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Powering sustainable development

Article - July 29, 2014
Included in the groundbreaking Power Africa initiative and already regarded as a great business ally in the region, this country small in size offers massive new opportunities for investment
GHANA
Sun-drenched beaches, chic open-air cafes and shiny new hotels and malls; this is the new face of Ghana. With its solid democratic governance, rapid economic expansion and recent oil and gas discoveries, this small, English-speaking, West-African nation has captivated the attention of investors worldwide. A “model for Africa,” and a “wonderful success story,” according to President Obama, Ghana is poised to make a historic leap in developing its energy sector. One of six African countries initially chosen for the $16-billion Power Africa initiative, Ghana’s combination of solid economic fundamentals, effective leadership and mineral wealth make it ripe with potential.

"It’s not sympathy we want; it’s partnership, the ability to stand on our own feet. It’s not handouts we’re in search of; it’s opportunities. We have already shown that with time and the right opportunity, Africa can make it”

JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA
President of Ghana

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"We have a proven democracy, a growing economy, a peaceful people, a low crime rate, and an investment-friendly environment. Ghana is a great place to minimize business and political risk”

ABDULAI B. FUSEINI,
Minister of Lands & Natural
Resources
Ghana garnered a slew of headlines with record-breaking 14.4% GDP growth in 2011, making it one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, according to the World Bank. Since then, the economy has remained robust, and the long-term trend points to a sustained, accelerated pace of development. The International Monetary Fund forecasts economic gains to approach 10% annually by 2018.

Ghana is about to embark on a transformative project to nearly triple its electricity generation – an endeavor that its leaders believe will drastically improve productivity and increase prosperity among its 25 million citizens. Through the Power Africa initiative, it will receive billions in additional investments from the U.S. government and top American firms like General Electric, which plans to build an advanced 1,000 MW thermal plant in the country. All told, Power Africa brings together a $9 billion initial commitment from the private sector with $7 billion of financial support from the U.S. government.

Development experts from across the U.S. government will facilitate long-term financing, insurance, guarantees, credit enhancements, technical assistance and risk mitigation. Power Africa aims to deliver electricity to some 20 million households and businesses over the next five years.

“I’m here because I think the United States needs to engage with a continent full of promise and possibility,” Mr. Obama commented at the project’s unveiling in July 2013.

While the media attention on Ghana has intensified in recent years, its maturation into a regional economic power took place over a period of decades. Ghana enjoys one of the most stable democracies in the region. It has held six free and fair elections from 1992 to 2012. In terms of political stability, the World Bank ranks Ghana higher than Brazil, Russia, India and China, and in its 2014 press freedom index, Reporters Without Borders placed Ghana higher than Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“Ghana is an oasis of stability in the Western African sub-region. It has created an enabling environment that attracts massive investments. Nothing can deter business from happening,” says Inusah Abdulai B. Fuseini, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources.

“We have a proven democracy, a growing economy, a peaceful people, a low crime rate, and an investment-friendly environment,” he adds. “Foreign investors interested in exploring opportunities in Ghana should not hesitate.”

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