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03.11.2002 Feature Article

Ghana: Attracting Investment Will Require...

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...Deep Land and Security Management Reforms Amidst Other Requirements in Order to Achieve any Impact.

Ghana can invest a lot in terms of re-branding and an attempt to market itself. However, the question seems to escape me as to what we are marketing? If it is peace and security, that does not exist anymore, as it is evident that as much as there is progress in terms of curbing crime, it still is not under control. The effort actually seems to be more reactionary than proactive. Maybe such is the approach but it is my belief that we can create systems that are more proactive and are well placed to actually reduce and deter crime before it occurs. The other issue that as a country we may be marketing could be the relative cheap price for land or property, which is a pre requisite for wealth creation. However, the price of land being cheap is a fallacy. Land is not cheap considering what one has to go through to get it and let alone maintain it. Without actually being able to create systems that are laid out and work without constant special intervention, one can actually be assured that the efforts to attract investments are ill placed. They are nice ideas but will yield little or no results. South Africa with its superior infrastructure is having difficulty attracting investment, and quite recently as reported by BBC Africa, Japanese investors cited security as a problem for them to invest in that country. Why would we think, that we stand a chance when everything, except aids is second to that of South Africa’s?

It is nice to dream but leading folks to have hope amidst false dreams is dangerous. As I have cited before, an integrated approach to planning and development may take longer in terms of results, but will ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page and we are not in situations where the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. Or the more costly version of the right hand and the right hand duplicating efforts but going nowhere.

Consolidating activities is crucial for the development effort and it is hoped that the issue of land acquisition, which is a nightmare, and the security issue is really dealt with in a more permanent and systematic manner. It must be sustained and must be reviewed constatnly for enhancements. Until such time, one can say, “ I have a dream…” to no avail. The dreams will stay as dreams and never materialize.

Ako Folson
Ako Folson, © 2002

The author has 58 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: AkoFolson

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