The 2012 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Akufo-Addo, has appealed to international investors to see Ghana as the investment hub for Africa.
Addressing a high-powered delegation of investors and various stakeholders at the Connaught Hotel, Mayfair, London, Monday, Nana Akufo-Addo said, Africa was right for a structural transformation of its economy and Ghana was ready to position herself as the driving force of that process.
The discussion was over his vision which he said was to transform Ghana’s economy from a raw material producer to a manufacturing, value-added one.
The revelation that created the excitement was about how to position Ghana in the next couple of decades, with the population of West Africa estimated to hit half a billion during that time. It was emphasised that Ghana has the potential to be the financial hub, the bread basket, industrial centre, and the centre of academic excellence for the region.
In revealing that the estimated value of Ghana’s natural resources was around $1 trillion, it was said that Ghana needed the kind of leadership that would make the country the centre of economic activity in West Africa.
It was said that if elected in December, the task before the NPP would be to shift the economy from its current status of jobless growth, with only 25% of the youth generation getting secondary education, to providing Ghana’s young, energetic population with skills training and jobs.
The meeting was held under the auspices of G3, or the Good Governance Group, a strategic advisory consultancy which specialises in providing advice on risk mitigation, governance and regulatory compliance.
It was chaired by Baroness Helen Liddell and attended by senior executives of various multinational companies.
The NPP presidential candidate’s commitment to tackling corruption was also discussed, where it was stressed that Ghana can only tackle corruption not with pious words of who is honest and can be trusted, but by putting in place the institutional framework and possessing the political will power to tackle corruption.
The discussion was on the theme FDI in Ghana, where it was agreed that with the right leadership, Ghana has the confidence and capacity to become a serious economic player.
References were made to Malaysia and Korea with the belief that if the Asians were able to do it, Africans are capable of doing the same.
Nana Akufo-Addo observed that there was a growing recognition of Ghana being a secured place where people can do business
However, there were reservations over how some international investors had been treated in recent years, questioning the sanctity of contracts which Ghana has been known for. There was palpable excitement about the future and the central role that Ghana stands to play in the new emerging Africa.
The audience was obviously pleased with the discussions and Nana Addo’s position on issues and his firm grasp of what was happening in Ghana and Africa, with clarity of vision on where Ghana and Africa need to be.
Nana Akufo-Addo’s delegation included, NPP National Chairman, Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, MP and Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Hayford Atta-Krufi, UK-Eire branch chairman, NPP, Nii Titus Glover, NPP Greater Accra deputy campaign chairman, Charles Wiredu and others.
The NPP candidate returns to Ghana this week.