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26.09.2002 Business & Finance

Ghana Investment Conference launched in London

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The Ghana Investment Conference scheduled to take place in Accra from November 27 to 29, 2002 has been officially launched.

The event took place during the Commonwealth Business Forum held in London from September 23 to 24, 2002 under the theme “Managing Collaboration: Challenges For Business and Governments.”

Ghanaian dignitaries present at the launch included Hon.Yaw Osafo Maafo, Minister of Finance; Hon. Kwamina Bartels, Minister for Private Sector Development; H.E. Mr. Isaac Osei, Ghana High Commissioner to the UK; Mr. Kwasi Abeasi, Chief Executive of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre; Mr. Ishmael Yamson, Chief Executive; Nana Awuah Darko, Chairman of Vanguard Assurance Group and Mr. Felix Semavor of Kingdom Transport Services.

The event which was chaired by Baronesss Lynda Chalker of Wallasey, Chairman of "Africa Matters", an NGO attracted a large number of business executives in the UK and beyond.

Companies which attended the launch included the Tata Group of India, Johnson and Johnsons, Deutche Bank, AG, COTECNA, Confederation of Indian Industry, Crown Agents, De la Rue, Glaxosmithkline and the global Business World-wide. The others included inventures, Six Continent Hotels, Trans-Continental Capital limited and Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals International

Launching the conference, Mr. Osafo-Maafo urged investors to feel free to invest in Ghana as a demonstration of faith and confidence in the solid foundation which had been laid by the government since it assumed office in January.

He said in welcoming investors, however, Ghana would be guided by the principle of fair-play and transparency for the mutual benefit of the nation and investors.

On the safety of investments, Hon. Osafo-Maafo said “ Ghana has gone further to ensure that prospective investors are not jittery about their investments”.

He said the guarantees of individual freedom and property ownership, protection against expropriation under the 1992 Constitution, adherence to the principles enshrined in the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and bilateral investment promotion and protection agreements with a number of countries including the UK, should reassure investors of their investments.

Touching on the performance of the economy. Hon. Osafo Maafo said the government has through the support and sacrifices of its people and the encouragement of our development partners introduced discipline in government spending and prudent fiscal policies which had resulted in restoration of macro-economic stability with massive reduction in inflation and interest rates and the slowing down of the depreciation of the cedi.

He reiterated the government’s continued commitment to ensure good governance, support free enterprise and promote democracy and added that the government would continue to work with the private sector for the overall development of the country.

In her remarks, Baroness Chalker described Ghana as “a special place to invest” and called on investors to consider making the country their preferred destination since “there is no better alternative in West Africa than Ghana”.

In an interview recorded for BBC World Business Report, Hon Yaw Osafo-Maafo said in answer to a question that the era of coup d'etats and single monopoly of power which deterred investors was over and given way to democratic multiparty elections and the restoration of constitutional rule in most parts of Africa.

He stressed that civil society across the continent viewed with disdain, attempts by self-appointed adventurers to set back the clock of progress through the fruitless coup d'etats which eventually did not benefit anybody but their immediate families.

Hon. Osafo-Maafo therefore assured investors of the safety of their investments since African countries have firmly put their houses in order.

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