Bawumia: Ghana’s economy back on track

Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia says Ghana’s economic opportunities for private sector investors are back on track as the country is navigating its way out of the global economic meltdown.

Speaking during the 3rd Ghana Investment and Opportunities Summit in London, he stressed that the government is relentlessly re-focusing on economic growth and working hard to regain the trajectory Ghana found itself on, and get back to pre-COVID growth numbers.

The two-day summit is being organized by the Ghana High Commission, UK, in partnership with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC).

Dr Bawumia bemoaned that over the past two years, inflation had surged, noting “its rise has been large, sudden, and global. In many parts of the world, it is now at levels unseen for generations”.

The Vice-President indicated that financial systems had come under strain, including high inflation for the first time in recent decades.

He admitted that the world continues to face difficult moments caused by several factors, including climate change, disruptions in the supply chain of manufacturing goods, as a result of the pandemic. These issues, he indicated, as projected by the World Bank, are sinking some developed and developing countries into recession.

Private sector

Dr Bawumia also stressed that the private sector is the engine of growth, urging UK private investors to see Ghana as a favourable investment destination. “We are only here to support you. Our government is acting as your facilitator. We will unlock bottlenecks and prioritize limited resources to strategic sectors and projects. We think this is an exciting time to be part of Ghana’s economic growth,” he stated.

“We are organizing this Investment and Opportunities Summit exactly in that context. First, we want to show that Ghana is back on track and that strong opportunities exist for profitable private investments in key sectors. Ghana is home to one of West Africa’s most prominent and efficient ports, Tema, on the eastern serves as a feedstock to the landlocked ECOWAS countries.

“There is also the Takoradi port on the western coast, which serves the logistics, oil and gas, and allied industries. Takoradi is undergoing a significant transformation and requires significant investment to help decongest Tema and establish a commercial case for more vessels berthing there,” Dr Bawumia told the UK investors

The Vice-President reiterated that the country had been hit by mainly three major external forces, saying “COVID-19 pandemic hit our capacity to access fundamental goods, and the response put a burden on public finances”.

“The war between Russia and Ukraine, he indicated, had hit fertilizer and grain prices, among others, and increased the prices of commodities back home. “And the US Federal Reserve’s move to hike interest rate severely hit our capacity to borrow and repay debt in the international market,” he added.

According to him, the investment summit seeks to woo foreign investors to take advantage of opportunities created in the various sectors of the Ghanaian economy in a road up to a total economic recovery.

Dr Bawumia reaffirmed the government’s commitment to balancing sound fiscal management with strategic public investments that would unlock growth.

He further cited the Brownfield, Greenfield and Public Private Partnerships as tangible and bankable projects championed by the private sector in Ghana and abroad.

AI and data

He also observed that Africa’s economic transformation will be mainly driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data. Dr Bawumia said Ghana’s digitalisation success story is a private sector driven initiative backed by political will.

“Digitalisation is also de-risking the business environment by basically eliminating bureaucracy and corruption in the provision of many government services. In Ghana, we are not afraid to lead Africa and the world in some of these areas. As we put all of these data together through the digitalisation process, we see Artificial Intelligence and data as key to African economic transformation, in sectors like health, agriculture and education,” he stated.

The Vice-President added: “Our digitalisation story is really a story of a combination of political will on one side and the private sector on one hand. Most people do not realise that Ghana’s digitalisation drive is a private sector driven policy initiative”.

The Summit

The Ghana Investment and Opportunities Summit 2023 seeks to target international investors, various corporate organizations, government institutions, as well as the public in Ghana and Europe, and the diaspora.

It is aimed at bringing together delegates from the international investor community, venture capitalists, and private equity fund managers amongst others for in-depth business discussions.

It is also geared at the exploration of viable bankable investment opportunities within various sectors of the Ghanaian economy as well as matching local businesses with international partners.

Participants include over two hundred corporate industry captains, about forty speakers, with over a hundred million deals to be sealed during Business-to-Business sessions.

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