Business News of Friday, 13 March 2015
Source: Graphic Online
President John Dramani Mahama has stated that Ghana’s economic stabilisation programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is due for approval by the fund’s board in April this year, will make Ghana a better place for investment.
“Working with the IMF will help us see some predictability in terms of economic measures, implementation, among other programmes,” he told a group of investors from the UK that called on him at the Flagstaff House yesterday.
“You can be sure that some of the instability we’ve gone through will soon be off and make Ghana even a better place for investment,” he added.
The group, from Global Investor Africa, was in the country to explore investment opportunities.
It will engage in bilateral meetings with government officials and private businesses, focusing on areas including infrastructure, energy, agriculture and the services industry.
The visit followed the President’s participation in last October’s Global Investment Forum in London, during which he invited the investor community in the UK to take interest in Ghana, since all the opportunities existed for them to reap results.
Ghana’s High Commissioner to the UK, Mr Victor Smith, led them to the seat of government.
President Mahama said Ghana’s model of democracy and its stability were key ingredients for investment in the country, adding that it was not for nothing that the nation was touted as the safest investment destination in West Africa.
Free speech, he said, reigned and even the President was not spared, adding, “In Ghana, we have 25 million Presidents who will tell you what to do every day.”
Besides, he said, all political disputes were settled in the courts.
The economic challenges facing the country did not escape the attention of the President, explaining to his guests that the challenges had their roots in the structure of the economy.
He said an economy that relied on the export of primary products was bound to encounter challenges, adding that to correct it, there must be a shift from reliance on primary products to value addition initiatives.
“One of the things we are trying to do is value addition to our produce, which is showing in cocoa where increasingly more beans are being processed locally,” he said.
President Mahama walked the investors through the genesis of the power challenges confronting the nation and encouraged independent power producers to take advantage of the opportunities created in that sector.
He also said there was a huge demand for power in the sub-region.
Since the UK delegation included investors from the agricultural sector, the President mentioned some of the areas where they could take advantage of, including horticulture.
With ECOWAS signing onto the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), he said, it was going to be a win-win situation for any investment in the agricultural sector in Ghana.
Mr Mahama said Africa and Ghana were changing.
“We have several things that are working positively in Africa’s interest and sitting from here as one of the leaders, I am happy with the progress we are making in terms of integrating both the sub-region and the continent,” he said.
A former UK Minister for Africa Affairs, Mr Mark Semmens, who led the delegation, said the group was impressed by the democratic development of Ghana.
He said when he was a minister, he highlighted Ghana as a true investment destination and it was not out of place that he was leading the delegation to the country.