All I hear are complaints about Ghana but…

Recently I was talking to a friend about real estate sales and she mentioned “All I hear are complaints about Ghana”. Immediately I understood this would be a great topic for this week.

This lady friend is a brilliant professional in between demanding jobs, and she was proactive and entrepreneur enough to create her own job while the new fat cheque job doesn’t come.

Coming from the finance sector, she knows how vibrant Ghana’s economy is.

So, do I and thousands of professionals and companies that came to invest in Ghana.

So does the government, because they are already planning the Ghana of the future, Ghana beyond the aid of NGOs, Development banks, and supra national organizations.

Even thousands of Ghanaians in the Diaspora believe that it’s the right time to return home (Year of Return) and bring their expertise and businesses to their country.

So, why do we keep hearing so many complains about Ghana’s economy?

I don’t know but I will share my “picture” about this.

The local economy is better than ever and other countries want to come here to invest!

You don’t believe me? Then answer me this: why was Ghana judged as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies last year by the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund?

Ghana’s major exports – oil, cocoa and gold – have brought the country increasing revenue in the past few years due to a combination of factors such as production expansion, bumper harvests and rising global prices, to name a few.

Accra, the nation’s capital, is full of building construction projects which mirror its ongoing transformation into one of West Africa’s most cosmopolitan cities. An increasing number of international franchises have made their way into the country and there is a budding number of local franchises that are spreading their business and influence beyond single locations.

Why then do many Ghanaians complain about the country as they do? I am not an economist and will not attempt to explain why this is so in economic terms, but I will say as a marketing professional that it is all a matter of perspective.

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The glass is neither half full nor half empty: it is as you see it based on your experience and expectations. Perhaps many Ghanaians are too overwhelmed by their daily situations to see that all around them, in both small and large ways, this country is gaining a lot of global attention for the right reasons.

Perhaps the loud noise of political discussions drowns out objective assessments of Ghana’s growth and prospects for more growth. Worse of all, perhaps low wages and even lower standards of living prevent many Ghanaians from seeing beyond the lack they are constrained by.

Although I am a C-level executive expat in Ghana, my experience of the country in the past few years has brought me into contact with Ghanaian citizens from different backgrounds and in diverse ways.

I will not claim to entirely understand the historical, cultural and political issues that have shaped Ghana into the nation it is today, but having lived and worked in several African countries I can confidently say that Ghana stands out from the rest.

Ghanaians are pleasant people and have been blessed with many natural resources which the country continues to benefit from.

The country has also earned a good reputation as a peaceful, democratic African nation that continues to attract professionals and tourists from all over the world who come to explore Ghana’s natural landscapes, rich culture and flavourful food!

I may be accused of seeing Ghana through rose-coloured glasses, but as a shameless optimist I cannot help it.

I love this country, and I am excited about its potential!

Sure, there are problems and several areas that need fixing, but every challenge represents an opportunity to create, to innovate and to improve.

Take the real estate industry for example: in the past, the only option to become a homeowner in Ghana was to identify a suitable plot of land (that was hopefully free from litigation), negotiate a fair price and purchase it (with your fingers crossed that you had made payment to its rightful owner or owners) and register your ownership with regulatory authorities before you could assemble a construction team and building materials.

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The rate of work was often slow and needed close supervision.

Individual homeowners would also have to multitask as utilities contractors to get access to electricity, water and telephone services; in some cases, personal resources were required to make homes accessible through roads.

Yet in the midst of all this inefficiency and these inconveniences emerged real estate companies who now offer Ghanaian homeowners the option of investing in quality, well-planned developments with an array of complementary services and community amenities. Home ownership is not in doubt or in contention, and the value of these properties continually appreciate.

Ghanaians living abroad can equally invest in these developments for their own use or for rent with the peace of mind that they are getting exactly what they have seen and are paying for. If this is not commendable progress and a clear sign of positive change, then what is!

And the best is yet to come: Last month, in Niamey (Niger), the operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA has been launched, after a day-long summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union. This means that also the African Union believes that Ghana’s economy is very but very good. In fact, the African Union believes this so much that Accra will be the headquarter of the AfCFTA.

So, important stakeholders truly believe that Ghana’s economy is in good health. And you, what do you think?

I challenge you today to celebrate the many things that are good about Ghana even as we all work together to make it better: look beyond the problems to see vast opportunities, for your own sake as well as that of future Ghanaians.

Thank you.

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