Ghana impresses investors in Chicago

Potential and existing investors in Ghana were impressed by the representation made by the Ghana delegation to the 9th Biennial U.S. – Africa Business Summit organised by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) in Chicago.

The two-hour  “Doing Business in Ghana” forum, led by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, was organised by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and gave attendees the opportunity to learn about business opportunities, governmental policies and private success stories from high-level government officials and representatives from Ghana.

The main presentation on “Investment Opportunities in Ghana”, delivered by Mrs Mawuena Trebarh the CEO of the GIPC, received a double ovation from the attendees.

According to the organisers, the Ghana forum was the best attended of all forums to date and the CCA confirmed that they received very positive feedbacks from attendees.

The U.S. – Africa Business Summit is organised biennially to satisfy various needs of host African countries, potential investors and business partners. These needs include:

  • Obtaining information on the latest trade and investment opportunities in Africa's most promising sectors including agri-business, energy, health, infrastructure, capacity building, security, ICT and finance;
  • Networking with as many as 1,500 key African and U.S. private sector and government representatives;
  • Learning from a wide array of industry-specific and country-focused informational sessions;
  • Exploring new business opportunities by identifying specific growth areas and projects;
  • Discovering the latest financing options open to them;
  • Meeting potential business partners;
  • Interacting with exhibitors representing companies on the cutting edge of investment in Africa, and
  • Closing new business deals.

One of the main sponsors of the event was Symbion, an international power developer that takes a unique approach to delivering electrical infrastructure projects and who, very recently, signed a Letter of Intent with the Government of Ghana (GoG) confirming their intent to establish a 450 megawatt combined cycle energy facility in Ghana, including the financing thereof, as part of meeting the need for expanded electricity generation.

This venture was brokered by Mrs. Trebarh in association with a U.S. based group who have long standing business relationships with the GoG.

According to Mrs. Trebarh the Summit not only provided a valuable platform to showcase Ghana as a preferred investment destination but it also generated interest in various sectors and that those investment leads were being developed.

“The FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) market has not only slowed down from an investor perspective but has also become very competitive. Events such as the U.S. – Africa Business Summit will therefore always form part of an integrated longer term strategy to attract the right investors to Ghana”, she said.

Mrs Trebarh continued to say that decisions on major investment in Ghana may take considerable time and that the fruits of, for example, the Chicago Business Summit, may only be enjoyed in future years but that it was essential to take a long term view.

She continued to emphasize the importance of personal interaction and excellence in servicing both potential and existing investors and said that, “Many countries in Africa can claim a stable political and economic environment with reasonable infrastructure. Creating that difference between Ghana and other investment destinations will in the long term depend on the dedication of our people’s sincerity in developing a mutually prosperous relationship before, during and after the process has begun.”

This statement by Mrs Trebarh was confirmed by the last person to comment at the Ghana Forum who said that, based on the experience he had had with staff of the GIPC during the establishment phase, he would not hesitate to endorse Ghana as a preferred investment destination.