The appeal by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to foreign investors, especially those in the United Arab Emirates to make Ghana their first port of call when venturing into Africa for business is one of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Wednesday.The Graphic reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has urged investors especially those in the United Arab Emirates to make Ghana their first port of call when venturing into Africa for business.
He said Ghana remained the best place to do business in West Africa because since 2017, the government had put instituted measures needed to reduce the cost of doing business, and improve the business environment.
President Akufo-Addo made the call when he addressed the UAE-Ghana Business Forum held on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
He said these measures 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 per cent GDP annual rate of growth, up from the 3.4 per cent rate it inherited in 2016.
He added that government had been working to restore Ghana onto the path of high growth rates experienced prior to the onset of COVID-19 and the Russian/Ukraine war.
President Akufo-Addo noted that Ghana’s decision to seek the collaboration of the IMF to repair, in the short run, its public finances and give credibility to its balance of payments, which had 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, favourable fiscal regime, and socially responsive mining in Africa,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that gold remained one of the pillars of the economy and continue to hold its own as both a commodity and a financial asset, was by far, the most commercially exploited mineral in Ghana, accounting for more than 90 per cent of the country’s mineral revenue.
The newspaper says that Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has charged empowered Ghanaian enterprises to be frontline actors of the new journey in the economic history of the continent under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
He said the government was fully committed to the implementation of AfCFTA and would assist the process by fashioning and implementing a comprehensive set of policies that would empower the private sector to achieve its goal.
Dr Bawumia, who was speaking at the opening of the 74th Annual New Year School and Conference (ANYSC) at the Great Hall of the University of Ghana in Accra yesterday, said AfCFTA would provide a new impetus and dynamism for the rapid growth of African economies and deepen the integration process.
The three-day ANYSC, which is on the theme: “Positioning the African Market for Sustainable Economic Development through AfCFTA,” is being organised by the College of Education and the School of Continuing and Distance Education of the University of Ghana.
The ceremony was attended by the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare; a member of the Council of State, Sam Okudzeto; the Chairman of the McDan Group of Companies, Daniel McKorley; members of the diplomatic corps, traditional rulers and members of academia.
The Vice-President declared: “We owe it to generations unborn to ensure that the biggest trading bloc on the globe, whose outcomes will be rewarding to all and which will assist in attaining the “Africa we want”, does not falter.”
“There is a new Africa emerging, with a sense of urgency and purpose and an aspiration to become self-reliant and move the continent to a situation of self-sufficiency, progress and prosperity,” the Vice-President added.
“We must succeed together and do so resoundingly for the benefit of current and future generations. A new dawn of trading and investment across Africa, for Africans, has just begun,” Dr Bawumia emphasised.
The Vice-President stated that the overarching aim of the measures to harness the benefits of the AfCFTA were to develop and expand the economy of the country and create sustainable jobs for the youth.
The Graphic also reports that Ghana’s aviation industry will continue on a solid growth trajectory in 2023 to affirm a full recovery from the lingering effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
It follows an increase in passenger flows especially for domestic travels since the easing of the COVID-19 restrictions in the country for airlines to resume operations.
This is due to a combination of factors summarised in the development of strong consumer confidence in the aviation industry, which is hinged on safety, reliability and affordability
Data sourced from the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) showed that domestic passenger flows hit 438,739 in the first half of 2022.
The data indicated that total throughput jumped from 423,718 in 2020 to 722,721 in 2021, the highest since 2013.
This represents a 70.57 per cent surge in domestic passenger traffic over that of the previous year.
There was a halt in domestic air operations in Ghana between March 30 and April 20, 2020 as part of measures by the government to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
The domestic space is dominated by Africa World Airlines (AWA) and Passion Air.
Their flight route is from Accra to the five regions with airports — Northern (Tamale), Ashanti (Kumasi), Western (Takoradi), Bono (Sunyani) and Upper West (Wa).
The Ghanaian Times says that Ghana has taken delivery of the first consignment of 40,000 metric tonnes of oil from the United Arab Emirates as part of government’s Gold for Oil policy.
The consignment which arrived in the country on Sunday January 15, according to Ghanaian Times sources, has been discharged into the receptacles of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) at the Tema Port.
Valued at US$40 million, the petroleum product was delivered by SCF YENISEI and is expected to be sold by BOST to bulk distributing companies (BDCs).
The barter arrangement was first announced by the Vice President, Dr Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, in November last year as part of measures to stabilise the Ghanaian cedi and keep prices of petroleum products low.
“If we implement it as we have envisioned, it will fundamentally change our balance of payments and significantly reduce the persistent depreciation of our currency,” Dr Bawumia said when he disclosed the deal at the Association of Ghana Industries’ awards night in Accra on November 26.
“The barter of gold for oil represents a major structural change,” the Vice President added.
Some market watchers, however, have cast doubts over the viability of the policy questioning its sustainability.
But the Bank of Ghana, has allayed those fears.
Director of Financial Market at the Bank, Stephen Opata, explained that the country has sufficient gold in its reserves to sustain the policy.
“As for the quantities, based on the production numbers we saw last year, gold has picked up. We believe that we can buy enough gold to sustain the program.
“I must say that the numbers we are currently looking at is about 160,000 ounces per month and that will represent about 50 to 60 per cent of the consumption of the country.
“According to what the PMMC (precious mineral marketing company) indicates, I think we have volumes to support the program,” Mr Opata said.