President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on American investors to take part in the extraordinary opportunities that exist in Ghana and on the African continent.
“There is a lot of opportunity for American capital, technology and enterprise in Ghana, and indeed in Africa; and we welcome companies from all your states to participate in the exceptional opportunities that exist in our country and on the continent,” he said when he addressed the Winter Meeting of the National Governors Association in Washington DC, United States of America.
The President asserted that Ghana is committed to seeking beneficial partnerships with American business to augment government’s aggressive development push, which is expected to put the country on an even-keel with other countries that have engineered their economies from poverty to prosperity in a generation.
He told the Governors that a key challenge of Ghana’s economy, like many other economies in Africa, is the infrastructural deficit – intimating that the country had launched an aggressive public-private-partnership programme to attract investment in the development of both road and railway infrastructure.
President Akufo-Addo, who is the first African leader to address to the 50 US Governors at an NGA meeting, informed the meeting his government is focused on reshaping the Ghanaian economy, and “our doors are open for investments in agriculture, infrastructure and energy”.
“We are hopeful that with solid private sector participation, we can develop a modern railway network with strong production centre linkages and with the potential to connect us to our neighbours to the north – i.e. Burkina Faso, the west – i.e. Cote d’Ivoire, and to the east, Togo,” he said.
The President indicated his administration’s policy is to develop strategic industries out of Ghana’s abundant natural resources, including bauxite and iron ore.
“We shall, shortly, establish an Integrated Bauxite/Aluminium Development Authority to assemble the relevant financial resources for systematic exploitation and development of our bauxite deposits.
“We have decided to exploit our substantial iron ore and manganese deposits, situated in the Western and Northern Regions of our country, to build an integrated steel industry to serve the needs of our country and region,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo stressed further that the exigencies of the time demand that Ghana and America develop a new form of relations that is characterised by a substantial increase in trade and investment cooperation.
“This is the way to develop healthy relations between our two countries, and thereby strengthen our economies and raise the living standards of our two peoples.”
The President further urged the Governors not to ignore Africa, stating his belief that “this can be Africa’s century”.
He held that Africa is rising, and that six of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies this year are on the continent
“We are rich in natural resources, and in possession of nearly 30 percent of the earth’s remaining mineral resources. We have a vibrant young population; and, though we still have important security challenges, we are more at peace than ever before,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo further noted that the decision of the African Union to bring into being, this year, the Continental Free Trade Area – the agenda of regional integration which would establish a market of some 2 billion people in 20 years – presents vast opportunities for bringing prosperity to Africa with hard work, enterprise and creativity.
“This is the time to look at Africa,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo explained that the current structure of African economies, which are dependent on the production and export of raw materials, cannot create prosperity.
“These economies cannot produce wealth and prosperity for the continent’s masses. It therefore drives the determination to seek a much better standard of living out of Africa, thereby fuelling the refugee crises and numerous counts of illegal migration.
“The only way to ensuring prosperity in Africa and jobs for our young population is through value-addition activities within a transformed and diversified modern economy, in which we take full advantage of the digital revolution,” he stated.
“In other words, the industrial development of our continent – and we are determined to ensure the realisation of this – so that our young people can stay and devote their great energies to the building of a great Africa.
“We are determined to do this in our generation in Ghana, on the continent, and ensure that succeeding generations will be neither victims nor pawns of the global order,” he indicated.