A delegation of business executives from the Gauteng Province in South Africa has met with their Ghanaian counterparts to explore investment opportunities in the country.
Led by the Premier of the Gauteng Provincial Government, Mr David Makura, the delegation focused on areas of interest, including road infrastructure development, agriculture and agro-processing, energy, rail and ports infrastructure and manufacturing.
Subsequently, a business forum was organised by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) to give Ghanaian businesses the opportunity to interact with the delegation as part of efforts to drive trade within Africa.
The forum was on the theme, “Investment and business partnerships: The vehicle for intra-Africa integration and impactful economic development.”
The South African High Commissioner to Ghana, Madam Lulama Xingwana, said the purpose of the mission was to enhance the already existing bilateral relations between South Africa and Ghana, specifically the Gauteng Province and the Greater Accra Region.
“This mission also seeks to promote intra-Africa trade and to explore trade and investment opportunities by engaging with relevant government stakeholders and by participating in platforms that are created for businesses to interact,” she said.
Madam Xingwana also explained that the visit was part of a consistent effort to deepen and consolidate bilateral relations between two countries both at political and economic levels, and it was a follow-up visit to engagements that had already been taking place between the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency and the GIPC.
“The importance of Ghana to South Africa as an anchor partner country within the West Africa region is in a way being recognised and affirmed by the continuous presence of South African delegations in the country.
“In this regard, we continuously encourage South African businesses to seize upon opportunities that Ghana presents to South Africa for trade and investment. The net effect of any such trade and investment is economic development and poverty alleviation that fundamentally contribute towards realising intra-Africa trade,” she said.
Engaging the continent
Mr Makura said the areas of interest for the delegation were part of efforts to drive the industrialisation drive in Africa.
He said the African continent had a great potential to turn its natural resources into wealth, hence the need to put in place the right structures and systems to help achieve this.
“We have the potential to turn these rich-resource minerals into wealth. We can’t do this without a combination of things; one of them is good governance but we also need a calm private sector and an environment that drives entrepreneurship especially among the youth,” he said.
Ghana is ready
The Chief Executive Officer of the GIPC, Mr Yofi Grant, said GIPC was ready to position the country as a business, financial and a tourism hub to the South African delegation and to the rest of the world.
“South Africa gives us a lot of inspiration and attraction and additionally Ghana is positioning itself as the entry point to West Africa; and one of this government’s aim is to position Ghana as a business, financial and tourism hub and it is also looking at setting Ghana as a production base for West Africa,” he said.
He bemoaned the low level of intra-Africa trade and reiterated the need to promote trade within the Africa sub-region.