Over the last five years, Ghana has proved to be the best investment destination in the West Africa sub-region, the Managing Director of Barclays Bank Ghana Limited, Mrs Margaret Mwanakatwe has said.
"At the moment, Ghana's Gross Domestic Product is at a 16-year high, inflation is tumbling, the country is rated as one of the most peaceful in Africa and also has a B+ rating by international credit rating agencies", she said.
Addressing the Ghana Investment Forum in Accra on the theme "Ghana: The Golden Gateway to Africa," Mrs Mwanakatwe said the country since independence had experienced mixed development swinging between military and civilian regimes and adopting several economic adjustment policies.
The Investment Forum, which is organised by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GPIC) and funded by the Barclays Bank, aims at creating a platform for the business community and other stakeholders to deliberate on ways of improving trade and investment relations.
The forum, which also forms part of Ghana's 50th anniversary celebration, will discuss strategic areas of development such as agriculture, banking and finance and tourism.
Mrs. Mwanakatwe noted that despite the 50 years of economic struggles and numerous challenges, Ghana was steadily making progress and was poised at taking her rightful place as a lead country in the sub-region and a star on the continent.
She expressed optimism that the forum would lead to invaluable insights that would feed into the development of the private sector, particularly Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).
She said: "As a bank we are passionate about the SMEs primarily because of how vital they are to the growth of the economy."
Mrs Mwanakatwe tasked the forum to help address the problems SMEs and other private operators faced in accessing credit facilities, lack of proper guidance and direction as well as skills and competency building.
She said she was happy that the forum, which was constituted by a cream of top-level corporate practitioners from the local and international investment think-tanks and resourceful Ghanaian entrepreneurs, would explore ways of attracting increased investment flow.
Mrs Mwanakatwe said Barclays was proud to be associated with the Ghana Investment Forum, which was believed to working towards improved economic policies and programmes and ultimately improved private sector performance.
Mr E.R. Ofori, Board Chairman, GPIC said domestic and foreign investment were critical to development and that the council was working towards harnessing resources in those areas for accelerated economic progress.
He stated that as part of the forum, banana investment opportunities would be highlighted to showcase the area to the business community.