GIPC woos visiting African-American delegation

BY: Severious Kale-Dery
Invited guests and members of the National Black MBA Association after the meeting
Invited guests and members of the National Black MBA Association after the meeting

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC), Mr Yofi Grant, is seeking to attract African-Americans to invest in Ghana’s economy.

He said there were a number of areas they could consider channelling their resources, for instance, like the One-district, One-factory (1D1F) and the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programmes.

Business delegation

Mr Grant sent out the invite last Friday when he addressed an African-American business delegation in Accra.

He also solicited investors to give thought to the education, health, energy, infrastructure, aviation and tourism sectors.

The delegation, which had since left the country, was here at the instance of the Ghana International Chamber of Commerce and Yoks Investment Ltd, a private company.

The 16-member delegation was in the country to partner the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture on its, ‘Year of Return’ programme, as well as examine investment opportunities and possible partnerships with Ghanaian businesses.

Ghana Beyond Aid

Mr Grant said the delegation had come to the country at an opportune time when Ghana was repositioning itself for economic upswing.

He was concerned that even though Africa was a resource-rich continent, "we continue to rely on handouts," adding that the time had come for Africa to move away from aid to trade.

Mr Grant enlightened the delegation from America on various initiatives and steps the government was taking to move the country from aid to trade, laying emphasis on the recently launched, ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ strategy put forward by the government.

"The ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ plan is a clarion call for Africa to wake up and assume the position as an equal partner in world trade", he said.

He said compared to Europe and the USA where trading among countries in the blocs stood at 59 and 37 per cents respectively, that of Africa was pegged at a scant 15 per cent and needed to be improved.
One District One Factory

Touching on the various initiatives rolled out by the government, Mr Grant said the 1D1F was an ambitious programme and one in which investors could make a windfall, adding that so far 79 factories, at various stages of completion, had been built with 30 more expected to be constructed this year.

He said Ghana had over the years exported materials to overseas countries in their raw state, however, the current government was working to change the narrative.

“We cannot build a modern economy just by exporting raw materials.

 We need to convert them into finished products," he said.

He said that government was embarking on an accelerated programme to move the country away from a raw material exporting one to one of value addition at all stages.

“This is the context for which the 1D1F was established,” he said.

Investment opportunities

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr Akwasi Agyeman, told the African-American delegation to take advantage of the enormous opportunities that abounded in Ghana including its vibrant business climate and consider investing, especially in the hospitality sector.

The President of the Ghana International Chamber of Commerce, Madam Matilda Arhin, said with insights from the ‘Door of no Return’ to celebrating the ‘Year of Return’, the delegation had had occasion to trace their roots and to explore opportunities for investment.