Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama has expressed dissatisfaction about the trade imbalance between Ghana and South Africa and called for equity in tackling economic relations between the two African nations.
“I am not satisfied with the level of trading between our two countries, which is skewed in favour of South Africa,” he said when he opened a two-day Ghana-South Africa Business and Investment Forum at Midrand near Pretoria.
The high profile forum comprising Ministers of State from Ghana and businessmen from the two countries is being organised by Ghana's High Commission in South Africa in collaboration with Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) as part of activities to climax Ghana's 50th anniversary celebration in South Africa.
“This imbalance needs to be addressed and we have to work together to do just that,” he said.
Alhaji Mahama said data released by the GIPC indicated that South Africa was becoming an important investor nation in Ghana, with 50 companies registering during 1994 and 2006.
He noted: “Indeed South Africa is the 14th major investor country in Ghana and is increasingly becoming significant because of the quality of its investments.”
He said business opportunities in Ghana span the agricultural sector, manufacturing and wood processing, transportation, energy supply, Information, Communication and Technology and real estate development.
Vice President Mahama, who described the current energy crises in Ghana as critical said Government had committed 470 million dollars to help resolve the problem.
He expressed optimism that the West Africa Gas Pipeline Project scheduled for completion this year would offer opportunities for independent power producers to invest in the energy sub-sector.
Vice President Mahama invited investors to put up students' hostels at the country's university and polytechnic campuses.
He said the housing stock needed to satisfy the demand of about 50,000 units per a year as against the available stock of between 10,000-20,000 units per year, leaving a huge gap that should be filled.
He said the telecommunication sub-sector also needed a boost in various aspects such as manufacturing of telecom equipment and components, provision of telecom engineering and consultancy services.