Monday, May 30, 2022

OPINION:

Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) is Ghana‘s foremost investment promotion agency mandated to promote, facilitate and court investments into the country. It does so by creating partnerships with investors, formulating policies and marketing strategies, as well as by lobbying and engaging with policy makers in the country and internationally. “We are a ‘360 degree’ agency, meaning that we do not just bring investment in the country, but also facilitate the process, guide them to implementation, as well as provide them with lifelong after-care,” explained Mr. Yofi Grant, the CEO.

Ghana holds a very strategic position not just for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region, but for the whole continent as well. It is located in the middle of the world, as it is the closest country to zero degrees longitude and zero degrees latitude. It also sits in the middle of ECOWAS, sharing land borders on three sides, with access to the Atlantic Ocean on the fourth. “This gives us a unique strategic advantage when it comes to logistics and we are the ideal location for manufacturing and trading with Africa,” said Mr. Grant.


Although the country relies mainly on agricultural products such as cocoa and beans, as well as minerals including; gold, iron ore, diamonds, lithium, bauxite, manganese, and more recently oil & gas, it is fast becoming an industrial one. This is due to a very aggressive industrialization agenda laid out by the Government to transform the country into a manufacturing hub, able to export processed goods and final products to Africa and the rest of the world. “The aim is to transform, modernize and diversify our economy from raw materials and resources to industrial and manufacturing, to add value to our economy and our people. We have plans to build refineries and plants to turn iron ore to steel using manganese, turn bauxite to aluminum, raw to processed cocoa such as paste, butter, polyphenols, chocolate, creams and powder etc.,” explained Mr. Grant. “And as our President says, this is right time to do it.”

In addition to manufacturing, Ghana is aiming to become a service exporting economy, with Banking and Hospitality already receiving considerable amounts of FDI. Meanwhile, the country continues to show huge potential amid the post-pandemic era, as it has initiated the Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprises Support (Ghana CARES), an ambitious recovery program that will enable the country to create opportunities for socioeconomic transformation following the challenges of the pandemic. “The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing faster digitalization in Ghana, with Fintech now being one of the most attractive sectors for foreign investors together with ICT and Healthcare,” Mr. Grant added. “We now look to receive investment in infrastructure in order to connect all the dots of our economy for better connectivity locally, as well as regionally, with the neighboring countries.”

Foreign investment will be a catalytic factor for Ghana‘s transformation, and the US is one of the top priorities for the Government. “We have very good cultural relations with the US, as well as economical, that go all the way back to the signing of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Although US investment in Ghana topped at US $5billion, the potential is great and the future looks definitely brighter than the past. In addition to being a friendly, stable and safe country; the new Ghana will be a strategic partner for US expansion in Africa, especially as our country hosts the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat,” Mr. Grant highlighted. Indeed, already an increasing number of US Corporations such as Amazon, Google, GE and others have set up operations in Ghana and more are set to follow.

The AfCFTA is a big motivator that opens a huge market for Ghana‘s products, and Mr. Grant invites US manufacturers to “come and do your manufacturing here. We will give you the space, the partnerships and the support so you can grow with Ghana, and in Ghana, as we both mutually enjoy the benefits. Ghana can be a great partner for the US to ensure we have a peaceful and free world especially in West Africa.”


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