Ghana safe haven for American investors — Robert Jackson

BY: Charles Benoni Okine
Mr Robert Jackson (right) speaking to Mr Charles Benoni Okine (arrowed), Deputy Editor of the Graphic Business
Mr Robert Jackson (right) speaking to Mr Charles Benoni Okine (arrowed), Deputy Editor of the Graphic Business

In view of the steady economic progress being chalked coupled with the cordial business environment in the country, American companies are finding Ghana a safe haven to invest.

Subsequently, more United States (US) companies are due in the country this year to leverage business opportunities.

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In an interview the Graphic Business in Accra, the US Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Robert Jackson, said US companies had deep interest in the country’s mining sector, adding that it was the sector likely to attract the largest investments.

“I think we will see more investments in the mining sector. The oil industry has attracted huge US investments and they continue to do so,” he said. 

According to him, Exxon Mobil, one of the largest companies in the world, has entered into partnership with Ghana to do more deep-water exploration and I am deeply confident that it will bring more oil services companies to Ghana”, he said.


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In the franchise sector, Mr Jackson said there have many such as KFC, BurgerKing, Pinkberry, and Pizza Hut which have open their stores “since I have been here.”
Much as these franchise companies may be small, he did not downplay their value when it comes to providing employment.

According to him, “relatively small stores, individually or collectively, generate a number of jobs and the fact that they are growing shows that these franchises are popular and affordable for Ghanaians, as well as lay the ground for more franchises to open and to succeed in this economy”.

Against these positives, Mr Jackson said, “We will see more consumer goods coming and we expect that more companies in the consumer goods industry will enter the market. So petroleum, mining consumer goods and franchises seem to be the areas we are likely to see the most growth in the short term.”

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Future of economy

On the economy, the US Ambassdor stated, “We have to be excited that Ghana’s economy will be one of the fastest-growing economies this year and that means consumers in Ghana have more for travel and investment and that allows more American companies to invest and sell their goods here.”

His comment on the economy comes on the back of the positive strides the country is making as per the judgement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

For instance, the Breton-Wood Institution, in its latest review of the economy, said Ghana’s economic growth prospects were positive, while its macroeconomic stabilisation was on course. It noted that the government’s commitment to achieve end-year fiscal targets was encouraging.

The IMF said the government’s vigorous engagements at strengthening the resilience of the financial sector, among other areas, were also positive.

It further noted: “Macroeconomic stabilisation is ongoing. Growth prospects remain positive, supported by strong oil production.”

“Investor confidence has improved as indicated by a successful issuance of the Eurobond in May 2018. Inflation has subsided to below 10 per cent. The government has stepped up structural reforms, particularly on public financial management and strengthening oversight over state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

End-year targets

“The government’s commitment to achieve the end-year fiscal targets is encouraging. Available fiscal data suggest an increase in government spending — mainly due to frontloading of capital spending and goods and services — while revenue underperformed in the first four months of the year,” the IMF said.

For instance, the government is targeting to raise total revenue of GH¢51 billion, spend GH¢62 billion and have a deficit of 4.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by the close of the year.

Ghana beyond aid

On Ghana Beyond Aid as the President has proclaimed, Mr Jackson said, “Ghana needs more investments in the social sector in helping education and we are making those investments in cooperation with the government and its priorities.” He indicated that Ghana Beyond Aid was in line with the vision of President Nkrumah who dreamed for Ghana to be more independent.

Mr Jackson emphasised that President Akufo-Addo, by articulating that the country needed to move beyond aid, “is saying that it needs to be more independent. Independent not from the rest of the world or free from aid, no.

“Ghana Beyond Aid,he explained, should be a country able to stand on its own two feet, able to create prosperity for its citizens so that they will not feel that they want to migrate to look for good jobs.

“That’s what Ghana Beyond Aid means to me and I think that vision, while it may not be realisable in President Akufo-Addo’s term, it is really important for Ghanaians to get behind because it’s all about the mindset,” he advised.

Mr Jackson described Ghanaians as “very entrepreneurial”, saying: “I have been struck by how hardworking people are, how positive they are, how committed they are to their community and country. That spirit of entrepreneurship and volunteerism and the can-do attitude reflects and it’s something I think the President is trying to tap into; and I applaud that because it is the can-do attitude that is going to make Ghana really grow and thrive in the years ahead.

“It’s got the will and if the President and the people can channel that will, I believe this country can really be the black star of Africa that everyone wants,” he added.