Ghana has one of the fastest growing economies in the world and as well as being a regional centre for minerals, gold and cocoa, its newfound oil and gas make it ripe for foreign investment. The government’s investment agency, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), has the figures to demonstrate the rising worldwide attention Ghana is receiving. Last year, it registered 514 new projects in the country with an estimated value of GH¢11.52 billion ($6.7 billion) – a 500 per cent increase over 2010 and far surpassing the government’s 2011 target of GH¢1.5 billion. On announcing the news in February, CEO of the GIPC George Aboagye said that the foreign direct investment (FDI) component of the projects amounted to GH¢10.23 billion, which represented an increase of 514 per cent on 2010. More than 46,000 jobs are expected to be created by the new projects.
“With a robust commodities sector and a stable political environment, along with a dynamic financial industry and an improving fiscal record, our country has enormous potential to offer investors interested in Africa,” says Mr Aboagye.
Companies from China registered the greatest number of the new projects last year, with 79, closely followed by India with 77, and Nigeria and Lebanon with 39 and 36 respectively. However, in terms of the value, Korea topped the list with $4.77 billion, followed by Bermuda recording projects valued at $300 million.
Ghana was voted as the fourth best investment destination on the continent in the Africa Business Panel survey 2011, which polled 800 business professionals in all 53 African economies. The panel comprises senior managers, entrepreneurs and professionals who form the backbone of the business community throughout Africa. According to the survey, international investors appreciate Ghana’s the stable outlook for its economic and political climate, citing the capital Accra as an attractive commercial centre to conduct business in the region. The country’s oil discovery was also said be a factor to investment attraction. South Africa topped the poll, followed by Nigeria and Kenya respectively.
In the Ease of Doing Business index compiled by the World Bank and the IMF, Ghana scores well, being ranked in 63rd place out of 183 countries. By comparison, the more established West African petroleum powerhouses of Nigeria and Angola come in at 133rd and 172nd places respectively.