Prez urges development partners to invest more

BY: Isaac Yeboah

President John MahamaPresident John Dramani Mahama has urged development partners to increase foreign direct investment in Ghana.
He promised to offer them attractive incentives including tax rebates.

President Mahama made the call at a working breakfast with chief executives of major corporations based in Atlanta, USA last Wednesday.

The business networking session was intended to facilitate conversations and contacts for investment in Ghana.

Ghana’s democracy predictable, mature

The President said Ghana was open for business, stressing “there is no better place to do business than in Ghana.  The rate of returns in Ghana is far higher than in any place in the world,” he said.

President Mahama said in 2012, the country’s investment amounted to $3 billion. "We believe that this year will be more encouraging,” he said, and indicted that Ghana's economy had witnessed a thriving oil and gas sector.

President Mahama noted that Ghana’s democracy had matured and was now predictable, citing the recent successful adjudication of the election dispute by the Supreme Court.

He indicated that the country was ready to partner private businesses to add value to its resources.

Ghana’s comparative advantage

President Mahama stated that the country had a comparative advantage in the area of energy production, adding that with the discovery of oil and gas resources offshore, Ghana had the opportunity to be the energy hub of West Africa.

“We are working with the American government on the second compact under the Millennium Challenge Account to improve generation and efficiency in energy distribution,” he said.

President Mahama acknowledged that the government alone could not leverage the kind of financial resources needed to expedite development in all sectors of the economy.

“We are, therefore, encouraging and creating the environment for the private sector to partner the public sector,” he stated.

In his remarks, Mr Ahmet Bozer, President of Coca-Cola International, said the company had been associated with Ghana since the early days of the nation’s independence and noted that Ghana’s growth rate was one of the fastest in Africa.

“We see a great deal of talent in Ghana’s workforce, hence our continuous investment in Ghana,” Mr Bozer stated,and indicated that the company also recognised the country’s pedigree as a beacon of stability and good governance.

President honoured

Meanwhile, President Mahama has been honoured at a reception organised by the Institute for Global Initiatives of the Kennesaw State University.

An honorary medallion and a souvenir were presented to the President by Daniel S. Papp, President of the KSU, in recognition of President Mahama’s engagement and commitment to global partnerships.

Dr Papp indicated that the KSU was honoured by the President’s visit because it was the first time a sitting head of state had visited the university in its 50-year history.

He said the visit was also facilitated by the university’s special project this year, “The year of Ghana,” under which students visited places of historical importance in Ghana and also studied Ghana’s physical geography, culture and the role of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

In his acceptance speech, President Mahama advocated collaboration and the sharing of teaching methodology, mathematics and science-related courses between KSU and Ghanaian institutions of higher learning.

He also underscored the need for collaboration in research, healthcare, environmental sustainability and cultural exchange at the community level, pledging his administration’s support.

Daily Graphic/Ghana