Papa Owusu-Ankomah, Ghana’s High Commissioner to the UK and Republic of Ireland, has assured senior business executives of high returns on their investment in Ghana.
The High Commissioner – in the first of a round-table engagement series organised by Hogan Lovells in collaboration with the African missions in the UK on Wednesday 29th November 2017 – underscored the urgent need for more foreign direct investment as the country seeks to deepen its industrialisation programme, create decent jobs, and generate foreign exchange.
The Hogan Lovells African Engagement Series focuses on promoting Africa as an investment destination. Hogan Lovells – one of the largest global law firms, with offices in London and Johannesburg – has been facilitating various investment and trade events in both Africa and the UK. In addition, the law-firm continues to host many African lawyers as part of its long-term commitment to training and capacity building.
The High Commissioner reiterated the fact that Ghana has since 1992 experienced a very stable political environment, anchored on democratic principles with comprehensive constitutional and statutory protection for investors. However, the country is yet to fully reap benefits from this stability.
Commenting on the latest initiatives in respect of digitisation, the High Commissioner hinted that this is going to revolutionise Ghana’s development agenda. These initiatives include e-registration of companies, paperless clearance of goods from the ports as part of the trade facilitation process, vehicle registration and issuance of drivers’ licences.
In reference to the Akufo-Addo Programme for Economic Transformation (AAPET), Papa Owusu-Ankomah emphasised that Ghana as a country cannot be doing the same thing year after year and achieve different results. In line with this, the initiative among other things seeks to address job-creation, infrastructure development, and accelerated investment in agriculture.
He also called on CEOs to explore opportunities in agro-processing; One District, One Factory; Pharmaceuticals; Banking & Finance and renewable energy etc.
Senior representatives from leading technology, manufacturing, telecoms, agri-business, finance, renewable energy and investment companies called on government to address issues related to bureaucratic delays, acquisition of land for business, diaspora involvement, and infrastructure deficiencies which tend to affect business take-offs.
Andrew Skipper, partner of Hogan Lovells, also urged government to redouble its efforts of streamlining the ‘One Stop Shop’ initiative to ensure coordination and timeliness of business registration.
The High Commissioner assured the senior representatives of the Ghana Mission in the United Kingdom’s commitment to support and assist them in making prudent business and investment decisions about Ghana. In attendance were Andrew Skipper, Head of Hogan Lovells Africa practice; Abena Poku, Marketing and Business Development Manager; Jeremy Brittenden, Infrastructure Energy and Natural Resources Partner; Nathan Searle, International Arbitration Partner and Corporate Senior Associate Fergus Gallagher from Hogan Lovells. George Blankson, Head of Consular & Welfare; and Kofi Addo, Head of Trade & Investment from the Ghana High Commission also attended the event.