The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), represented by its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Yofi Grant, has been elected as the Regional Director (sub-Saharan Africa) for the Steering Board of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA), the Executive Organ of the General Assembly, from 2019 to 2021.
The announcement was made at the 24th WAIPA World Investment Conference held in Warsaw, Poland, from October 7- 8, 2019. The conference was hosted by the WAIPA Regional Directorship for the European Union, the Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH).
The event brought together members, investment promotion professionals, international organisation leaders, heads of financial institutions, politicians, academics, consultants, economists and other experts in the field of investment promotion and foreign direct investment.
GIPC won this position after it got the most votes at the WAIPA General Assembly meeting. The Centre contested for this position with Investment Promotion Agency of Mali (API-Mali) and the Economic Development Board (EDB) Mauritius.
The General Assembly consists of the Presidency, two Vice-Presidents, and Regional Directorship for sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Southeast Asia, European Union, Eastern Europe, North America, Central America and the Caribbean, and South America.
As a regional director, the Centre will help facilitate the investment activities of Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs), and improve intellectual and investment frameworks to improve foreign direct investments in the regions.
The GIPC will also work with other regional agencies and international bodies such as the International Trade Commission (ITC), World Trade Organisation (WTO), World Economic Forum (WEF) and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in knowledge-sharing as well as policy directions within the regions.
Additionally, the Centre will lead IPAs in the sub-Saharan region to organise capacity building pogrammes and lead discussions on Intraregional facilitation, as well as increase awareness, open-up regional markets, and advise WAIPA on all relevant issues relating to FDI in regions which need attention.
Speaking on this new role, Mr. Grant said it is perhaps a recognition of Ghana’s leadership role on the continent – especially in the area of trade and investment, and also being selected to host the headquarters of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA).
He said being a member of the Steering Committee – sub-Saharan Africa of WAIPA puts Ghana in the driving seat of promoting positive change in the investment climate of Africa through experience-sharing and capacity building, as well as reforms and making sure that “we do actually accelerate growth in Africa through investments”.
Additionally, he said, with the right partnerships, Africa can increase its economic fortunes – especially as the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) demands that African countries identify their own strengths and opportunities, which is well-expressed in the present Ghana/ Africa Beyond Aid agenda.
On the benefits of this new position for the Centre, Mr. Grant said: “The role means that the Centre will be working with African IPAs to ensure we have the right frameworks; improve our ease of investments and facilitation, and constructive investments in partnership with our own indigenous economies; and drive policy to make sure that African countries become more attractive, thereby increasing Foreign Direct Investments (FDI)”.