Ghana is the ideal country in West Africa to transact business, per the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who urged the private sector and investors in the United Arab Emirates to make Ghana their first stop when traveling to the region for business.
President Akufo-Addo said in a speech to the UAE-Ghana Business Forum on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, which was held in conjunction with Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, that the government has been putting in place the necessary measures since 2017 to lower business costs and enhance the business environment.
The President claims that these actions “made the Ghanaian economy not only one of the most business-friendly economies in Africa, but also one of the fastest growing economies in the world between 2017 and 2020, averaging 7% GDP annual rates of growth, up from the 3.4% rate we inherited in 2016.”
He informed the audience of Ghana’s intention to request the IMF’s assistance as the government works to put the country back on the road of rapid growth experienced before the start of COVID-19 and the Russian/Ukrainian war.
“To repair, in the short run, our public finances, and give credibility to our balance of payments, which have taken a severe hit in very recent times as a result of these developments.”
“I am confident that we will emerge from this with a stronger and more resilient economy and advance towards our goal of reaching a Ghana Beyond Aid. Not only is Ghana the best place for doing business in West Africa, but she is also the preferred destination for a perfect blend of mineral resource potential, stable regulatory environment, favorable fiscal regime, and socially responsive mining in Africa,” he added.
According to President Akufo-Addo, who described mining as a crucial pillar of Ghana’s economy, gold is by far the most commercially exploited mineral in Ghana, accounting for more than ninety percent (90%) of the nation’s mineral revenue. Gold continues to hold its own as a commodity and a financial asset.
“Indeed, in recent times until 2021, Ghana was the largest producer of gold in Africa and was 6th in the world. We are also major producers of bauxite and manganese, and are, indeed, the 3rd largest producer of these two minerals in Africa,” he stated.
The President further stated, “more recently, Ghana has been placed globally on the map of some few countries that have made significant discoveries of lithium, just as she has found also graphite and iron ore in significant quantities. Ghana is also working towards the net zero emission target, and collaborating with other relevant stakeholders in employing climate-friendly technologies and practices, to achieve the maximum developmental impact for the country.”
According to him, his administration wants to do more than just exploit these minerals in their raw form to increase export revenues; it also wants to establish links with other economic sectors and produce value added benefits along the entire value chain of the minerals.
“The potentials created offer considerable opportunities for UAE investors, who possess the capacity to generate the value-added benefits, especially through the Government’s local value-addition and processing drive, to partner Ghanaian companies in converting their natural comparative advantage into an enhanced, more valuable, sustainable and competitive advantage,” the President added.
He emphasized that “the Minerals and Mining Act of 2006 (Act 703), supported by the Regulations passed in 2012, along with a few amendments and introductions that have been made, have stood the test of time,” assuring that the standards for responsible environmental and social stewardship, maintained by Ghana’s minerals and mining sector, are comparable to any found in the best mining jurisdictions.
President Akufo-Addo insisted that despite the country’s current difficulties, “it is an exciting time to be in Ghana and do business in the country. Therefore, I would encourage the UAE’s private sector to invest in Ghana by taking advantage of the nation’s business-friendly environment. The government has established a number of fiscal incentives for the investor, based on the type of activity or the location of the investment, regardless of where you decide to invest in Ghana”.
Ghana is regarded as a beacon of democracy and stability in Africa, with a modern democratic system of governance, an independent judiciary, and a strong commitment to the rule of law, according to the President, “in the same vein, we are determined to make Ghana an example of rapid economic growth within the context of a well-developed market economy. We welcome greatly your contribution to this endeavour.”