Maiden OIC seeks to attract US$500m investment in five yrs

Maiden OIC seeks to attract US$500m investment in five yrs

The maiden Oti Investment Conference (OIC), which seeks to identify and explore potential investments into Oti Region according to organisers, will be held in Accra on Wednesday, March 30, 2022.

According to the organisers, the region will leverage the upcoming Conference to attract a total investment sum of US$500million over the next five years; for value creation and to spur growth in critical areas such as agriculture, mining, tourism, manufacturing, agribusiness and real-estate development.

The OIC is spearheaded by the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Herbert Krapa, in collaboration with the Oti Regional Coordinating Council; the AGI-Eastern, Volta and Oti Branch; Regional office of the Ghana Tourism Authority; Real Support Services; and the Kadjebi Business Resource Centre.

A policy document on the event, as sighted by the B&FT, indicates that the Conference will host high-ranking stakeholders and dignitaries from across the sub-Saharan Africa region, and other members in key positions of Regional Administration, Central Government, Traditional and Religious Leaders, Civil Society Organisations, Youth groups, Law-makers, Corporate Ghana, Academia, NGOs, Regional and National Trade Associations, among others, in dialogue.

The Conference provides a forum for presentation and discussions on government development plans and incentives for investment in the region; partnerships for indigenous industrial growth; and the vast foreign investment opportunities available for prospective Investors within the value chain.

The Eastern, Volta and Oti Regional Chairman of AGI, Mr. Dela Gadzanku, speaking to the B&FT explained that the Investment Forum opens at a time when the region is strategically positioning itself to benefit from local, sub-regional and global partnerships.

The Conference will accordingly be used as a springboard to introduce the Brand Oti Project – a Tourism-drive to sell the Region; and the Oti Fair – a Regional Trade and Investment Fair to showcase opportunities in the region.

Oti Region, he said, is gradually becoming a transit area for trade, as the Eastern Corridor begins to serve as a preferred commuting route for haulage and movement of goods and services between the Northern and Southern industrial consumer markets in Ghana and beyond.

“While the limitless potentials of Oti is a new ground to break – the Region, being predominantly agrarian and small scale enterprise-based – we intend to build the necessary bridges and such key strategic alliances that underscore the need to address the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) principal aims: reduce poverty, improve health and education, reduce inequality and drive economic growth. These can be attained through partnerships, dialogue at high levels, and indigenous or multinational investments under the seven main thematic areas developed for the Conference” Mr. Gadzanku noted.

Paa Swanzy Essuman, CEO of Real Support Services and Coordinator for the Conference, described Oti Region as “Ghana’s hidden treasure” with huge investment potential, specifically in the areas of tourism and agriculture. In addition, he stated that there are numerous attractions including forest reserves, waterfalls, landscapes, habitable islands, and stone-age relics found in caves, dotted across the Region for tourists to explore.

The Region is also endowed with over 570,000 hectares of arable land suitable for cultivating crops such as yam, cassava, potatoes, cashew, vegetables, cocoa, oil palm, rice, maize, plantain and ginger; as well as bee-keeping, teak plantations, fish and animal farming. Mr. Essuman disclosed that at optimum economic levels, Oti Region is well-placed to feed the Ghanaian and African economy.

The Oti Region

The Oti Region was created in 2019 under a Constitutional Instrument (CI112) as one of five other new regions in Ghana.

With five bordering regions – Northern, Volta, Bono East and Eastern Regions as well as neighbouring Togo – Oti Region has a total population of about 800,000 according to the 2020 National Census.

Apart from serving as the biggest reservoir for the Volta Lake, the region also boasts a huge active population, high oxygen content and untapped natural resources; including large deposit of cobalt and monumental tourism destinations.

Since its formation, the Region has seen unprecedented improvement in accessibility through the development of intra-regional road networks – many of which are at advanced stages of completion. These opportunities have significantly increased the region’s domestic economy through widespread trade and agriculture-related activities.

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