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GIPC targets US$3bn in FDIs this year

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Mr Yofi Grant

The Ghana Investment Promotion Authority (GIPC) is to attract some US$3 billion in investment inflows this year under the Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprise Support (Ghana CARES) initiative.

That the centre intends to do by embarking on an aggressive local and foreign investment campaign which will see big industry stakeholders coming to invest in the country.

The Chief Executive Officer of the GIPC, Mr Yofi Grant, announced this at a press conference when he released the fourth quarter 2020 investment report on March 11 in Accra and said the centre was already on the right track to meet its 2021 target.

“Our work is cut out in the Ghana CARES initiative with a goal of attracting at least US$3 billion in foreign direct investments (FDIs) in the year in specific sectors, namely agriculture, technology, manufacturing, infrastructure and energy. In the first two months of this year, we have already recorded about US$590 million in FDIs and so we are hopeful that should the pace be sustained, the target will be achieved,” he said.

The context

The Ghana CARES (Obaatan pa) initiative is a GHȻ100 billion post-COVID programme to stabilise, revitalise and transform Ghana’s economy to create jobs and prosperity for Ghanaians over a three-year period.

It is sequenced in two phases: a stabilisation phase that runs from July 2020 to the end of the year (2020); and a medium-term revitalisation phase from 2021-2023.

The first phase of the programme builds on the actions already taken by the government under the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme, including the stabilisation of the economy, ensuring food security, support businesses and workers, strengthening the health system and passage of legislations to facilitate quick economic recovery.

The second phase which is aimed at revitalising and transforming the economy from 2021-2023 will focus on supporting commercial farming and attracting educated youth into various sectors of the economy.

Some of the areas include agriculture, building Ghana’s light manufacturing sector, developing engineering/machine tools and ICT/digital economy, developing Ghana’s housing and construction industry, reviewing and optimising the implementation of the government’s flagship programmes.

Vibrant business economy

To attract more FDIs, Mr Grant stated that the GIPC had the aim of making Ghana the most attractive place to invest and do business and would, therefore, remove all obstacles of doing business in the country to make it easier for investors to come in.

“The country has been attracting less investments than it should but we are confident that with the right business environment; it could increase and even exceed the current target,” he said and added that the move was not intended to have foreign investors dominating the Ghanaian economy but to create a vibrant business economy.

2020 FDIs

Meanwhile, the country in 2020 recorded an impressive US$2.8 billion in investment inflows, in spite of the ravaging effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The FDI component amounted to US$2.65 billion, 139.06 per cent more over the same period in 2019, when US$1.1 billion came in through FDIs, while US$145 million came in from local matching funds.

A total of 279 projects were registered during the period with the FDI and local components expected to generate some 27,110 jobs in the country.

Exceeded expectation

The CEO observed that the gains made with regard to the inflow of investments and projects registered exceeded the expectation of the centre.

He said that trend of strong performance in Ghana’s inbound FDI amid the global health pandemic could be attributed to a combination of factors.

He said some of the factors included effective government policy responses, an easing of travel restrictions and more importantly, the delivery and expected future development of vaccines in-country and that the GIPC’s notable efforts as the leading investment promotion agency also played a pivotal role in attracting investors.

“As Ghana steps into an era of liberalised trade under the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), there's an even stronger commitment from the centre to boost investor confidence and ultimately harness valuable investments for the country, now Africa's business capital,” he added.