On 3rd December, Invest In Africa (IIA) held a discussion and networking event focusing on the most promising investment projects and fastest growing sectors in Ghana while also addressing the recent economic hurdles facing the country’s economy. The event featured the Ghanaian Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Minister of Food and Agriculture, CEO of the Ghana investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Mawuena Trebrah as guest speakers, and was chaired by Manji Cheto, Vice President of Teneo Intelligence.
The discussion centred on whether Ghana had the human capacity necessary to take advantage of the opportunities available to it in its main sectors such as power, infrastructure, agriculture, petroleum, mining and tourism. A need for the country to invest in education was cited, as well as, for the private sector to work alongside Ghanaian institutes of higher education to tailor curriculums to focus more closely on the skills required.
Concerning the role of the Ghanaian diaspora and their ability to assist in the country’s development, the speakers discussed the relevant mechanisms that are being put in place to facilitate this. Similarly, a strong ICT sector and growing entrepreneurial spirit are also helping ‘Crowdfunding’ initiatives establish themselves in the country. The message to the Diaspora or those returning was to not only consider large cities for investments, but to look to the rural towns where development is even more needed.
A common denominator of the discussion was the issue of corruption and its impact on the ease of doing business in the country. The importance of having an informed view of the reality and complexities of doing business in Ghana as opposed to accepting a perception of it was noted. The Ministers highlighted the necessary channels that have been put in place to report unethical behaviour or resolve common disputes that may arise when investing in the country.
With elections just 11 months away, it was discussed that investors should consider the timing of investment in the country. However, the meeting highlighted the ambition for Ghana to establish itself as a manufacturing hub in Sub-Saharan Africa. Developing its infrastructure remains a priority and Public-Private sector participation is going to play a vital role if this is to be achieved as the country enters a crucial year in history.