Business News of Thursday, 12 October 2017
Minister for Business Development, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal has given indication that government will soon open up Ghana’s borders to Benin, Niger and other West African countries.
Already Ghana’s borders have been opened up to Togo which according to Mr. Awal, is part of moves to expand business operations through regional integration.
Speaking at the inaugural Deloitte Panel Series with investors from different African countries, Mr. Awal said the move will give businesses and investors alike access to wider markets.
“We have opened the borders between Ghana and Togo and so there are no barriers now, so for twenty four hours a day businesses can have easy access to the markets of Togo”.
On his part, the Managing Director for Emerging Markets and Africa of Deloitte, Dr. Martyn Davies, said Deloitte is working hard to create an intra African firm through collaborative projects between African countries.
“We are focused on bringing multinationals who have an inclination towards the manufacturing sector to come here to Ghana and take advantage of the business opportunities here and in other African countries as well…As part of that, we will be meeting with the minister of Business Development and Minister of Trade and Industry and also visit the ports to explore the efficiencies there”.
Mr. Davies further expressed confidence in the new government and the moves they have undertaken so far towards creating a friendly business environment.
“We have recognized the positivity with this new government and we want to come into the country and to align the business objectives with our clients who have the economic growth trajectory of the country.”
He added, “We therefore think the time is right for us to get leading South African countries or multinationals based out of Johannesburg that have African operations into this part of the continent particularly Ghana”.
Outlining some of the challenges investors face when making investments in Ghana, Mr. Davies bemoaned the bureaucracies they go through which hinders the progress of their businesses.
“African governments need to be more proactive in dealing with bureaucracy, it has been done in Kigali and I believe other African countries can do same.
He however challenged the government to diversify its plans in achieving economic prosperity for the country.
“I have heard a lot about plans to commercialize agriculture here in Ghana which is a good thing but at the same time, in economic terms, it will be hard to move the economy by only focusing on agriculture, for me I think the government should diversify and focus on manufacturing.”
Mr. Davies was also confident that with the right steps, Ghana can become the business hub of West Africa.
“I think the thing for Ghana is that every region needs a hub and West Africa as a whole and Ghana can be that hub for West Africa, just like Nairobi is in East Africa and Johannesburg is in South Africa, with the right steps Ghana can become that hub for West Africa.”