As part of efforts to revive the enormous untapped investment potentials of Kumasi, Columbia University's Millennium Cities Initiative (MCI), the Kumasi Metropolitan Authority (KMA) and other foreign partners, have launched the first West African Cities Investment Guide in Kumasi.
Christened; “Invest in Ghana: Focus Kumasi,” the guide aims at making Kumasi an attractive investment destination for, especially direct foreign investment for which available statistics indicated that the whole of the Ashanti Region in which Kumasi is located as the second largest city in Ghana registers, only 4.8 per cent as against 83.3 per cent in Greater Accra within the period of 2001 to 2007.
The investment guide, which also forms part of a broader investment promotion drive, the Kumasi Investment Initiative under which an investment desk and a business advisory centre will be set up at the KMA as an interface for public-private dialogue, is supported by KPMG International, UNCTAD, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Ghana Investments Promotion Council (GIPC).
The Launch coincided with the Kumasi investors day attended by about 120 investors and businessmen in the city during which panel discussions highlighted commercially viable investment opportunities in the city, its location advantage of being the centre at the crossroads of south to the north of the country and the southern coastal belt and the landlocked hinterland countries such as Burkina Faso, among others.
Nana Asampong Boakye, Asamponghene of Kumasi, who launched the guide on behalf of Otumfuo Osei-Tutu, 11, Asantehene, said the document markets investment opportunities in Kumasi in the areas of Cocoa processing, fruit processing, tourism, hospitality facilities, retail space, light manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and mining.
He said on the regional market scene, Ghana is one of the 15 members of the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) whiles with regards to overseas markets, it is one of the African Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP) that received preferential treatment from the European Union (EU), and called for investors to take advantage of such opportunities.
Opening the Kumasi Investment's Day, Mr. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry, PSD and PSI commended the MCI-KMA effort which sought to reverse the low trend of foreign direct investment in the Region and thus stem rural urban migration.
He said the strategy to move investment to the doorsteps of all the ten regions of the country to provide expanded trade will surely be a better means for job creation and poverty reduction.
Mr. Agyeman-Manu said the Government in its bid to attract more investors had put in place a number of incentive packages to create a conducive climate in the country and mentioned some potential investment areas as revamping of the Jute Leather factories as well as the establishment of the state of the art Technology Innovation Centre for the manufacture of capital goods.