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STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS NEEDED TO BOOST TRADE AND INVESTMENT BETWEEN GHANA AND SOUTH AFRICA—NANA AKUFO-ADDO

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, has underscored the importance of a strategic partnerships between Ghana and South Africa that will empower businesses and enhance trade and investment between the two countries.


President Akufo-Addo said with West Africa and Africa’s populations expected to reach some 500 million and 2 billion, respectively, in the next 20 years, it was imperative that the regional and continental markets in Africa worked for the betterment of South Africa—Africa's largest economy and Ghana—the gateway to West Africa.


“These markets will present immense opportunities to bring prosperity to our peoples, with hard work, creativity and enterprise,” the Ghanaian President said, adding, “My visit here is a signal of how much we welcome such a partnership”.


He was addressing participants at the Ghana-South Africa Business Forum in Pretoria, South Africa, as part of his state visit to that country— the first of such a visit to South Africa since Cyril Ramaphosa became South Africa's President.


Speaking on the theme: Advancing Industrialization through trade and investment, President Akufo-Addo said the transformation of Africa's future economy depended on value-addition and the industrialization drive, with private sector participation as an essential element.


These laudable objectives, he said, had informed his vision over the past 17 months in office, to put in place the needed measures such as the abolition of nuisance taxes to reduce the cost of doing business to improve the business environment in order shift the focus of the economy from taxation to production.


He said the growing stability of the country’s macro-economic indicators— the Ghanaian Cedi and the achievement of a single-digit inflation—were the results of these measures, adding that Government had also implemented specific measures such as the introduction of e-business registration system, paperless port clearance system, digital addressing system, mobile interoperability system and national identification card system, to formalize the country's economy, reduce the cost of doing business and facilitate interaction between businesses and clients.


President Akufo-Addo, therefore, urged the business community in South Africa to take advantage of the growing business-friendly climate in Ghana and to invest in it.


He appealed to South African businessmen to invest in the Government of Ghana’s flagship policies of One District, One Factory, One Village One Dam, Planting for Food and Jobs. Renewable energy and ICT growth.


To facilitate and expedite action on South African investments in Ghana's economy, President Akufo-Addo told the South African business community that the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) had a dedicated desk for South African investors.


On the country’s infrastructural deficit, he said South Africa technology and expertise would be desirable in helping Ghana to develop a modern railway network with strong production centre linkages, with the potential to connect the country to Burkina Faso in the north, Cote d’Ivoire in the west and Togo in the east.


President Akufo-Addo said several projects in roads, water transport, industry, manufacturing, agriculture, petroleum and gas, renewable energy, the exploitation of the country’s mineral wealth—bauxite, iron ore and gold— and the ICT sector, among others were being structured to attract private sector financing.


He assured South African business leaders that Ghana was a haven of peace, security and stability, a country where the principles of democratic accountability were now firmly entrenched in its body politic, and where the separation of powers was real in promoting accountable governance under the rule of law.


“We are keen on attracting foreign direct investments to exploit our country’s great potential on mutually satisfactory terms. Investments are protected in fact and in law,” he added.


President Akufo-Addo was expectant that the Ghana-South Africa Business Forum would help facilitate partnerships between Ghanaian and South African companies, and create the common platform that would generate ideas and nurture them into success.


He expressed the hope that exchanges such as the Ghana-South Africa Business Forum would further enhance the existing strong relations between Ghana and South Africa.

 

Source : Rex Mainoo