Great time to invest in Ghana: Akufo-Addo tells black businesses in USA

BY: Donald Ato Dapatem
President Akufo-Addo receives the award from Representative Billy Mitchell
President Akufo-Addo receives the award from Representative Billy Mitchell

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged members of the Black business community in the United States of America (USA) to take advantage of the numerous opportunities in Ghana to invest in the country.

“It is a great time to invest in Ghana, for the opportunities are bright,” he told the US Black business community.

He said the prospects were brighter, especially as Ghana sought to build back strongly from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Akufo-Addo made the call last Wednesday when he delivered the keynote address at the “Africa Flagship Programme” session of the 45th Annual Legislative Conference of the National
Black Caucus of State Legislators being held in Atlanta, Georgia.

The event was monitored from Accra.

According to the President, in spite of the very real difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ghana was doing some things right and sending out the right signals to the global investor community.

Economic feats

President Akufo-Addo noted that in 2020, Ghana recorded foreign direct investment (FDI) of $2.65 billion from 279 projects.

For 2021 alone, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) had recorded FDIs of $973.38 million from 173 projects in the first three quarters of the year, with large ticket projects in the pipeline to boost FDI flows by the close of the year, he said.

He explained that Ghana was among the first countries anywhere in the world to put together a medium-term response strategy to address the impact of the COVID-19 on the economy and outline an economic recovery, revitalisation and transformation plan to build back better and stronger.

“We have identified the relevant sectors of the economy requiring the needed investment that will help accelerate the rebound and growth of the Ghanaian economy, as was witnessed in the immediate years before the pandemic struck, which saw, between 2017 and 2020, our average annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of seven per cent as one of the fastest in the world. We call the recovery package the Ghana CARES ‘Obaatan pa’ Programme,” he said.

The President told the gathering that the GH¢100 billion programme, aimed at stabilising and revitalising the Ghanaian economy, had two phases — the stabilisation phase, which was implemented between July and December last year, and the revitalisation and transformation stage, which was under implementation and would end in 2023.

“We are focusing our energies on supporting commercial farming and attracting educated youth into agriculture, building Ghana’s light manufacturing sector, fast-tracking efforts at digitalisation, developing Ghana’s housing and construction industry, establishing Ghana as a regional hub and strengthening the enablers of growth of our economy,” he said.

He said, however, that the most attractive and the greatest selling point of the country was and had always been its people, explaining that “the welcome that you find in Ghana, with all due respect to you at this gathering, is unique and like none anywhere else”.

Assurance

President Akufo-Addo reassured the US Black investor community that Ghana remained the safest country in West Africa, with the police and the other security agencies working hard to keep the country open and a happy place where Ghanaians were not embarrassed to see themselves as one another’s keeper.

He entreated the investor community that it could choose to invest in Ghana through the GIPC or set up as free zones enterprises, stressing that his government had instituted a number of fiscal incentives for investors, depending on the nature of the activity or the location of the investment.

Democracy and rule of law

Touting Ghana’s democratic credentials, which have seen the country conducting eight presidential elections in the 28-year period of the Fourth Republic, the President indicated that investors were optimistic about the Ghanaian economy.

“We have done the heavy lifting required to transition our economy into a growth economy and are now establishing sustainability and irreversibility.

“We are spearheading regional integration and cooperation in industrialising Africa, and currently hosting the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which comprises 54 states, with a combined GDP of $3 trillion,” he said.