Ghanaian government officials and business gurus are spending hours to convince the business community in South Africa to invest in what they described as a thriving economy in West Africa.
The exercise is taking place at the Ghana-South Africa Business and Investment Forum at Midrand, Pretoria. It is being organised by the Ghana High Commission in South Africa and Ghana Investment Promotion Centre as part of activities to climax the country's independence anniversary celebrations in South Africa.
The South African entrepreneurs were exposed to the private sector development programme of Ghana, the country's track record in good governance, investment security and business opportunities which make the country the gateway to West Africa with a population of about 250 million.
Mrs. Gifty Ohene-Konadu, Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and PSI said Ghana had a wide range of export and import incentives, which include cost effective and transit transport system for entrepreneurs.
She said Ghana had plans to establish free port services and create industrial estates and parks to make business friendly.
Mrs Ohene-Konadu suggested the need for intra-African trade.
Dr Sam Jonah, former Executive President of AngloGold Ashanti, who is based in Pretoria, gave a lecture on: “Why Ghana is The Investment Destination in Africa.”
He said his 36 active service as a business executive mainly in Ghana and other African countries had convinced him that there was no better time to do business in Ghana than now.
Dr Jonah said Ghana had recorded a study economic growth in four years, while the agricultural sector had grown from 4.4 per cent in 2002 to 6.5 per cent in 2005.
He said the only way South Africa could improve or sustain its current Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of six per cent was to encourage more investments in Africa and in Ghana in particular.
Mr Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, who gave an overview of the business climate in Ghana, said the country was hosting an investment forum in Accra on May 21, 2007 to May 23, 2007 and invited the South African business community to patronise the event.
Mr Eric Yankah, Deputy Chief Executive of the Volta River Authority said Ghana was playing leadership role in the designing and operation of the West Africa power pool project.
Mr Edward Boateng, Executive Secretary of the Ghana Export Promotion Council said under the Ghana National Trade Policy, the council provided a full range of effective support services in export markets.
Mr. Alhassani Andani, Managing Director of Stanbic Bank, said strong GDP rates were significant for Ghana to build up gross international reserves.