President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on the South African business community to take advantage of the growing business-friendly climate in Ghana and invest in the country.
Describing the role of the private sector as crucial, he said the government had set about implementing measures needed to reduce the cost of doing business and improving the business environment since it assumed the reigns of power 17 months ago.
A statement issued by the Communications Directorate of the Jubilee House said President Akufo-Addo made the call when he addressed the Ghana-South Africa Business Forum in Pretoria, as part of his state visit to South Africa last Thursday.
President Akufo-Addo’s state visit is the first by a President since President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa took over power in that country in February this year.
The summit was on the theme:“Advancing industrialisation through trade and investment.”
According to the statement, the President indicated that those measures had resulted in the growing stability of the country’s macroeconomy and the cedi, single-digit inflation, and an abolition of nuisance taxes aimed at shifting the focus of the economy from taxation to production.
President Akufo-Addo also told the gathering that his government had implemented other specific measures, including the introduction of an ebusiness registration system, a paperless port clearance system, a digital addressing system, a mobile interoperability system and a national identification card system, to formalise the Ghanaian economy, reduce the cost of doing business and facilitate interaction between businesses and clients.
The President also outlined the government’s flagship programmes, such as the Onedistrict, One-factory, Onevillage, One-dam, Planting for Food and Jobs, development of renewable energy and information and communication technology (ICT) growth, as areas of opportunities for investment.
South African desk
To facilitate and expedite South African investments in the Ghanaian economy, the statement said President Akufo-Addo told the South African business community that the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) had established a dedicated South African desk at the centre.
On infrastructure, the statement quoted the President as saying, with private sector participation, Ghana could develop a modern railway network, with strong production centre linkages and with the potential to connect the country to Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, and Togo, its closest neighbours.
President Akufo-Addo stated that a strategic partnership between Ghana and South Africa was of utmost importance, as it would empower the business communities of the two countries, as well as enhance the trade and investment relations between them.
“There are several projects in roads, water transport, industry, manufacturing, agriculture, petroleum and gas, renewable energy, the exploitation of our mineral wealth of bauxite, iron ore and gold and the ICT sector, among others, which are being structured to attract private sector financing. We believe that this is an area where South Africa technology and expertise would be very welcome,” the statement quoted him to have said.
Foreign Direct Investment
The President, the statement said, stressed that Ghana was keen on attracting foreign direct investments to exploit the country’s great potential on mutually satisfactory terms.
It added that President Akufo-Addo expressed the hope that the Ghana- South Africa Business Forum would help facilitate partnerships between Ghanaian and South African companies and create the common platform that generated ideas and nurtured them into success.