Rail transport critical to open up northern Ghana to investments

The development of rail transport infrastructure has been identified as the single most important factor to drive investment distribution to the northern sector of Ghana.

Local and foreign investments have been skewed towards the Greater Accra region, largely due to the concentration of international sea and air ports as well as operational advantages in the capital.

In 2013, the GIPC registered 107 joint venture projects in the country – the Greater Accra region alone recorded 81 projects, whilst Ashanti had ten and the rest of the eight regions shared the remaining 16 projects.

Augustine Acheampong Otoo, Director of Investor Services at the Ghana Investment Promotions Centre (GIPC), has acknowledged the rich resource endowment of other regions in economic growth.

He however says limited infrastructure is a disincentive to the investing public.

Mr. Otoo believes the rail network to the Boankra Inland Project in the Ashanti region would open up opportunities for investments.

“If the railway network in linked up to Boankra and then it continues to the north as all of us are hoping to see, then the distribution of investments will come to even where every region will get its due share,” he stated.

The GIPC is embarking on a nationwide regional sensitization tour to intensify investment drive and domestic private sector investment.

The Kumasi tour attracted metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies as well as local businesses and entrepreneurs to deliberate on attracting appropriate investments into their respective areas.

In line with promoting local investment, Ghanaian-owned businesses are encouraged to register with the Centre and benefit from the incentives under the GIPC Act 865.

Focal investment opportunities include the agro-processing, agriculture, tourism and export trade.

Story by Kofi Adu Domfeh

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