President Kufuor in London....
...Attends Financial Times Roundtable Conference On Ghana The President of Ghana, HE John Agyekum Kufuor, set out his country's stall as a credible international investment destination at a Financial Times Investing in Ghana Roundtable in London today. The full day event held at the Landmark Hotel coincided with an FT report that portrays Ghana as a beacon of hope in a sub region plagued by instability. Ghana has become a trailblazer in the development of Africa, the President told a handpicked audience of senior Ministers, captains of industry, equity fund managers and observers from Ghana and the UK, and is setting the pace for other African countries to follow. Trade, investment and governance are at the core of the Government's programme. Tough measures designed to improve corporate governance, reform the public sector and revitalize a stagnant economy has paid dividends, the President said. The economy now enjoys a B+ financial rating and the booming stock exchange posted world record growth in 2004.
Inflation is down to 14 percent and would be in single figures but for high oil prices, interest rates had fallen from 52 percent to 22 percent in four years, strong evidence for the international investment community that the country has now become a major gateway to sub-Saharan West Africa for international investors.
Continuing in the same vein, the Hon John Henry Mensah MP, Senior Minister, said Ghana aspired as a country to middle income status and encouraged investors to visit. Dr Paul Acquah, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, underscored the strong fiscal and monetary policies that are fuelling the economic stability. He reiterated the commitment of the Central Bank to continue to stabilize the cedi, cut interest rates further and bring down inflation.
In his remarks, Professor Adrian Wood, Professor of International Development at Oxford University, urged the country's leaders to continue on their path of insulating macro economic policies from elections, to increase infrastructure development and to make it easier for business visitors to visit Ghana.
Mrs. Elizabeth Villars, the immediate past president of the Association of Ghana Industries and Managing Director of Camelot Ghana Limited, urged the investment community to take Ghana seriously as it had now turned the corner. She said the private sector has noted the progress made and is ready to take advantage of the opportunities presented.
Messrs Piers Cumberlege and Hywel Rees-Jones, Vice President and Partner of Cordiant and Actis respectively, both confirmed their interest to look for more venture opportunities with the $500 million dollars they hold under management.
Other speakers at the forum included: Hon. Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry; Hon. Ameyaw Akumfi, Minister of Ports, Harbors and Railways; Hon. Dr Richard Anane, Minister of Roads and Transport; Ms Imoni Akpofure, Country Manager, IFC; Sir Thomas Harris, Vice Chairman, Standard Chartered Capital Markets Limited; Dr Akoto Osei, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning; Mr Yoofi Grant, Executive Director of Databank Financial Services; Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, Head of Monetary, Policy Analysis and Economic Planning; Mr Jerome Maxwell, President Africa and Caribbean, Alcoa; Mrs Norah Odwesso, Corporate Relations Director of Diageo; Mr Robert Lindsay, Vice President, Coca Cola; Mr Sarfo Prempeh, HR and Public Affairs Manager, Nestle Ghana Ltd; Mr Kofi Nsiah Poku, MD, Kinapharma; Mr Joseph Carasso, Citigroup country officer, Ghana; Mr Lawrence Adu–Mante, MD, Ghana Commercial Bank; Mr Gregory Fennell, Vice President, APM Terminals International B.V; Mr Carl Ostergaard, Regional Director, Ramboll; Ms Helen Tarnoy, Commercial Director, Aldwych International Ltd.
For further information, please contact; Ghana High Commission, London Tel: +44-7932441642