon, in Accra, on Friday.

“An example of this partnership was on display just last week when AmCham, together with the US Embassy, launched a new committee focused on developing the franchise industry in Ghana,” she said.

Franchising, according to the US Ambassador, “enhances community prosperity by providing small business ownership opportunities, competitive wages, skills training, along with jobs and the career growth of individuals — from entry level to management.

It gives Ghanaians the opportunity to climb the corporate ladder, too. U.S. franchise brands are focused on ensuring their local partners are supported by world-class training and market development.”

“I witnessed and tasted this firsthand last week when I attended the relaunch of the Pizza Hut franchise here in Ghana by the Melcom Group of Companies,” she said.

“As locally owned businesses, franchises tap local resources and are more likely to give back to their communities,” she added.

In congratulating the chamber for its leap, she said: “AmCham Ghana has its eye on the future as it looks to position itself for success in Africa’s rapidly changing business environment.”

AfFCTA opportunities

Ghana’s political stability, security, growing middle class and its new role as host to the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat are attracting more and more U.S. companies as they look for growth opportunities on the African continent.”

She said AmCham played an important role in attracting and keeping those companies in Ghana.

Mrs Sullivan said as Africa’s economy continued to develop, the opportunity was ripe for the AfCFTA to deliver on its promise to expand intra-regional trade and capture new foreign direct investment.

She reiterated that AfCFTA has the potential to be a game changer, not only for doing business across the continent, but also for how the rest of the world thinks of Africa.

The US Ambassador also noted that AfCFTA could truly make Ghana a gateway for the African market and U.S. companies already see the opportunity.

She said AfCFTA, when fully implemented, will represent the world’s largest free trade area, with 55 participating countries, covering 1.2 billion people and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of $3.4 trillion.

“That’s why, with the opening of this new office, AmCham Ghana is also launching its AfCFTA Resource Centre — an effort to help US companies understand more about the implementation of the AfCFTA agreement.

The Free Trade Area aims to significantly accelerate intra-Africa trade, using it as an engine of growth and sustainable development. Its implementation will affect US-Africa trade relations and present immense opportunities for US company trade and investment across the continent,” she said.

Resource Center

Mrs Sullivan said with this new Resource Center, AmCham Ghana would be there to help American companies navigate those opportunities.

“When American companies come to set up shop in Ghana, they can use this new facility as a temporary office and to conduct meetings with potential business partners and other local stakeholders.

“As the number of American companies grow in Ghana, so too does AmCham,” she added.