This year’s ‘Ghana Investment Summit’ opened in Accra on Monday with an assurance to investors that the government was initiating measures to protect their investments and ensure higher returns on them.
The Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, who gave the assurance, said the Ministry of Finance had taken steps to sanitise the banking system as part of efforts to bolster the confidence of both local and foreign investors in the sector.
Those measures, he said, would position Ghana as a strategic investment hub, particularly for West Africa and Africa as a whole, to attract investors who possessed the capital and technical know-how the country needed for industrial transformation.
“An investment hub means that if we get it right, Ghana will not only be prosperous but can provide economic access for our entire continent,” he said.
The two-day summit, running on the theme: “Ghana—Africa’s premier investment hub”, has brought together regional and global investors, executives of local and multinational corporations, government officials and representatives of non-profit institutions who are interested in Ghana’s investment opportunities.
The summit, among other objectives, seeks to showcase the country as the premier investment destination in Africa and discuss how to attract strategic and development funding for key government projects.
In all, 40 speakers, both local and foreign, have been selected to lead discussions in key sectors, including agriculture, financial services, technology and consumer goods and services.
Mr Osafo-Maafo stated that to make Ghana the investment hub in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) with a population of 350 million people, managers of the economy needed to ensure discipline in the economic system.
In his view, the country was already blessed with friendly people and large tracts of quality arable land that could be tapped to promote agro-based commodities.
“We have natural deep-water ports and excellent sea and air connections with Europe and the USA; Ghana not only has an excellent geographic location, but it also enjoys geopolitical stability,” he added.
Mr Osafo-Maafo impressed on investors to take up the numerous investment opportunities abounding in the country.
“I can assure you that when you come to Ghana, the levels of profit on your investment will be such that Europe will be nowhere near and Ghana’s risk will be as low as you find anywhere in Europe under this current government,” he stated.
The senior minister also said the country was endowed with abundant and some of the finest iron ore that needed capital and technical know-how to exploit and develop.
He also invited investors interested in the development of the transportation network, particularly the rail system, to come and invest in the sector.
Mr Osafo-Maafo assured investors that the power outages that characterised the economy had been addressed, and that the government was interested in renewable energy.
The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, said the central bank’s takeover of the two banks that collapsed recently portrayed the Finance Ministry’s commitment to clean up the banking sector to ensure transparency.
Mr Ofori-Atta, who hinted that similar actions might be taken to clean up 33 banks and other financial institutions, said the capital requirement of banks would be increased in September.
He added that Ghana was safe for investors and that the Finance Ministry had a stronghold on macro issues to bring down inflation and eliminate budget deficit.
He said every effort was being made to minimise interest rates, fight corruption and boost the capacity of local investors to partner their foreign counterparts.