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Opinions Wed, 26 Jul 2017

Diaspora Ghanaians; A clear opportunity to invest in Ghana

Many Ghanaians in the diaspora are eager to return home and invest when the economy and political situation are good for settlement and business.

In 2001 when former President J.A Kufuor, wrestled power from the revolutionary turned Democrat, J.J Rawlings, he met an economy that was impoverished and highly indebted to donor countries. Kufuor was able to put things in place. He was able to inspire Ghana's Parliament and gave hope to the citizens to cherish the innovations and systematic development of his government which attracted foreign investors and diaspora Ghanaians. What is more, the judiciary at that time inspired confidence and trust among the citizenry and this made the diaspora look at the judiciary as the epitome of fairness.

The NPP regime under Akufo-Addo has begun to create conditions that are suitable and convenient for diaspora Ghanaians to return home to invest. The situation will gradually be like what happened under Kufuor when hundreds of Ghanaians abroad came home with different projects and investments. Banks were going from door to door asking people to come for loans. The condition to invest was perfect. However, when the NDC came to power, the economy sank to its lowest ebb; the value of the cedi went low against the dollar. The last straw that broke the camel's back was the intermittent cut in electricity which became known as 'dumsor'. The situation was so unbearable that many businesses had to fold up and the diaspora Ghanaians who came down under Kufuor had to return abroad.

The Diaspora Ghanaian Homecoming Summit 2017 was held at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) from the 5th to 8th of July 2017. The aim was to announce the vast investment opportunities that are going to be available under Akufo-Addo's regime. In pursuance of the agenda of one village one factory, Ghanaians at home and abroad were urged to seize the opportunity to invest since the government was ready to support any Ghanaian who is ready to start a viable project. In this connection, the government got a loan of $10 billion from the Chinese government to fulfil the campaign promises of one factory in every district and a million dollars for every constituency and other needs.

The money will be deposited in five strategic banks for anyone, including diaspora Ghanaians, to present projects and apply for funds from those selected banks. Ghana, like most African countries, has for long been classified as a virgin land and a land of opportunities. However, for the last decade, due to misrule, corruption and 'dumsor', diaspora Ghanaians were hesitant to come down and invest in Ghana. Existing companies were folding up due to 'dumsor', the high cost of living and massive poverty. The political climate, the insightful governance of Nana Addo and effective policy implementation have convinced many diaspora Ghanaians to take advantage of the investment climate in Akufo-Addo's Ghana. A call has already been made to Ghanaians to be part of the one district one factory agenda.

What are the best and most viable business ideas and investment opportunities in Ghana for investors and Ghanaian entrepreneurs abroad? Ghana has one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. With all the plans this present government has put in place, it is potentially and fundamentally viable and worthy to do business in Ghana. President Akufo-Addo has consistently and repeatedly appealed to Diaspora Ghanaians to take advantage of the strong and vast mineral resource sector, cocoa industry, consistent government policy, oil discoveries, steady power supply, friendly business environment and a free trade zone for foreign companies. With Nana Addo and his effective ministers in place, Ghana will definitely be a country to beat in future.

There are certain types of businesses that can easily be managed profitably by diaspora Ghanaians. The first is waste management. Many have gone into this waste management but the filth and garbage keep on mounting and these have overwhelmed the existing companies. Moreover, there are so many towns and villages whose wastes are still not managed. Diaspora Ghanaians can seize the opportunity to start waste management companies in Ghana. Telecommunications is also another business that can be looked at. There are several branches under telecommunication. One can specialise in the repair of mobile phones and the sale of accessories. Ghana is in need of such services across the entire country especially if one can combine these with effective distribution of internet to homes and offices.

Agriculture and food production is one of the best options for abroad Ghanaians. Everyone is aware that food is an irreplaceable need in our daily lives. The demand for farm products keeps on increasing and anyone who goes into food production is sure of an unending demand. In addition to food, one could also go into teak plantation which also generates money when harvested. The products on the farm can easily spark off a food processing factory. Indeed Ghana is waiting for entrepreneurs and investors. Nana Addo's arms are open to receive and financially support abroad Ghanaians who present feasible project proposals.

There are several businesses in Ghana and as Ghana continues to enjoy a serene political climate in a true democracy, diaspora Ghanaians who decide to return home will discover to their joy that apart from fund support which will readily be available, they will be exposed to more ideas in the oil sector, estate management, service industry, education and many more. Indeed the progress and the positive achievements that will be made by Nana Addo and his NPP government lie within the womb of time.
Columnist: Stephen Atta Owusu