The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) has created a platform to explain the various investment opportunities in Ghana to potential investors attending the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Accra.
The Chief Operating Officer of GIPC, Carl Nelson, speaking at an Investing in Ghana Meeting on Thursday on the topic: “Investing in Agriculture-Raising Efficiency and Productivity for Economic Growth,” said potential investors could venture into areas like trade and industry, oil and gas, agriculture, manufacturing, agro-processing roads and highways and other social infrastructure.
He said investors will enjoy favourable tax rebate, especially those that would invest outside the national capital, noting that, foreign investors required US$50 million and above for investment purposes.
Mr. Nelson advocated joint partnerships between foreign and local firms but also allowed 100 per cent foreign ownership, adding that the Centre was ready to offer the necessary advisory services and support to all potential investors.
He explained the mandate and various advisory services offered by the GIPC to potential investors, adding that Ghana had a peaceful and stable democracy in the sub-region with lots of juicy incentive packages for investors, saying; “Your investment is safe in Ghana”.
On investment opportunities in the agricultural sector, he said the sector had a lot of potential to create jobs and wealth and contribute more to the growth of the Gross Domestic Product, adding that there were lots of arable lands for rice cultivation, maize, cotton and cotton biotics and cashew, while opportunities was in cocoa processing and value addition for export, as well as financing of fish farming and water resources.
He said the country had a conducive climate for investment with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) hovering around US$65.56 billion in 2018 with a 6.3 per cent growth rate, and a GDP per capita of US$2. 214million.
He highlighted some progress the country made in the macro economy, saying that the inflation rate stood at 9.4 per cent as at July this year, rated third Foreign Direct Investment destination in West Africa and recorded US$4.78 billion trade balance in December last year.
He said the government was pursuing a bold strategy for creating growth and partnerships across multiple sectors of the economy, which required investment with the private sector as the engine of growth.
Mr. Nelson quoted a statement President Akufo-Addo made to back his presentation: “If we’re to make any meaningful changes in the lives of the people, our efforts must be directed at agriculture. The majority of the people might feel a change in their lives when we develop agriculture”.
Touching on the contribution of some sectors of the economy to the GDP in 2018, he said the services sector contributed 46. 3 per cent, industry 34 per cent, and agriculture 19.7 per cent and believed that the agricultural sector could do better in the future if more attention was given to create more jobs.
A Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, George Boahen-Oduro, for his part, said the Akufo-Addo’s Government had concerned itself with making agriculture a priority to create decent jobs, wealth, and sustainable development and ready to offer all the necessary support to prospective investors.
He said apart from the government’s flagship Planting for Food and Jobs, it developed five agriculture modules including; Food Crops focusing on the cereals, Tuber Crops, Tree Crops (cashew, coconut, oil palm, rubber and shea), Leafy Vegetables and Rearing for Food and Jobs to turn around the fortunes of the agricultural sector intended to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the African green revolution agenda.
Mr. Boahen-Oduro said government was constructing storage facilities across the country and intended to expand the current storage capacity from 34,000 to 250,000 metric tonnes over the next five years, to prevent post-harvest losses.
“In line with the Malabo Declaration, agribusiness has been patronised as a key area of focus if Africa has to triple intra-Africa trade by 2025, promote inclusive value chain linkage to agricultural-led industrialization.
“This aligns with the government’s efforts of industrialisation and private-sector development to create opportunities to expand the economy, create more jobs through the provision of energy for industry, raw materials, research and industrial development initiatives such as the One-District-One-Factory and provide competitive packages for local industries,” Mr. Boahen-Oduro explained.
The African Green Revolution Forum is the world’s premier forum for African agriculture, pulling together stakeholders in the agricultural landscape to discuss and commit policies, programmes and investments to achieve an inclusive and sustainable agricultural transformation across the African Continent.
The forum has so far attracted some 2,800 delegates from 79 countries in Africa and across the globe, including; Heads of State, Ministers of Agriculture, Central Bank Governors, captains of industry, development partners, representatives of farmer organisations, youth entrepreneurs and other critical stakeholders being held on the theme: “Grow Digital: Leveraging Digital Transformation to Drive Sustainable Food Systems in Africa”.
It focuses on three areas- leveraging on the digital technology to leapfrog Africa’s agricultural sector into the future, empowering private sector and SMEs and tackling challenges with the climate change.