Ghana’s strategic location and business-friendly environment, combined with its abundance of natural resources, make it a promising destination for foreign investors looking to expand their operations.Yorm Abledu, Senior International Attorney, Centurion Law Group
On February 21, 2023, Centurion Law Group hosted a webinar titled “Invest in Africa”, which featured a discussion on the state of African markets and the opportunities available for foreign investors in Ghana. Yorm Abledu, Senior International Attorney at Centurion Law Group and panellist for Ghana, shared valuable insights on Ghana’s business environment, emphasizing its potential as an attractive destination for foreign investors.
Ghana is one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa, thanks to its abundant natural resources, such as gold, timber, diamond, iron, coffee, and oil and gas. The country’s economy outperformed the global and sub-Saharan economies in 2018, and this trend is expected to continue in the coming years. Ghana’s growing economy, combined with its strategic location and business-friendly environment, makes it an attractive destination for foreign investors.
One of the significant changes that have made it easier for foreign investors to do business in Ghana is the establishment of the Office of the Registrar General. This agency was created to register and regulate all types of businesses and entities in Ghana, resulting in a more efficient body that facilitates business operations while improving quality. The new process takes only five days to a week to establish and register a company in Ghana, compared to months in the past. This has led to client satisfaction, cost savings, and an improved business environment.
Another regulatory agency that has helped attract foreign investors to Ghana is the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC). The agency is responsible for providing information, guidance, and assistance to investors looking to establish their businesses in Ghana. The GIPC helps investors navigate the legal, regulatory, and administrative processes of doing business in Ghana, making it easier for them to invest in the country. Foreigners can own 100% of foreign-owned companies in Ghana, and there is no restriction on repatriation of profits. There is a minimum state capital requirement for locally incorporated companies, but manufacturing and export companies are exempt from this requirement. These legal changes have made it easier for foreign investors to establish their businesses in Ghana and tap into the country’s abundant natural resources.
Ghana’s strategic location and business-friendly environment, combined with its abundance of natural resources, make it a promising destination for foreign investors looking to expand their operations. The country’s growing economy presents many investment opportunities, especially in sectors such as renewable energy, agriculture, and mining. Ghana’s pro-business environment and established regulatory framework provide a stable and predictable environment for investors.
Africa’s potential as a growth market for business is both underestimated and misunderstood, and that there is a need for greater innovation and investment from businesses to meet the unfulfilled demand for goods and services in Africa, close the gaps in its infrastructure, create jobs, and decrease poverty.
Yorm Abledu responded to the host’s question regarding Africa’s potential as a growth market for business and the role of businesses in solving the continent’s biggest challenges. She noted that Africa’s potential as a growth market for business is both underestimated and misunderstood, and that there is a need for greater innovation and investment from businesses to meet the unfulfilled demand for goods and services in Africa, close the gaps in its infrastructure, create jobs, and decrease poverty.
Abledu pointed out that Africa has the youngest population worldwide, with around 40% of the population aged 15 years and younger, compared to the global average of 25%. She noted that in Ghana, the government has invested in educating the youth with their free senior high school initiative and national policy on education, which aims to take out the elements that act as barriers to education. As a result, every year, a total of 460,000 people have been admitted into the program since 2017, and 2.4 million students have benefited from this policy so far. Abledu believes that in a few years, almost every youth in Ghana will be literate, which presents an opportunity for businesses to tap into a highly educated workforce.
Africa’s current population of around 1.2 billion people is projected to reach 1.7 billion by 2030. Abledu highlighted five business opportunities that investors should pay attention to. The first opportunity is that Africa has a fast-growing and urbanizing population. The second is that Africa is industrializing. The third is that Africa is closing its infrastructure gap. The fourth opportunity is to unleash the potential of the agriculture and resource world through innovation. The fifth opportunity is the potential to increase internet and mobile access, which will promote financial inclusion and access to credit for all sectors of the workforce.
The Centurion Law Group offers a range of legal services to support clients in its jurisdictions and beyond, applying original knowledge of the community of South Sahel Saharan State, the Censor states, East African community, the Central African Economic and Monetary Community.
Another question on how Centurion Law Group helps its clients and investors to mitigate some of the issues associated with doing business in Africa was asked. To which Abledu noted that the Centurion Law Group offers a range of legal services to support clients in its jurisdictions and beyond, applying original knowledge of the community of South Sahel Saharan State, the Censor states, East African community, the Central African Economic and Monetary Community. It provides full legal, business, and advisory services to work in a collaborative environment with clients to develop strategies that will help them achieve their goals, save them time, minimize costs, and taxes. The company has a well-established experience in dealing with corporate matters, including joint ventures and mergers, and handles both domestic and cross-border mandates.
Abledu acknowledged that one of the biggest challenges in Africa is its infrastructure problems. She pointed out that Africa lags behind the rest of the world in coverage of key infrastructure classes, including energy, road, rail, transportation, and water infrastructure. For example, entire communities across large swathes of Africa lack any connection to the grid, and around 600 million people in Africa live in energy poverty.
Abledu emphasized that Centurion Law Group is committed to assisting its clients in every way possible to give them practical solutions for any problems they may encounter. With its extensive experience and expertise in the African market, Centurion Law Group is well-positioned to help clients navigate the legal, regulatory, and administrative processes of doing business in Africa and to mitigate the issues associated with investing in the region.
Upon being asked whether an investor should invest in Ghana, Abledu acknowledged that Ghana is currently going through difficult economic times, but emphasized that Ghana has one of the strongest democracies in Africa and is the second safest country in Africa, with relatively low crime rates compared to other African countries. She highlighted the Year of Return Policy, which was launched in 2019 to bring foreigners, particularly from the Black Diaspora, to Ghana as tourists or investors. The policy has brought in fresh skills and capital, putting Ghana on the map as a key destination spot. She also noted that Ghana’s visa is on arrival, making it easy for eligible citizens to travel to the country.
In terms of ease of doing business in Ghana, Abledu emphasized the political stability and investment safety regulations that have been established through strong institutions, fairness, and enforceable laws. She pointed out that successive governments have put in place pro-business laws and institutions to promote the ease of doing business in the country.
Abledu discussed Ghana’s ICT sector, which is currently valued at $1 billion and is expected to reach $5 billion by 2030. He highlighted the presence of several tech, equipment, software, and service companies in the market, including American Tower Corporation, Parallel Wireless, Google, Twitter, IBM, and Microsoft. She also mentioned that Ghana’s fintech startup creates an opportunity for investors to invest in the sector with no minimum capital requirements.
Abledu concluded by highlighting Ghana’s rich mineral resources, including gold, diamonds, coal, limestone, and iron ore. She also noted that lithium has been discovered in commercial quantities in about three regions in Ghana, making it the first lithium-producing country in West Africa.
In conclusion, Ghana presents an array of investment opportunities that foreign investors can tap into, with its business-friendly environment, established regulatory framework, and abundant natural resources. The country’s highly educated workforce, ease of doing business, and stable political environment make it a promising destination for businesses looking to expand their operations in Africa. The Centurion Law Group, with its extensive experience and expertise in dealing with corporate matters, is a valuable partner for clients looking to invest in Africa’s challenging business environment. Overall, Africa’s potential for growth and innovation remains underestimated, and it presents untapped opportunities for businesses to meet the continent’s unfulfilled demand for goods and services, create jobs, and decrease poverty.
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