Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), as part of activities to commemorate ‘The Year of Return’ programme by government, has held an African American Business Summit to attract investors.
The Business Summit, dubbed “Jamestown to Jamestown,” is aimed at connecting Black Americans in Jamestown-Virginia, which is where the first slaves from Africa to USA landed, to Jamestown Ghana, the cradle of slavery in Ghana.
The purpose also is to help Black American business in identifying business opportunities in Africa through Ghana as the gateway and to build networks or sign trade partnership agreements with indigenous companies.
The Chief Executive Officer, GTA, Akwasi Agyeman, speaking at the two-day summit indicated that with Ghana becoming the hub of trade in West Africa, it is important for it to position itself appropriately to attract investors through networking and business engagements with the diaspora.
“we have about 250 people coming from the USA to understand the system here in Ghana and the opportunities available to them as well as have a feel of how the journey started from Africa to America.
“we hope that this reintegration and reengagement of the diaspora with the Ghanaian economy, will help them to come back to stay permanently or invest in the various sectors of the economy where opportunities abound,” he said.
In a presentation, CEO of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Yofi Grant, mentioned the several opportunities that abound to diaspora, openness of Ghana’s business environment and optimism for better future as the economic prospects of the Ghanaian Economy.
“Priority sectors of investment include; Energy, infrastructure, agro processing, tourism, and manufacturing.
“Ghana’s economy is the second largest in West Africa (WA), the largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) recipient and ranked first in West Africa based on ease of doing business. This are indications that Ghana is the best place to do business,” he said.
He further indicated that the stable political climate and business friendly reforms, as well as strong macroeconomic prospects and government commitment focused on robust policy initiatives to ensure stability, makes Ghana an attractive investment location.
The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, said since the president declared the Year of Return in America last year, over 78 activities had so far been organised to mark the event.
“A country’s diaspora can be a huge tool for development and we hope to use mediums such as this engage, to connect to the diaspora so that we can attract their interest and bring them back home to help in the development process,” she said.
Speaking on behalf of the diaspora, President of NAACP, Derrick Johnson, encourage government to use the name African American Business, to open up new markets and establish trade relations with diaspora.
“The conversation should continue with other trade unions in other countries across Africa because Africans across the globe most unit as one unite to move forward in development.
“we as Africans must redefine ourselves as people of value and not as a source of cheap labour,” he said.
Also present at the summit held at Eximbank Head Office, were President of National Association for the Advancement of Coloured people (NAACP), Derrick Johnson, President of Adinkra Group, Diallo Sumbry, and CEO of Eximbank, Lawrence Agyinsam.